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

We were on a group tour from our church. We like the itinerary as we wanted to see the new locks. SHIP: Overall the ship was very nice. All the public areas were well maintained and the people flow was good. We chose to hang ... Read More
We were on a group tour from our church. We like the itinerary as we wanted to see the new locks. SHIP: Overall the ship was very nice. All the public areas were well maintained and the people flow was good. We chose to hang around the adults pool located at the back of the ship. Easy access to food and beverages, not as crowded and a little quieter. The Medallion experience was OUTSTANDING! With a disk the size of a quarter you can locate anything you need, all your traveling companions, activities, directions by checking in at the portals located throughout the ship. Even better is to download the app and have all of this at your fingertips. You get a free lanyard and there are accessories you can buy (a bracelet; a wristband) but I though the prices were too high. SERVICE: Again shout out to Edel and Jonel our waitstaff and Basulto our cabin steward!! The cruise director (DuVual) and his staff were outstanding, funny, gracious and entertaining!! ENTERTAINMENT: This was EXCELLENT!! We went to every show and none disappointed. Bravo (a medley of Broadway show tunes); Fantastic Journey (a type of Cirque d Soleil); a comedian; a magician.. The only issue was that both the comedian and magician played both in the main theater and in one of the lounges - the lounge was very tight for space. ON BOARD ACTIVITIES: We enjoyed all the trivia games, a back stage tour, a galley tour. There were two violinists on board who were outstanding and played in the piazza. We did line dancing and a couple of "beat the crew" games; a photography class; and arts and craft classes. DINING: We dined with our group in the Palm Island room. The menu selections were at times a bit strange - we are not foodies and just enjoy basic meals. But they had a base offering of the same menu items each night which appealed to us. Portions are not large but very sufficient. So if you want to indulge in more, you might have room. The buffet was good - excellent omelette station! PORTS OF CALL: Cartegna, Columbia: We generally do not due excursions mostly because they tend to spend too much time at a gift shop vs. the actual experience. However we did disembark to the pier and were told about an aviary within walking distance. We spent a great deal of time there and saw sloths, anteaters, parrots, peacocks, flamingoes and various fauna. Well worth the visit! Partial transit/Canal New Lock (Aqua Clara): Unfortunately the day dawned overcast and a bit of rain early on. We went out on deck by 6A to fully watch the entry into each chamber leading up to Gatun Lake. Fascinating engineering. There was an on board lecture being piped throughout the ship which was sadly more annoying than informative. We had attended the prior lecture on the history of the canal offered the day before in the theater oddly given by the same person so it was a bit surprising that the day edition wasn't quite as good. Limon, Costa Rica: Unfortunately due to rough waters at the pier, our ship could not safely dock. We got another sea day as we headed to our last port in Jamaica. I have to absolutely commend the cruise director (DuVual) and his staff for the efficient and quick way they put together yet another fun filled day of activities at such a short notice. Falmouth, Jamaica: This was actually our second visit to Falmouth and again we chose not to do any excursions. we had intended to just freely walk about the exterior streets (outside the marketplace right at the pier). We lasted about three blocks. Once you leave the marketplace (which is fenced in and guarded), you are at the mercy of EVERY street vendor, taxi driver, tour guide, hawker imaginable and they are relentless. Once one leaves you, there are at least two or three waiting to walk at your side and talk you into whatever they are selling. It is also a bit unnerving to walk around, The smell of marijuana permeates, there are too may deep dark alleys, and it just didn't feel safe. Would NOT recommend leaving the pier marketplace. All excursion transportation enter the fenced in area to pick up passengers and return the same way. Embarkation and disembarkation: Excellent!!! We arrived at the port with our group and were at our cabin within a hour (one suitcase was already there). Same for disembarkation. Our group was scheduled to leave the ship at 8:40A and the day was going so well, we actually were able to leave 30 minutes earlier (however, our return bus wasn't scheduled to pick us up until 9A). Our bags were at the terminal in their assignen/coded areas and we easily picked them up, breezed through customs and wento meet our bus. So both experiences were leisurely and stressless. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We selected this cruise because of the destination (i.e., new Panama Canal) and timing (Winter). We have crossed the old Panama Canal in the Coral Princess some time ago. Adding the new Canal excursion to cross to the Pacific (in the ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the destination (i.e., new Panama Canal) and timing (Winter). We have crossed the old Panama Canal in the Coral Princess some time ago. Adding the new Canal excursion to cross to the Pacific (in the Caribbean Princess) in a boat was great! We got both new and old experiences of passage, fortuitously. We left Syracuse just as Winter snows were upon us! Despite the rain showers, the temperatures during the voyage were quite enjoyable in swim trunk attire. Prior to departing New York, I had pre-ordered the medallion accessories and uploaded our pics, boarding info and docs to activate OceanReady. This facilitated our embarkation (and disembarkation) immensely! The Caribbean Princess clearly showed improvements from having been rejuvenated in the docks last May (2019). Our balcony cabin reflected what we experienced on several cruises aboard the Caribbean in the past; our cabin attendant did a fantastic job caring for our bedding, ice, and flowers. The variety of dining with seafood and BBQ, in Planks and Steamer, has improved our dining experience. But we would still like to know how to specify a seating in Anytime Dining MDR on the first evening to be reserved every dinner at the opening (i.e, 5 pm); on the first night aboard. Our prime entertainment is Movie Under the Stars with many new movies we had not seen before. We did not experience many Princess Theater entertainments except a comedian. Still, service aboard the ship was excellent with exception to the selection of a table located in the MDR. Ports and Shore excursions were about what had been reported in the Princess online descriptions. We did not travel with our grand-child. Yes, we would go again in the future. But we have other destinations in mind in the Caribbean aboard Princess Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise to see Panama Canal. Had the opportunity to see some South American countries for the first time. Stops at ports were a great experience for the entire family. We will take Princess Cruise again in next two years. ... Read More
Chose this cruise to see Panama Canal. Had the opportunity to see some South American countries for the first time. Stops at ports were a great experience for the entire family. We will take Princess Cruise again in next two years. Shore excursions were set up in an orderly manner. Easy to get on and off ship unlike Carnival that is a free for all. Free movies to watch plus we watched the news daily. Rooms extremely clean; buffet was excellent; staff service was top notch on entire ship. Checking in luggage and getting to our room was very fast. Only complaint was baggage handlers tore the hell out of one of our check off bags getting off ship. We will carry our own bags on and off ship from now on. Loved the dedicated daily night dancing on 18th deck. Great dj playing music on daily basis. The comic Bengt was worse comedian I had ever heard. He needs to get a new career. The second comedian Scott Weyler was very funny. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Reason for cruise was bucket list destination of the Panama Canal - Princess choice based on value with solid reputation for good food and entertainment which we have experienced on prior Princess Cruises, which did not disappoint on this ... Read More
Reason for cruise was bucket list destination of the Panama Canal - Princess choice based on value with solid reputation for good food and entertainment which we have experienced on prior Princess Cruises, which did not disappoint on this one; however have noted a decline in food quality, type and variety in buffet since previous cruises with them - Elite status for this cruise. Was older ship that needs updating in bathrooms and particularly the shower (compared to previous cruise on Celebrity with nicer room and restroom / shower). Compared to very same previous cruise, Princess much better in main show and average entertainment and cruise director. Very efficient embarkation was a nice surprise in Fort Lauderdale with Princess ground personnel and medallion - the port location itself has allot to be desired - old dilapidated and congested airport and cruise port - not Princess fault; also very mismanaged departure back to airport if using independent shuttle service that we acquired through hotel to port and upon return to airport, with disorganized and horrible waits and wait areas - also not cruise line’s fault; in fact for same price would recommend using cruise line transfers or taxi to airport. Different cruise lines have their various plus and minuses compared to others I have sailed - this one overall good experience and a great time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
First of all my loyalty level with Princess is Elite so I have sailed with them numerous times. I just retuned from a Dec. 10 - Dec. 20, 2019 cruise on Caribbean Princess. We had a great time. We had two mini suites next door to each ... Read More
First of all my loyalty level with Princess is Elite so I have sailed with them numerous times. I just retuned from a Dec. 10 - Dec. 20, 2019 cruise on Caribbean Princess. We had a great time. We had two mini suites next door to each other. We loved eating in the main dining room and find it much better food than the buffet. The buffet setup encourages people to overeat. We ate at the Crown Grill and loved everything about it - superb service, delicious food, and wonderful ambiance. We visited countries close to the equator and they are hot and humid all year long. Luckily we did not encounter any rain except on Jamaica, our last port. Our room attendant was Christine, and she was amazing being helpful in every way. The ship was decorated for Christmas and the final night we participated in a sing-a-long in the atrium. Grand Turks - went on excursion, the Rainbow Calypso Tram where he drove us around the island. Highlight was seeing the donkeys near the lighthouse. In Cartagena, Columbia we went on the scenic drive of Cartagena and San Pedro Claver Church. Nice tour but as day progressed so did the heat and humidity - no one's fault but unbearable. Panama Canal partial transit very interesting and excellent speaker/commentary. The new locks are huge and interesting to see. Well planned and everyone was able to enjoy it that chose to participate. In Limon, Costa Rica we went on the excursion Limon Waterfront and Backstreet Canals. Loved this! We saw a beautiful island up close with its natural beauty and in the canals we saw several sloths. Go on the first tour of the day! In Montego Bay, Jamaica we went on the scenic drive which was a disappointment partially due to the rain. Montego Bay is a vision of poverty. Very sad to see the conditions in which the locals live. Resorts are beautiful but obviously provide to help to the island improving itself. This was not our first cruise on the Caribbean Princess nor will it be our last. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
So glad we chose to do the partial Panama Canal cruise with the excursion through the rest of the locks. Much more to experience when transiting the locks in a smaller vessel. Food in the dining rooms was done very well with a good ... Read More
So glad we chose to do the partial Panama Canal cruise with the excursion through the rest of the locks. Much more to experience when transiting the locks in a smaller vessel. Food in the dining rooms was done very well with a good selection. We were very pleased with the maitre de at anytime dining, who after the first couple of nights realized we preferred a quiet (if possible) table for two. Servers were a bit rushed and mostly attentive with the exception of a couple of nights. Overall the cruise was nice, nothing exceptional. This was our first Princess cruise and was expecting a little more for our $$s. We did love the large open closet in the cabin which was well supplied with hangers and our room Steward did a great job. Unfortunately we had a terrible mattress. The center in had a large "hill" with troughs on either side. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this trip for the Panama Canal experience and it did not disappoint. Outstanding service. My only complaint was the food at the Marketplace (buffet). A little too much international for my tastes. The dining room food and service ... Read More
Chose this trip for the Panama Canal experience and it did not disappoint. Outstanding service. My only complaint was the food at the Marketplace (buffet). A little too much international for my tastes. The dining room food and service were exceptional. Spa treatments were heavenly. Exceptionally clean ship. Lots of entertainment options. Shore excursions were as promoted...no surprises. This is our 5th cruise, 2nd on Princess. Carnival was horrible, Holland America and Celebrity were great. The Caribbean Orincess has the Medallion program which was very cool. The medallion replaces the key card and has many functions. Especially liked being able to access room account on my iPad. No internet required for the Medallion services. Husband had internet service for his device and it worked great. Fast connections, fast internet feed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Great trip to Panama Canal, but cabin location (see below) proved far too noisy. The embarkation was fantastic, less than 1/2 hour with Ocean Medallion. We pre-entered all our information which helped expedite the process. ... Read More
Great trip to Panama Canal, but cabin location (see below) proved far too noisy. The embarkation was fantastic, less than 1/2 hour with Ocean Medallion. We pre-entered all our information which helped expedite the process. Disembarkation was equally smooth and highly recommend the option to have your luggage checked through to your final destination, it worked great! Good balance of sea days and port days. Pleased with food options, both in the MDR and buffet. Entertainment in the Princess Theater was average, kind of cheesy. Several times the first performance was full half hour before the show time. Had to stand in line for the next show to ensure that we would get in. Enjoyed Trivia contests, and the Trivia hosts were a lot of fun. Service in the buffet was very good, lots of wait staff to bring drinks, clear plates, etc. Ship was in good condition and crew was seen doing ongoing maintenance. National Aviary in Cartagena and “Meet the Sloths” in Limon excursions were good, but sea turtle/stingray excursion in Grand Cayman was very disappointing, too rushed, crowded because there were 5+ cruise ships in port that day. I enjoy Princess because it is geared to a more mature demographic, is not a “party/booze” cruise line and there were not a lot of children on board. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the new locks at the Panama Canal and also some Caribbean ports. I traveled to Panama in 1985 and experienced the old locks at Miraflores and lived in Panama City for a week. Looked forward to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the new locks at the Panama Canal and also some Caribbean ports. I traveled to Panama in 1985 and experienced the old locks at Miraflores and lived in Panama City for a week. Looked forward to seeing how things have changed in 35 years. We chose Princess because we had a great experience last summer on the Ruby Princess in Alaska and the CP is a similar ship in size and layout to the Ruby. We took a train from Ohio to Fort Lauderdale, stayed at the Hampton Inn North Airport overnight and then boarded the CP the next late morning. Hotel is showing some age but the staff was excellent, breakfast was filling and a shuttle took us to the port around 11:30am. Port was very crowded with several ships boarding that same day. Entrance was a bit chaotic with taxis, shuttles and private vehicles creating long lines to the embarkation area. We eventually made it to the offload point. Most of the passengers left their large bags with the porters who put the luggage on large carts to later be loaded on the ship. We walked up and through the entry building. Long lines but they moved quickly, through several checkpoints for passports, luggage screening and then to the desk to get our Medallion and other information. Some passengers had downloaded their Medallion info before boarding and they moved through without as many delays. We picked ours up at the desk, a small metallic pin worn around your neck which opens your doors and provides information when making purchases on board much like the old keycards. We moved to the elevators and found our room on Baja Deck 300 section to be a match to the same room we had on the Ruby. Adequate space, lots of storage in the area outside the bathroom. Twin beds with table in the middle, large TV, refrigerator, lots of drawers to store things, a safe for valuables and mirrors all around to enhance the size perspective of the room. Bathroom and room were very clean and our cabin steward Joseph, took care of us with a friendly and courteous manner throughout our trip. He welcomed us to the ship, asked if we had any questions and said he would bring up the water we had pre-ordered. Our large bags had not arrived yet so we decided to go up to the buffet and have lunch. The Fresh Market Buffet was a bit crowded but we found seats and proceeded to have some grilled fish, potatoes and vegetables. We shared a table with a couple from Alabama, one of the things we enjoy when riding Amtrak is to meet new people from all over the country. Our muster drill was in the Casino so at 3:15 we followed the crowds to that venue to get our safety information. One thing that was very evident was the large % of seniors on this trip. We are in our mid 60s but with all the motorized carts, walkers, etc, it sometimes seemed like a nursing home cruise. Only a few children on board, which made for a quiet voyage but reminded us that we should enjoy life while you can. After muster we went out on the Promenade deck, watched as our ship left the harbor at Fort Lauderdale under a nice sunset. Several other ships leaving as well. A large party up on the Lido Deck, dancing, celebrating, etc. but we prefer a quieter bon voyage. After watching a brilliant sunset, we went back for dinner and prepared for the evening show in the theatre. Gary Delena was a comedian and guitarist and his show was generally funny and entertaining. After experiencing the large crowds that attend these shows on the Ruby we were at the theatre for good seats by 7 pm. Many people waited until half hour before the show and had difficulty finding seats together. The show was over by 9 and we walked through the casino to watch people spend their money and then to the Explorers Lounge to see Symphone, an excellent couple with a backup band that was the best act we saw on the ship. Great voices, personality with the crowd. We stayed until 10:30 , stopped at the another bar to hear female singer and couple Ryan 7, good voice but not the same crowd rapport as Symphone. Back to the International Cafe for a sweet snack (great place open all night and free goodies). Back to room, the Medallion opens the door and a good nights sleep after a very long day.. Joseph had made beds, cleaned bathroom, left a nice chocolate on the pillow, and left our Patter newsletter on the bed with the next day's activities. An enjoyable first day on the CP. Second day was a sea day so we looked to find things to do on board. Breakfast was eggs, toast, fruit. Sat with two sisters from Florida and Virginia and an engaging conversation. We are 500 miles from our next stop in Jamaica and can barely see the Cuban coast off the starboard size of the ship. Sit on the Promenade Deck 7 and watch the ocean pass by, and enjoy the passengers jogging, walking and talking as they move along. Lunch today was the free fish & chips dinner at the Crown Grill. A nice addition that we also experienced on the Ruby. Sat with a couple from Texas who had traveled extensively on cruises in both US & Europe. After lunch was a film in the theatre on the Panama Canal that was very good. Spent some time at the excursion desk checking out a possible train trip in Panama. An excellent pair of young women named Duo Encanto were playing violins in the Piazza, Watched someone pay $35000 for a painting at the art auction. Symphone was playing on the Lido deck for a pool party so we enjoyed more of their music during the afternoon on a nice sunny day about 75 outside. Basketball shooting contest on the sports deck so watched a young woman sink some 15 footers against a middle aged guy who also could shoot. Before dinner we went to the Piazza to hear a steel drum entertainer. Dinner was fish, pasta, chicken and mango cheesecake with a couple from California. Back to our room to change and head to the theatre for the stageshow BRAVO. Ship dancers and singers put on a nice show of Broadway tunes. A special singer soprano from Chicago was a hit during the performance. This was the first Formal Night so many were decked out in their tuxes and evening gowns. Went to Wheelhouse Bar after the show to hear Ryan 7 again. Went out on the Prom Deck to see lights in the distance.. ?Cuba, stop for a late night snack at International Cafe and off to bed for a long day tomorrow in Jamaica. A nice sea day with plenty of activities. Next day we are up and ready for an afternoon in Jamaica. Breakfast with a couple from Kansas City. Omelet, toast, cheese danish, yogurt. Many many choices, food was prepared well, usually hot and areas kept clean. I find the criticisms of the buffet to be overblown. Not everything is perfect in life, but being on this ship is better than the snow and ice back home right now. Enjoy and be mellow. Back to the room to prepare for disembarkation at the Falmouth Jamaica port. We docked a little before noon, a little foggy but warm. This is an "artificial port" created by the cruise line to allow people to roam the area with shops, restaurants, etc but not really see Jamaica. We arranged for a private tour with Patrice Bailey Tours to take us to two of the Great Houses, a tour of Montego Bay and Falmouth. An excellent choice for those of us who do not want to climb up Dunn River Falls or swim with the dolphins. We walked outside the gated port area and found the white tent where private tours are located. We were taken to a meeting location where we met our guide for the day Maurice. We had a nice van to ourselves and Maurice related the history of Jamaica, a trip around Falmouth and then out on the modern highway west of Falmouth. We first stopped at Greenwood Greathouse, a huge estate once owned by the prominent English family named Barrett. A relative of famed poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Entry fee is $20 but an excellent tour of the large house and grounds. A great view of the sea and coast from the porch. Lots of original antique furniture and special apparatus used in the day. Our next stop was further up the highway to the Rose Hall Greathouse. This was the infamous home of Annie Palmer, the White Witch who murdered several lovers and is a ghost roaming the grounds. An excellent guide who led us throughout the house and told of the fantastic stories of its owners. Admission was $25 and well worth the fare. Our tour then took us to Montego Bay, a crowded port on a Friday afternoon. We were unable to stop at some of the sites there since parking was non existent but we did travel throughout the city, saw the historic square and thousands of people on the streets and byways. We then traveled to a third mansion home at Bellefield for a great view of the bay and city. It was getting dark so Maurice took us back to Falmouth, dropped us right inside the gate and we strolled back to the ship after a great day of history and sites in Jamaica. Dinner was pasta, beef stew, scalloped potatoes, some jerk chicken (a bit too spicy for my stomach) and a wonderful chocolate dessert. We got out on Promenade deck to watch the running passengers barely making back to the ship after their tour to Ocho Rios was delayed in returning. Show in the theatre was Yaniv Zarit, who spoke 32 different languages, sang and told stories. He was talented but not as entertaining as other programs. Back to room for some TV news, a movie (of which there were several good choices) and bed. Another sea day tomorrow as we head for Cartegena. Saturday we lounge around as the seas are a bit high today closing the Promenade deck and the pools due to shifting waves. Ship is moving some but since we are used to riding trains, it is really nothing for us to experience shifting floors. Did some shopping in the stores, Had lunch with a nice couple from Washington state. A special program on the Panama Canal in the theatre in the afternoon. Dinner with family from Idaho and California. Lots of good stories. Watch some NFL football on the big screen and then down to the theatre for the show "Born to Be Wild". Ship dancers and singers put on a nice show 60s and 70s rock. Watch some more football and off to bed for a long day tomorrow in Cartegena. Up early as our ship has docked around 6:30. Breakfast with two ladies from Florida. I am off alone for the tour as wife is staying aboard today with a cold. Embarkation is in Casino this morning and then to Deck 4, Our bus is waiting at the pier with our guide Dailys, who is an enthusiastic promoter of her city. We drive through a residential area near the pier and then to the old Fort Castillo de San Felipe for a brief photo stop. Not time to tour the fort, many steps and large facility. Lots of venders who are interesting to me but do hassle some people. Man with donkey to solicit photos was a hoot. Back on the tour bus across the inlet and out to the former residence of Colombia President Rafael Nunez. A nice folkloric dance show there and a tour of the house and the great historic events of the 19th century. Well worth the visit. Then we traveled along the coast wall to the old city. We walked inside the walls and to the square of San Pedro Claver Church where we toured the building, saw many historic items in the museum and experience a service since it was Sunday morning. Walked up another street to the Naval Museum, which had great displays of Columbian maritime history. All exhibits are in Spanish so brush up on your language skills. Very interesting. Walk back through the streets to our bus which then took us on a tour of the beaches and the modern city skyscrapers. Back to the ship via the Boca Grande and Manga residential areas. We were back to the ship by 11:45 for a 12:30 departure. A nice three and half hour tour but could have spent the whole day here. Wish the cruise would schedule more time at this port. Lunch at the buffet and watch some more football on the wide screen. A nice day as we leave port. Sit on Promenade deck and watch the city fade into the distance. Dinner was pulled pork, chicken, squash & peppers, potatoes and some nice mango desserts. Theatre entertainment was Michael Barron, an excellent magician. Some entertainment in the Piazza afterward. International cafe for a treat and then back to room for some football, a movie and then to bed. Early arrival tomorrow at 5:30am for Panama Canal. We are up early, buffet for omelets, and then out on Lido deck to see the lights of the Panama Canal come into view. It is still dark as we enter the bay area waiting to proceed to the Aqua Clara Locks, the new lock system that now allows huge ships to use the canal. As the dawn arises, we enter the first lock and large gates close behind allowing water from storage areas to enter and raise us to the next level. Nearly everyone on the ship is on the deck watching and we found better viewing from the rear of the ship. Another larger freighter is waiting behind us and it is fascinating to watch the process as we proceed from one lock to another. It took about two hours to move to Gatun Lake where our CP dropped anchor. My excursion today would involve a boat transit to shore, where we boarded a bus for a trip along the old Gatun Locks and across a bridge to the new locks visitor center high on a hill overlooking the Aqua Clara Locks. Wife decided to stay on the ship which would eventually return through the locks and dock back in Cristobal where it would await the tour groups to return later in the day. Our tour spent an hour at the visitor center where we could observe our ship in the lake and others as they passed through the locks. A film was shown in the theatre and a small cafe served sandwiches, drinks, etc. There was also a nature trail which I walked approx a mile through some interesting flora. Heard some scattered animal sounds, saw a sloth and then walked back to the awaiting bus. As we left the site the driver stopped along the road as a family of monkeys was passing by. Photo shoot was just in time. We then traveled into Colon and then down a modern highway that crossed through some rainforest areas, the Chagras River, and then into the modern Panama City. An hour long ride but interesting scenery along the way. We eventually passed through the area near Balboa and the old Fort Clayton, where American forces were stationed during the Panama Canal Zone days. Nice memories of my trip here in 1985 but many changes since then. The bus stopped while Subway sandwiches were delivered for our lunch meal. We passed Miraflores Locks and out onto the Amador peninsula where we stopped for a shopping event. Not much there and really was a waste of time except for the good ice cream shop. Would rather have spent some time in the old city but that was not on our agenda. We then moved to the train station where we boarded the Panama Railroad train. A very modern station with some souvenirs. Railroad is operated by Kansas City Southern RR and their locomotives reflect the orange and yellow paint scheme of that line. Coaches were nicely decorated and seating was nice. I sat with a friend Rita who I had met on the ship and a couple from Michigan as we moved along slowly by the canal and industrial areas. Saw lots of birds, a family of iguanas and some monkeys as our train moved toward Colon. The cost of the entire tour was $200 and although a bit expensive, it was worth it for the views of the canal and the train ride. There is a dome car for $40 more on the train but I found the seating in the nice coaches and the opportunity to stand in the vestibule area to see the sites and take photos to be adequate for my needs. We were able to see some parts of the canal and ships moving across the lake. We arrived back in Colon before dark. We received a nice box with the railroad logo and full of snacks which I think were supposed to be handed out at the beginning of the train ride but we got as we left the train. Oh well, a nice souvenir of the train.. Colon is not a town you want to roam around in and the dock area was a pleasant site as we said goodbye to our guides and boarded the ship. Met my wife and we had dinner of pork roast, potatoes, veggies and dessert. Too tired for the show this evening so just watched National Championship game as Clemson beat the Crimson Tide. Rest for another long day tomorrow in Costa Rica. Tuesday morning we arose and prepared to take our excursion at Limon Costa Rica. A large German ship is docked next to us as we walk up the dock area to our bus. Our guide is Porfirio, a nice gentleman who had a sense of humor and spoke excellent English. He told us about his family and life in Costa Rica. We first drove around Limon to see some of the historic buildings and then up a rather narrow and bumpy road to the canal where we boarded a boat to cruise the canal. Lots of birds, iguanas, monkeys in the trees, sloths everywhere, no crocodiles today. A nice tour and our guide moved the boat so that all sides could get photos. A little shower ensued but did not last long and it was a good day in the rainforest. After we left the boat we were treated to lots of fruit, bananas, pineapple, juices and a nice display of native arts and crafts. Good restroom break as well. Back on the bus as we traveled to a siding where we boarded an old train for a short trip back to Limon. I enjoyed speaking with the engineer and conductor at the front of the train as my Spanish was good enough for a lively conversation. The train was pulled by an old switcher engine and two coaches full passengers hoping to see some exotic scenery. But most of the rails pass through an industrial area and except for a few monkeys and a sloth, there was little to view. If you like train rides, it was a nice ride but not overly exciting. We left the train and reboarded the bus for a nice trip in the countryside around rural provinces. Banana plantations and a stop to see more sloths. Our guide Porfirio was excellent and he related Costa Rica history, government and economics as we traveled back to Limon. We arrived back to the port around 12:30 and did some shopping at the large craft market nearby before heading back to the ship for a late lunch. After lunch we went down to the laundry room on the 10th Floor and did a few loads of clothes. A bit of a waiting line but was nice to have some washers close to our room. Met some gents from Alaska, a young man from Toronto and an Englishman from near London as we dried and folded... We decided to hit the pizza place for dinner and then have a dessert in the buffet. Back to the room for the evening show at the theatre. Cheaza, a Whitney Houston reflections singer from Las Vegas was the musical program and was excellent. She went out into the theatre to sing and perform a greatest hits melody. Another great day on our cruise. The following day was another sea day. There was a talk in the theatre on the Cayman Islands that we attended. Both of us are suffering from head colds so we just hung around the room, watched some movies, had lunch in the buffet and then sat out on Deck 7, did some reading, saw some rainbows in the distance as a storm headed away from us. Another formal night on the ship with a program in the theatre but we decided to rest this evening and prepare for a full day in Cayman Islands tomorrow. Sometimes its nice to just enjoy a day of rest and relaxation on a sea day. Thursday morning we are up and feeling better. Breakfast for omelets and fresh fruit. We met in the Island Dining Room for disembarking for our shuttle boat to the shore. All ships must use tenders and there are now six ships in port so it will be a busy day in Georgetown. Our tender is one from the shore and not one of the ship boats so there is more room and not quite as crowded. We land about 8am and talk to a policeman who directs us to the bus terminal about two blocks from the port area. We stop at Fort to read some Cayman history and then arrive at the bus terminal where a group of small van type vehicles are lined up. We decided to take Bus 7B Green bus our own excursion which charged only $10 for a trip around the entire island. Our bus driver Tonyito actually acted like a guide and with one other man on the bus, (who reminded me of the late Anthony Bourdain), we enjoyed a private tour complete with history and scenic views. Stopped in Bodden Town, Wreck of the 10 Sails park and discussion of blue iguanas. Picked up some interesting passengers on the return trip as Tonyito welcomed them on board. An enjoyable ride and much cheaper than the ship excursions. A couple hours later we were back downtown and took another bus that went to Seven Mile Beach, Hell and other quaint places for another $5 each. We returned to downtown, stopped for lunch and then walked to the port for some clean restrooms and treats before walking down to the Cayman National Museum. Nice displays, a good film on history, hands on displays for kids. Back to port and decided to return to ship as it looked like a storm was heading toward the island. Long line for the tender but moved quickly and we sailed past the mass of ships and tenders in the bay. Got back just as the rain came so timing was perfect. Back to the ship by 2 pm as our ship was scheduled to leave at 3:30. Go to Deck 7 to watch tenders returning with passengers. Late comers but we leave by 4pm. Dinner was a cod dinner with a couple from Nebraska. Down to the theatre for the show with Duncan Tuck, classical guitar and humorist. Was o.k. Sailing around Cuba overnight as we rest from another long day of exploring. Friday was another sea day. Pancakes and eggs for breakfast. Ate with a couple from Michigan who have cruised many times. He is from the island of Malta and they have done many Mediterranean cruises. We are now sailing along the Cuban coastline and we sit on Lido deck enjoying the view. Cheeseburgers from Salty Dog Grill and some Pizza from Slice for lunch. Enjoy sitting around the pool and enjoying the warm weather. Do some packing in the afternoon and preparing for disembarkation in FTL tomorrow morning. Staff at customer service very friendly and answered several questions we had about the process. We talked with Joseph about his future plans. He had one more cruise on CP and then he would return home to India for three months. He was an excellent cabin steward and we tipped accordingly. We found all the staff in the dining and buffet to be efficient and friendly. The ship is showing some age and there was a lot of painting and polishing going on while we were sailing. We did not feel any engine vibration in our room and our neighbors were pretty quiet so no problem with noise. Like the new Medallion system even though we did not use it for phone or location purposes. Like that there is still a paper Patter that provides information about ship events. On Saturday morning we ate a quick breakfast in the buffet and then moved our luggage to the Coral Dining Room where our disembarkation meeting was to take place. We chose the self checkout and thus did not put any luggage out the night before. We moved quickly through the port area and only took 10-15 minutes to go through customs and we were on our way. We walked to the taxi loading area and were in a cab in a few minutes to the Hilton Marina Hotel where we got our Enterprise Rental Car for the remainder of our Florida vacation. Enjoyed the cruise and highly recommend this ship, crew, and itinerary if you have never been to the Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose the cruise for the destinations. Ended up with some nice bonus experiences, and some underwhelming ones that didn't meet expectations. The Good Soymilk & milk readily available from buffet area all day, washing ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the destinations. Ended up with some nice bonus experiences, and some underwhelming ones that didn't meet expectations. The Good Soymilk & milk readily available from buffet area all day, washing stations at buffet area, medallion class ship features, what appeared to be free Budweiser beer at Crooner's Bar. Sabatini's wait staff waived the additional entree item charge for the additional item I ordered, and good food from Sabatini's. That was a nice guesture of the wait staff. The medallion class ship features were a bonus I did not come to expect. I also didn't expect the washing stations assuming we had to use hand sanitizer. Nor did I expect ready access to milk all day. The Bad Some shore excursion descriptions were not very clear, and we were a bit disappointed as result. For example, the Discover Jamaica tour, we didn't actually get to see the ferns described on the ride to the tropical forest park because the ferns that were there don't really exist anymore. And shopping in downtown on that same tour that was not as expected, it was actually just to shop inside a single shop with a bathroom. I feel the tour descriptions should be updated to be more accurate and realistic about the actual tour experience. The OceanNow app indicated free Budweiser beer at Crooner's Bar. However, we were actually billed for the beer. Fortunately, we were able to get that resolved and removed from our bill at customer service counter before departing the ship. This seems to be a mismatch in the system. Either there's a bug in the billing system for improperly charging for free beer ordered through the OceanNow app, or the OceanNow app has a bug that mistakenly offers Budweiser beer as free in Crooner's Bar. It's interesting that the free beer listing is only at Crooner's Bar, and it appears so before placing order, and after placing order (in the view that lists past orders). If it is a bug, maybe worth taking note, and making it free as a compliment for usage of the OceanNow app/system. Don't like how Planks BBQ (the real BBQ) is only available at night and with a cover charge. Liked how it was on our previous Mexico cruise where it was available on the deck outside where we got burgers w/o charge. Don't like how the chili available for fries and hot dog is not the same chili offered at the buffet for nachos. I like the nacho style chili for use with fries and hot dogs. The design of the ship's local wifi based concierge portal access wasn't very clear whether I would be charged to use the concierge portal, which web address that was, and especially to view my stateroom account which required creating an account that needed to accept terms which seem like I might be charged. Better to provide different terms of service agreement UI indicators for the paid services vs the complimentary services to not confuse your customers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Recently completed 10 day partial transit of Panama canal on the Caribbean Princess. Embarkation and disembarkation were both excellent, literally just walked through. Very mature crowd with lots of cruisers with mobility issues and very ... Read More
Recently completed 10 day partial transit of Panama canal on the Caribbean Princess. Embarkation and disembarkation were both excellent, literally just walked through. Very mature crowd with lots of cruisers with mobility issues and very few children. The ship was in good condition and our mini suite was very comfortable. We had good weather but two days of rough seas(7-12ft) but the ship handled them well. Our favourite thing on the cruise were, the Sanctuary($20/4hrs, books up fast), Sabatini's($25 charge), Steamers($12), afternoon tea, front view from the Lido deck(great place during canal crossing),the rear area around terrace pool(breakfast, lunch, or suntanning), Meals in the dining rooms were excellent, meals in the World Fresh Marketplace were hit and miss.Entertainment was varied, I preferred the musicians and comedians to the production shows. Excursion varied in quality, Falmouth Good Hope Express(unorganised, didn't have time to see anything but the plantation house), Catagena Old .City and Historical Museum(excellent, very interesting city, good guide named Gerson, beware persistent street vendors in Old City), Panama Canal and Transit by Boat(interesting tour to see canals from large and small boat perspective but on ferry boat ride through to the Pacific the boat is packed with 400 people and only about 250 seats have shade, the rest have to ride inside or stand, still the tour is worth it), Limon Train Ride, Tortuguero Canal and Countryside(not much countryside as most of tour is in town of Limon, on train ride you can see industrial area most of the way, and on canal lots of dilapidated houses and junk, best part was when guide Julio picked up some banana's as we drove by plantation. Excursion was kind of lame but Julio was excellent), Grand Cayman Turtle Centre, Hell, Tortuga Rum Cake (turtle centre excellent, Hell and Tortuga a little touristy, but guide Kent was very good) Overall it was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Loved the cruise, but I am 23, and this ship is great for those of the older crowd, as there was only 4 children on board. The ports were amazing, the service staff was amazing, made some amazing friends with the staff and I had a really ... Read More
Loved the cruise, but I am 23, and this ship is great for those of the older crowd, as there was only 4 children on board. The ports were amazing, the service staff was amazing, made some amazing friends with the staff and I had a really good trip. The cabin was clean, and made up every single day at least twice a day and he always came at a good time, The medallion class ship was also worthwhile as I only had to walk up to the door and it unlocked for me automatically. I also purchased the drink package for the first time and made the most out of it, as I drinked 15 drinks for 10 days. Laughable yes, but very much true. The Bar staff was excellent, and funny, and also always offered water! I wish the columbian port was longer because we only had 4 hours there. The staff was fantastic, as many were young and hip and even the older ones were fantastic, I will never forget my bar experience and how they treated like I was special. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Princess put in a lot of time, effort, and money to produce some high quality and high tech performances. The best we've seen to date. The cabin was another matter. We like the interior cabins (no light, sleep in). We ended up ... Read More
Princess put in a lot of time, effort, and money to produce some high quality and high tech performances. The best we've seen to date. The cabin was another matter. We like the interior cabins (no light, sleep in). We ended up booked in an interior cabin with bunk beds. We didn't know it had the additional berths for two people, and made an already cramped cabin almost unbearable. With the main bed together in a queen configurations vs. twin bed configuration, made it almost impossible to get into bed without a half limbo/contortion move. Those are better left to games on deck, not in a cabin. The last time we were on Princess, they still had the Horizon Court buffet setup, complete with iron gates. We were pleasantly surprised to find the buffet area overhauled with completely new and modern decor. They've also added some specialty dinner dining to the aft of deck 15, with a BBQ specialty on one side and seafood on the other. We were disappointed that "Crab Shack" had been discontinued. The other disappointment was that happy-hour (they had previously offered two a day, one at 3 pm-ish and one at 11 pm-ish) has been abolished. We were apparently the 4th sailing with their new Medallion RFID access tokens, and they were still working the bugs out. So, we were issued the Medallion and a RFID enabled standard type cruise card. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chosen for the itinerary, this cruise did not disappoint! We booked a mini suite (MD) class cabin which we thought came we certain privileges only to discover that they really didn't. It is nothing more than a balcony cabin. Our cabin ... Read More
Chosen for the itinerary, this cruise did not disappoint! We booked a mini suite (MD) class cabin which we thought came we certain privileges only to discover that they really didn't. It is nothing more than a balcony cabin. Our cabin steward, known as Nono, has been fantastic, as frankly, have the rest of the staff throughout our cruise. A notable exception, strangely, is the "customer service" staff at the desk. They really have a "couldn't care less" attitude even when I was trying to compliment the crew! The food has overall been good. Exceptional at the Crown Grill and Plank's. Just good most other venues with a few examples of not very good, usually at the buffet. They have tea, coffee, water, and lemonade available most of the day. Service is better in the buffet area than we've seen on other cruises where the staff is more interested in your enjoyment than in selling you something, which is a nice change. They do a great job bringing your drinks and clearing the tables quickly, always with a smile. The International Cafe has delicious soup, sandwich, and dessert choices at no charge while there is a charge for their coffees. We found the pizza spot, Slice, and their burger bar, Salty Dog, to be okay. This ship must have a world renowned "Fry Captain" on board as the french fries throughout the ship are universally fantastic! We found the entertainment to be a little bit lacking for our tastes. The Princess Theater is a bit uncomfortable to sit in for more than about 45 minutes as the seats are a bit too close by row. We enjoyed several of the smaller gathering options nice such as Laura Callaghan in the Wheelhouse bar in the evenings. You will find great service in all the bars without exception. One drawback to the Medallion Net option is that it seems to actually slow the process of buying drinks currently but maybe that will change over time as I believe the concept will work similarly to your door unlocking and recognize the wearer from a distance. Who knows? This ship has a nice variety of pool options to choose from with a total of 5 pools and many hot tubs throughout. I enjoyed the gym though it is a bit limited in equipment options compared to other ships we've sailed. It has a good selection of weight machines and a nice dumbbell area. They open at 6 am though you're asked not to use the treadmills prior to 8 am, presumably so as not to disturb sleeping passengers in the cabins below. You can, however, use the other cardio equipment including eliptical machines. They have a nice spa area but don't try to constantly force treatments on you. They offer an unusually great sauna and steam area for all clients with no charge. These actually get hot as opposed to many others you might find on other cruise lines and even most resorts where they have them but they don't really become very hot. Our favorite ports were Cartegena, Costa Rica, and Grand Cayman and the Panama Canal piece was very interesting. One of the greatest benefits we found on this ship was the internet. For very affordable price, we had unlimited internet which allowed almost seamless usage of our phones and other electronics throughout the cruise. Many may not like this as they may prefer to unplug while cruising, which I get. I was essentially able to continue working as though I were in my office without interruption while enjoying a fantastic cruise at the same time, which gave me a sense of comfort. Cudos to Princess for investing in this technology and for getting it right! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our 4th Cruise with Princess . Food and Staff were Outstanding, ship needs some up dates and better cleaning of carpets on deck 15 open dinning area ( steam clean dirt and stains were ... Read More
This was our 4th Cruise with Princess . Food and Staff were Outstanding, ship needs some up dates and better cleaning of carpets on deck 15 open dinning area ( steam clean dirt and stains were needed) Islands are still recovering from hurricanes last year. First time to St Kitts ( of the 5 Island traveled) ...great place to visit. Had a issue with a recent surgery to my foot and doing dressing changes on board, they took my medical kit for my own care ...scissors ( Both Wife and I are American RN's with extensive training), Medical staff provided scissors as mine were taken before boarding ( 6 inch length). Issue resolved... ridiculous rules. Great entertainment BUT standing room only, arrive 30 min early to find a seat. I ended up buying a quality watch on the islands as the ship no longer carries Omega or other high quality watches. Wife celebrated her 66th Birthday at sea...and BTW...we were the "Kids" of the ship.... if your looking for a more active group to hang with this aint it. Had a Good Gym which I used daily as I ate way too much. Over all Good...But next time were Cruising the Med. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Happy with cruise and ship overall...cabin was much bigger than we expected and closet was huge...bedwere so comfortable that we purchased the exact mattress when we got home. We did not buy drink package...it would have been $1400.00 for ... Read More
Happy with cruise and ship overall...cabin was much bigger than we expected and closet was huge...bedwere so comfortable that we purchased the exact mattress when we got home. We did not buy drink package...it would have been $1400.00 for two since it was a ten day cruise...after the cruise we checked our statement and we spent 1/3 of what the drink pkg costs... so we made the right decision..guess it matters how much you drink..drinks are extremely expensive... $9+ glass of wine...$18+ martini... we booked a lot of excursions from the ship and had a bad experience at st Lucia on a catamaran/beach excursions... when we arrived at beach there were about 10 aggressive locals in kayaks who encircled the boat trying to sale their wares...and encircled the guests when we got off the boat...we took pics and we complained to shore excursions managers and showed her but didn’t receive credit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Of the other cruises we have been on Princess is the best . The attention to a lactose free diet were greatly honored. The food was excellent. But the bar orders placed at the dinning room were almost a joke. They didn't know about ... Read More
Of the other cruises we have been on Princess is the best . The attention to a lactose free diet were greatly honored. The food was excellent. But the bar orders placed at the dinning room were almost a joke. They didn't know about or how to make other drinks offered at the ships bars on deck 15. And when we did order from a limited whine choice it took forever to get those drinks. Getting on and off the ship took a lot of time due to certain circumstances such as a lot of busses arriving at all the same time and computer glitches. Our original travel agent company and agent caused mix up in our originally contracted cruise package and it took a couple of days to get it straightened out and the changes that were supposed to be done by the woman who called our room were not completely done and I had to go to the customer service desk and get these other changes made or done. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Chose this 20 day due to ports. Most were cancelled ports. They took away Barcelona without telling us or reducing the price the storm caused us to not get what we paid for. Food was ok. Service in dining room was good. Smaller ship was ... Read More
Chose this 20 day due to ports. Most were cancelled ports. They took away Barcelona without telling us or reducing the price the storm caused us to not get what we paid for. Food was ok. Service in dining room was good. Smaller ship was nice. Entertainment was good. The traditional seating was slow service. To get to theatre productions you had to get there 45 min early. Shame not enough seats. Juices in market place were warm. A language Barrier was hard at times with waiters. Liked wifi and medallion entry to room. Met some wonderful people. Liked washer and dryer. Some coin machines and dryers broken. But fixed during Our stay. Entertaining productions. Loved bravo. Rooms would be small if you had other than two in room. The gym had many machines but two in line for recline bikes. Always a was a wait several to use them. No one in there to limit their hogging machines. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had cruised 6 times and always encouraged to go Princess so, we did. It was however, a disappointment. The condition of the ship was not good. We had rusted out parts of our balcony. Also, our toilet would start on it's own ... Read More
We had cruised 6 times and always encouraged to go Princess so, we did. It was however, a disappointment. The condition of the ship was not good. We had rusted out parts of our balcony. Also, our toilet would start on it's own throwing brown water on the bathroom and our things. It happened more than once. Also the sink stopper kept coming apart, no matter how many times they fixed it, it continued to break. The condition of the stateroom was in need of renovation. When we ordered room service, usually a cheeseburger, no matter if we asked for medium rare or anything else, it always came well done. We took the cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary and they said the door would be decorated. Others were but, not ours. The girl in the spa called someone and it was done when we got back to our room. Also, we were celebrating my birthday the day after the cruise. Again, the door was not decorated but, others were. We had advised these two events at the time of booking and it was on our paperwork. Our experience in the Crown Grill was not the best and cancelled our two upcoming reservations. However, Santini's was FABULOUS! They made up for a lot of difficulties. We asked for a wheelchair for disembarkation, it never came and, by the time we gave up and I used my cane, everyone was gone and there was very little signage for people on the luggage special service. We continually had ask where we were going next. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We picked this cruise as the dates were close to our special anniversary and we decided it would be interesting to experience the new Panama Canal Locks as well as taking an excursion through the old locks. During our cruise, we were ... Read More
We picked this cruise as the dates were close to our special anniversary and we decided it would be interesting to experience the new Panama Canal Locks as well as taking an excursion through the old locks. During our cruise, we were blessed with fairly good weather, some partly cloudy days, a shower or two, and the temperatures were warm, but not as hot and overly humid as we had expected. Because it was a 10-day cruise, there were not many children onboard and the the majority of passengers seemed to be retirement age and older. The port stops included Falmouth, Jamaica, Cartagena, Columbia, the Panama Canal, Limon, Costa Rica and Georgetown, Grand Cayman. As we had been to Jamaica twice on past cruises, we opted to just stay within the port complex in Falmouth, including a visit to Margaritaville and a few of the shops where we purchased some souvenirs. Because some of the port visits were limited in time, we choose Princess Excursions on this trip. Our visit in Cartagena, Columbia was quite early in the day, which was probably for the best as it was already starting to get a bit warm and sticky when we finished our tour and returned to the ship. Our Panama Canal experience was as expected, the highlight of the trip. The one negative during the ship's entering the locks was the narrator. She did not seem to be very well prepared in her presentation and did not hold our interest. The small boat excursion through the old locks was a full-day, and included a rather long bus ride both ways, but we felt it was definitely worth doing.. In Limon, Costa Rica we took an excursion on the pontoon boat through the Tortuguero Canal to see the various wildlife living along the waterway. We were fortunate to spot several monkeys, sloths, lizards. exotic birds and a crocodile. The stop in Grand Cayman was a return visit for us. Since it had been 20 years when we were last there, we noticed a lot of building had taken place. Our excursion included a visit to Seven Mile Beach, which certainly looked different with more resorts along the beach than we recalled The ship was overall in good condition, however, some areas did appear to need some updating. The bed was one of the most comfortable we've had on our previous cruises. Our cabin steward was very friendly and attentive, as were most of the staff and crew members we encountered. Meals, which of course, are subjective, were for the most part, quite good. There were some items that seemed a little off, both in the buffet and pizza venue. Our dinner in Crown Grill and the Ultimate Balcony Dinner we treated ourselves to were outstanding. We also ate in Planks, and the food was tasty, but certainly not the very best barbecue-type food we have had. We did not have a chance to try Planks this time. Overall, the entertainment was good. We particularly enjoyed the Bravo production show and the entertainer, Tom Franek, whose talent with the piano was outstanding. The activities in the Piazza and on deck were fun and we really enjoyed people watching at both venues. One of our favorite spots on the ship was the International Cafe, which we visited quite often for coffee and bite to eat. Unfortunately, there were 3 medical emergencies onboard and those folks had to be taken off the ship. Only one of these emergencies set us back a couple of hours, but we never missed a port. The propulsion problem that is talked about all the time on the Caribbean Princess was really a non-issue as far as we were concerned, and the captain made his best effort to keep us on schedule and kept us informed of any changes that were necessary We enjoyed this cruise and met some wonderful people onboard. We would recommend the Caribbean Princess to anyone considering a cruise on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Caribbean Princess 4/11/18 Southern Caribbean 10 day cruise We had an inside cabin. The bed was extremely comfortable and once we had 2 blankets(we are always cold) we were set. We had a large flatscreen TV(42 inches or more) with ... Read More
Caribbean Princess 4/11/18 Southern Caribbean 10 day cruise We had an inside cabin. The bed was extremely comfortable and once we had 2 blankets(we are always cold) we were set. We had a large flatscreen TV(42 inches or more) with the capability of seeing many new movies for free. We could pause a movie and continue watching whenever we wanted to. There were several news channels including MSNBC and CNN. There was a built in sleep timer on the TV as well. There was a hair dryer and a small refrigerator in the room. The closet is set up so you do not see the light from the bathroom which is a real plus. Since we are Elite Status we get several small bottles of liquor and soda which we are able to swap for 2 coffee cards which give you 30 specialty drinks as well as free coffee at the International Café. Being Elite also gets you free laundry service as well. Unfortunately since our cruise had a very large number of Elite passengers you could only get laundry done with a 3 day turnaround time. Usually it would take 1 day turnaround. This would have worked well for us except on our last night I had placed our remaining dirty laundry in a large white opaque plastic bag with Princess written in blue lettering in our closet to use for carrying our dirty laundry home and was going to pack it in our carry on luggage. Unfortunately on the last evening of the cruise this bag went missing. It had a lot of clothes in it and we tried to reach our cabin steward to see if he knew what happened to it. He was off duty so we notified the front desk and security of the problem. They came to our cabin and searched our checked luggage as well as our carry on luggage as well as the cabin with no luck finding the missing bag. We really suspect the cabin steward either thought it was trash or used it to put all the extra hangers from the closet in it. We had to fill out forms to send to Princess to "maybe" get reimbursed for the loss. They say it may take up to 6 weeks before we hear from them as to what they will do. I was in charge of setting up our Meet and Greet Party for our Cruise Critic Group. Peter, the Hotel Manager and the Cruise Director Steve attended the party. They both were very informative. Wish Princess would serve refreshments as the other cruise lines do at the Meet and Greets. We also had a Slot Pull in the Casino and Matt, the Casino Host was very helpful in supplying prizes for our big winners. Our Cruise Director was Steve Campbell. He had an excellent staff. Lots of trivia each day which we love. No problem understanding the cruise staff. All spoke English well and with the TV monitors you were able to read all the questions. We really missed having the traditional Welcome Aboard Show as well as the Farewell Show. We hope there were enough complaints about this that they will return the Welcome and Farewell shows in the future. For a 10 day cruise there was very few live shows. No magicians, no hypnotists and and only one comedian. The Bravo show was excellent but it was held on the same day as the Captain Circle Parties and made it difficult to see the show. This show was so good it should be done earlier in the cruise. We missed seeing the usual musical combos that use to be featured in The Explorers Lounge. Instead they simulcast the Theater show in the Explorers Lounge. We had signed up for the Egg Drop Challenge. We had spent sometime creating our parachute to land our egg safely. We named it"One Egg Over Easy". We were told that the time and date that the Egg Drop Challenge would be in the Daily Patter but it never appeared. I questioned the front desk about this but they had no idea why it did not occur. Very disappointing. The food served in the International Café was excellent as well as the specialty drinks. "Lucky" was our favorite Barista. He remembered our favorite drinks and remembered our names as well. The remodeled buffet was nice. I enjoyed the freshly wrapped sandwiches. Food by the pool at Salty's was good and the Hotdogs were the best I have ever tasted. Pizza was average. The main dining room had very nice waiters. Service was a little slow. The food was good. Shrimp, lobster, scallops, escargot and tenderloin steaks were our favorites. Also the chicken pot pie was out of this world. My husbands favorite dessert is the Princess Volcano on the kids menu. OK, he is just a kid at heart. For anyone who is handicapped the pool attendants have a portable lift to lower you into the pool. You just have to reserve it ahead of time for them to set it up. It would be nice if it could remain set up all the time and just cover the chair and mechanism and remove the battery at night. Embarkation took longer than usual because of the Coast Guard Inspection. Debarkation went very smoothly. Overall the cruise was very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Booked this cruise late (within 30 days) mainly because the price was so unbelievable. We had an BC balcony cabin on the Riviera deck that was very nice clean and comfortable although the room steward left a lot to be desired. We are ... Read More
Booked this cruise late (within 30 days) mainly because the price was so unbelievable. We had an BC balcony cabin on the Riviera deck that was very nice clean and comfortable although the room steward left a lot to be desired. We are frequent Princess cruisers and alway enjoyed the ships, food and service. A few observations on this cruise; 1, Very disappointed that Princess has discontinued the BOGO+1 drink deals. They also discontinued the Elite/Platinum 5PM get together. 2, Always seems they have elevator problems that never get fixed during the cruise. 3, Speciality dinning, Crown and Sabatini's has changed for the worse. I want to give special kudos to the staff at Crooners lounge, Jasper, Joseph and Saly who always has a smile and pleasant manner. Also the future cruise director, Tracy was very pleasant and super helpful. The ship had propulsion problems but they were un-noticalbe. We did not do any excursions as we have been to the ports before. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I choose this cruise because I got a very good price for it, Loved international cafe which was open 24 hours. Had the soda and more package for $8.05 a day,including unlimited mocktails. I had soda only a few times,but lots of yummy ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I got a very good price for it, Loved international cafe which was open 24 hours. Had the soda and more package for $8.05 a day,including unlimited mocktails. I had soda only a few times,but lots of yummy mocktails. Food was very good. I thought the burgers and pizza was just fair tho. Lots of music on the ship. Loved the dance band XCite! The 2 classical players were very good. The steel drum player,again very good. I did not attend the piano bar,but it was very crowded. Went to disco only a few times,very modern music with a lot of hispanic music. Lots of trivia which I enjoyed. After a first night late dining table which was not so good I switched tables and was at a table for six that was very enjoyable every night. Loved the very large screen TV's in room(think they were about 42inches). Loved the idea I could start a movie,stop it and resume it later on. This is a very large ship(18 decks)but I got around ok and only a few times were places really crowded. I would go on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise primarily as it fitted in with our daughters school holiday dates and we wanted to do a cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday. The itinary suited us perfectly as we love cruising the Caribbean but also we had never ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily as it fitted in with our daughters school holiday dates and we wanted to do a cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday. The itinary suited us perfectly as we love cruising the Caribbean but also we had never been to the Panama Canal before. In recent years we have done a couple of cruises with NCL which we have thoroughly enjoyed but on this occasion there was no suitable option with them, thus we opted for the Caribbean Princess. At this point i should point out that my wife and I are just into our 50’s, my daughter is 12 and we were also joined by my 81year old Mother-in-law and my parents both in their 70’s (elite princess members). The first thing that struck us was the average age of the passengers were considerably older than those that we had encountered on our recent NCL cruises. Although this didn’t detract from our enjoyment at all, it did mean that my daughter had fewer children to interact with as there were very few children on the ship. It also meant that the skywalkers nightclub which is a stunning venue was very sparsely populated most evenings and the relatively small casino never really got busy. As someone who enjoys the odd game of blackjack and in particular the “banter” amongst the players, i found myself on a couple of occasions sitting at the table on my own. This was a first for me on any cruise. My wife and I shared a Vista suite (C750) and my daughter and mother in law were in a club-class mini suite. Both Cabins were exceptional and suited our needs perfectly. The vista suite was very spacious and as as you would expect from Princess the bed was very comfortable. It also provided us with stunning views of the transit of the Panama canal. With our cabins, we were all able to enjoy the stunning fayre on offer at the Club-Class dining facility within the Coral Dining room. The exceptional service we received here was some of the best we have experienced on a cruise ship. The food also matched the level of service. We ended up eating here most evenings and always managed to get our party of 6 seated together. The one evening we didn’t eat in the Club Class was the evening of my wife’s birthday when we treated ourselves to a meal in the Crown Grill and we subsequently enjoyed another evening of culinary delight. After trying fresh world marketplace (buffet) a couple of times we resorted to having our breakfasts in the club class dining area, as you could order anything you wanted and it would be served with the level of exceptional service we experienced in the evenings. We did however end up eating most of our lunches at the world marketplace where there was plenty on offer. All in all we were very impressed with the food and service that was on offer on the Caribbean Princess and would probably rate the standard dining slightly higher than that which we experienced on our recent NCL cruises. However it must be pointed out that we usually opt for a number of speciality dining options on NCL which are more numerous in options compared to the Caribbean Princess. The entertainment was quite variable, with a wide selection of venues to get a pre-dinner drink and most having some form of entertainment. I would probably say the post dinner entertainment was not as extensive as the NCL options but I think this is once again is a reflection on the general age of the clientele. The only drawback of the cruise was the documented troubles the Caribbean Princess is currently experiencing with its propulsion systems. Although it in no way affected the smoothness of the voyage it did mean the port timetables were significantly changed from our original timetable, and this led to a couple of “rushed” excursions. In concluding we thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Caribbean Princess, with a lovely cabin, exceptional service, first class food and a lovely itinerary the primary ingredients of our trip were all in place. The extra’s including entertainment, lectures etc were not exactly our cup of tea but understand they were aimed at the majority of the older passengers but in no way did this impinge on our overall enjoyment. We will still probably look to NCL for our next cruise but would certainly consider another Princess cruise if there was no suitable NCL option. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The cruise was given to us as a Christmas gift. We enjoyed our time at sea, most of the food, the atmosphere and the ability to watch a movie under the stars. The food was good except for the pizza at the "Slice" restaurant and ... Read More
The cruise was given to us as a Christmas gift. We enjoyed our time at sea, most of the food, the atmosphere and the ability to watch a movie under the stars. The food was good except for the pizza at the "Slice" restaurant and the hamburgers served in the dining room. We were very disappointed in them. Often, going down the hallway to our cabin you could spell a strong sewer smell other than that there wasn't any issues. The crew was very friendly and helpful. We enjoyed having room service (coffee, fruit) delivered to our room and sitting on the balcony and enjoying the view. The excursions are quite expensive so we decided to wait until we go to port then decide on what we wanted to do. That seemed to work out well for us and we were able to see a lot of sights at a cheaper price. Thankfully, we also had very nice weather and no rain. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Caribbean Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.2

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