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1,854 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

We've been on Princess before and had wonderful experiences. And this cruise was on many ways no different. It would have been at least 4 stars but for the dreaded Medallion and its app's. The medallion gets you on and off ship, ... Read More
We've been on Princess before and had wonderful experiences. And this cruise was on many ways no different. It would have been at least 4 stars but for the dreaded Medallion and its app's. The medallion gets you on and off ship, pays shipboard Bill's, and opens cabin doors. It works. But it is also supposed to work with the Ocean Compass app which is supposed to locate friends, order drinks etc etc. That doesnt work. At one point on a sea day it indicated that I was off ship? Where? No clue. Sometimes it simply doesnt load making it totally worthless. As a person who is pretty tech savvy, I suspect that it wasnt tested properly or under sufficiently rigorous conditions or maybe it just plain doesnt work. In any event, I would warn folks to not rely on it for any serious communication. Part of the problem is also that the folks at the Medallion desk are not IT people. They are dancers. Probably very good dancers but dancers nonetheless. There should be at least an IT person on the desk supervising the dancers. Somehow, the cruise didn't gel. Most staff were personable and appropriate. But others were uncaring and rude. The general sense I had was that everyone was new, had never been on a ship before and didnt want to be on this one. There some serious safety issues in the spa area. Drinks were served in glass around the pool and steam rooms. I have never been at a pool were drinks or food were served in glass. The shore excursions were generally good. The one poor trip was to the White House. Supposed to be a beach excursion with lunch. Problem is there is no beach in the expected sense. There was an open deck over the water from which you had to climb down a ladder to enter the rocky water. Not an easy task. The pool area was nice except the pool needed a good scrubbing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Los Angeles CA through the Panama Canal. We were not disappointed. The best part, by far, of this cruise was Bill Fall. This incredibly knowledgeable ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Los Angeles CA through the Panama Canal. We were not disappointed. The best part, by far, of this cruise was Bill Fall. This incredibly knowledgeable man held several presentations, sharing slides that helped us understand the history and construction of the canal far better than we ever expected. Next to Bill Fall, the best part was our cabin steward, Jonathan. We have cruised many times on various lines and he is at the top with his genuine helpfulness and positive nature. Our dining experience was average to better than average overall. Crown Grill was exemplary for a specialty restaurant on a ship - best steaks ever. Anytime dining very helpful to our schedule, though we didn't have the advantage of the same server to accommodate our tastes. The food was better than average overall. We appreciated having outdoor options as well. Entertainment was as expected. Some shows very fun and others not so. The cruise staff personalities varied to such an extent that we found ourselves picking the evening activities based on who was hosting. Ports very interesting overall. Huatulco is a beautiful sleepy beach town but if you choose a "Highlights of Huatulco" shore excursion, please note that there aren't many highlights in Huatulco. Stick with sitting on the beach as that's the best part. Our favorite shore excursion sponsored by the ship was the La Paz waterfall trip in Costa Rica - well worth it! We also went off the ship's excursion list with a Vallarta Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta (10 stars!) and a segway tour in Cartagena (another ten!). And top marks to Princess for having a texting service that allowed my family to stay in touch while on the ship. You put your phone in airplane mode, select the ship MedallionNet wifi option and add your family names as contacts. This was wonderful for us to be able to know where all six of us were at any given time. The best part was going through the Panama Canal - I think everyone should do that at some point in their lifetimes! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal and go somewhere warm in January so we booked this cruise and had a fabulous time. We arrived in sunny Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Marriott North for a couple of days Pre-Cruise. It is a ... Read More
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal and go somewhere warm in January so we booked this cruise and had a fabulous time. We arrived in sunny Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Marriott North for a couple of days Pre-Cruise. It is a nice Marriott and a good price since it isn’t on the beach. We took Uber to the port and it was very easy. We arrived at 11:30 and we were boarding soon after. The embarkation couldn’t have gone smoother. We are Platinum next cruise and will speed things along even faster. We had lunch in the DaVinci dining room and they announced the staterooms were open before 1:00 which was a nice surprise. This was our third trip on the Emerald and she didn’t disappoint. We have had some fun cruises on the Emerald and the ship isn’t brand new anymore but still very pretty and in good shape. We always seem to have a good crew on this ship and the staff seems happy and eager to please. We had a wonderful stateroom steward, probably one of the best we have ever had. He was friendly and anticipated our every need. We had traditional early seating at 5:15 which was a little early but the late seating is too late for us. My husband is on a very low sodium diet and the head waiter gave him the menu every night for the next night so he could Pre order and they prepared his meals low sodium. We ate in the dining room all but two nights and really enjoyed our waiter and assistant. We thought the food was good in the dining room. I always am amazed that people complain on these reviews about the food. If I don’t have to shop for it, cook it or clean up after then it is great for me. We certainly found something on the menu to eat every night and didn’t come home lighter! The buffet was good as were the hamburgers by the pool. We had escargot, lobster, beef tenderloin, steak, lots of shrimp and scallops and enjoyed every bite. The entertainment was enjoyable. The new Rock Opera which debuted on the Emerald this sailing (it is also on the Sky I believe) was absolutely superb! The singers and dancers on this cruise were tremendous. We had some other really good guest performers that were very talented and some good magicians and comedians. The Princess theater was packed every show and for the 7:30 show you had to arrive at least 30 minutes early to get a seat. I really think it would help if Princess would add a third showtime or repeat the shows because every passenger seemed to want to go to the theater every night. I noticed lots of people brought books to read while waiting. We also had Medallion Net Wifi and we were able to text, email and call if we wanted. It is really a game changer if you need WiFi. Most of the basketball games that my husband NEEDED to see were on a ESPN channel in the stateroom but one that wasn’t on ESPN he was able to keep up with it online. I however went to the theater since I don’t require basketball at sea. We had a balcony booked but this cruise was over sold so they offered us an amazing deal to give up our balcony and move to an inside cabin. Well that was ok but the inside they moved us to had two more berths that fold down from the wall. These extra beds just stuck out from the wall and made the room seem so much smaller and we both cracked our head on them a couple of times. That was a bummer. Fortunately we were aft Riviera deck so it was a quick escape to the terrace pool and bar and outside seating which helped us to not kill each other in that cabin for 15 days. We really enjoyed the ports since they were all new to us. We did a couple of private excursions (in Cartagena and Nicaragua) and a great Princess excursion to the Starbucks Hacienda Coffee Plantation in Costa Rica. We had an awesome guide and a delicious lunch. It was a small group of 10 in a van which made it so nice. It was well worth the money. Starbucks gave us the VIP treatment too. We were on our own in Huatulco which was ok. There isn’t much at the port (some restaurants and shopping) so I would book a tour if I went back. Puerto Vallarta was beautiful and we took a taxi (7.00 each way for the taxi not per person but you need exact change and we tipped a couple of dollars) to the Malecon boardwalk and it was fine with lots of shopping and restaurants and walking along the ocean and downtown. The day of the Panama Canal crossing was an all day event and was fantastic. We were up at 6:00 am with the other 3000 spectators but there were plenty of places to watch the crossing. The most popular spot was Lido deck all the way forward where they opened the unmarked doors to the very front of the ship. They even served mimosas up there which was festive. We went through the new locks and it was a marvel. There was a commentator that talked us through the Canal and he was very interesting. He did a number of port lectures as well which we didn’t attend but watched them in our stateroom later. His name is Bill Fall and he was very knowledgeable and interesting. The first two sea days were really bouncy. I think we were having high winds so I don’t think it was normal. When we arrived in Cartagena it was calm and stayed very calm until we left Puerto Vallarta and headed toward LA. The seas were not quite as calm and the temperature dropped to the 60’s for the two days back to Los Angeles. Disembarkation was also very organized and we were off by 8:30 then took an Uber to LAX and were there in plenty of time for a 12:10 flight. We enjoyed this cruise very much. We found the majority of the staff and crew to be very friendly and efficient. We went to a Meet and Greet with our roll call and enjoyed meeting the Captain and several other officers that attended and spoke. They were warm and approachable. The Captain was really delightful and we saw him often around the ship. He seemed to enjoy talking to passengers and answering questions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting ... Read More
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting thing for that day is going to a lecture about arthritis, something is wrong with that cruise line! I would not recommend Princess for our age group. We were so ready to get off this cruise and get home to our kids. The ship is showing her age, the staff is just there... nothing outstanding, and the choices for entertainment were not well thought out. There were not enough seats for the activities that were worth going to and you literally had to get there an hour before it started to even get a seat. We don't go for the food, but it was decent. The ship is clean, the staff is there to do their job - and that was about it, and the food was edible. Nothing fancy and not worth the money that we paid. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I have multiple things to celebrate (35th anniversary, both healthy after medical scares, etc...) and decided that a two week cruise through the Panama Canal was just the ticket. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. Both ... Read More
My wife and I have multiple things to celebrate (35th anniversary, both healthy after medical scares, etc...) and decided that a two week cruise through the Panama Canal was just the ticket. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Our last 2 cruises were on RCL and the staff on those ships treated us like we were annoying if we asked for anything. On this trip on the Emerald, the staff treated us wonderfully, from the front desk to our steward, the dining room, and bar staff. We spent a lot of time at the back of the ship by Terrace Pool. The bartender and staff learned our names and called them out whenever we walked out onto the deck! We splurged more than normal on this cruise and had a mini-suite. We loved the extra room and spent quite a bit of time on the balcony. The only minor complaint would be that the couch in our room seemed quite old and uncomfortable. It should be replaced. The food was pretty good. I found it to be more of a variety than other cruises I've been on, but still got to be repeated too much on a 15 day cruise. But, we did not go hungry! We had some wonderful excursions, and the trip through the canal was awesome! The commentary offered was really great. We also met some really nice people from all over the world. All-in-all, we had a great 15 days! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because the Canal had been on our bucket list for a long time. We have sailed on Eurodam almost ten years ago and had some really good memories of that time. We stayed in Deerfield Beach the night before where we found ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the Canal had been on our bucket list for a long time. We have sailed on Eurodam almost ten years ago and had some really good memories of that time. We stayed in Deerfield Beach the night before where we found a delightful Brazialian buffet. Since spouse was riding a med scooter, we were given some leaway on standing in lines so embarcation went very smoothly. On board and in room by 12:30. The ship was well done in overhaul with new color scheme and upgrades. Our cabin 8033(accessable) was larger than most on the ones we were albe to peek in with plenty of room for the scooter to park and turn around. The shower was spacious but did flood the entire bath when used( drains wouldn't contain water). The bedding was very comfortable and the room was expertly maintained by steward whenever we left cabin ( one day even making bed 4 times). The dining was good in the main dining hall ( didn;t try specialitys) and we were treated with care and graciousness. Was nice to called by name every evening when we came to sign in to dine and by several of the attendants on the Lido deck. Even had one of the line supervisors prepare a plate and then carry to find table for spouse. The main entertainment was not as elaborate as we remember with the "shows" being a single singer or comedian. The best in our opinion was the staff preformance. Plenty of other activities with two excelent piano players in the Billboard who often had fifty or more people standing in the aisle watching since no more seating. The orange party was no more than waiters bringing around canapes while the band played very loud music in the BB King room. Don't bother with wearing Orange, few did. The self walking tour in Curacao was nice and we felt completely safe while seeing a good bit of the old city. The canal tour in Puerto Limon was excelent with many sloths and other wildlife being seen. The bird park at Cartegena was well done with some beautiful displays and easy to travel pathways. Most ports were typical vendors pushing the same trinkets and "local" (made in China) wares. Disembarcation for us was very easy since we were in the last group to be called. Eight ships in port that day. We lazed around and enjoyed talking and visiting until after 10:15. Walked off ship, picked up luggage, stood in line at immagration for about 10 minutes and then strolled to parking garage and were on road to Alligator Alley before 11:00. Overall a good cruise with some highlights and some letdowns. The worst was when HAL "allowed" us to have Meet and Greet in same room where they were playing bingo loudly. HAL did set up snacks and coffee which was jumped on by bingo players. Saw several quieter possible locations. No officers or other HAL reps attended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a very successful vacation. Aft cabin on 8th floor was perfect for going thru the Panama Canal. The guide narrating the cruise was a welcome surprise...he did a great job. We also liked the (30 minute) educational classes they ... Read More
This was a very successful vacation. Aft cabin on 8th floor was perfect for going thru the Panama Canal. The guide narrating the cruise was a welcome surprise...he did a great job. We also liked the (30 minute) educational classes they offered and attended almost all of them. Microsoft classes. Photo-coach classes. Port to table cooking demonstrations by chef about local foods. Presentations by the cruise director about the regions, and animals, and history. Fascinating topics. Also, the Lincoln Center Stage offered classical music performances and talks about performers. Such a treat! Our biggest complaint is that we don't like to dress up for dinner on the 2 gala nights, and eating in the Lido buffet can be challenging if ya want to just sit and have dinner as a couple. Would prefer HAL to come up with a dining service option for the "under dressed"...lol. One other thing we don't like is the high pressure "spa and fitness" people. They are too aggressive and materialistic...so we stayed away. However, we will definitely return to HAL!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have done several Caribbean cruises but had never visited the Panama Canal or Costa Rica. Princess is supposed to be a premium brand of Carnival but we were disappointed with the level of service in the dining rooms and the quality of ... Read More
We have done several Caribbean cruises but had never visited the Panama Canal or Costa Rica. Princess is supposed to be a premium brand of Carnival but we were disappointed with the level of service in the dining rooms and the quality of food overall. Wait staff were not fluent in English and we had difficulty conversing with them. The ship was built in 2004 and it looked tired, even though it had recently been refreshed. We prevously cruised on Celebrity Summit and Infinity which are comparable in age and we found them to be much better overall. We had difficulty conversing with staff in the restaurants because their English was very poor. We expected Princess to be on a par with Celebrity but this was not the case. The dining staff on Celebrity were easier to understand and there were 3 people assigned to each table while there were 2 on Princess. Each Celebrity table had a wine sommalier to help with wine selection. They poured drinks at the table from a bottle shortly after you arrived while Princess staff (not sommalier) had to get each drink from the back, increasing wait times considerably. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We 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 chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess to Alaska and had a very enjoyable experience. This cruise was slightly different. Our cabin steward was MIA for the 1st 2 days, apparently he was ill, but there was no one we could ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess to Alaska and had a very enjoyable experience. This cruise was slightly different. Our cabin steward was MIA for the 1st 2 days, apparently he was ill, but there was no one we could directly contact with issues. This was a 10 day cruise, 4 of which were at sea. Additionally, because of bad weather, we were unable to dock in one of our scheduled ports, making it 5 days at sea. The ship seemed crowded. Guests spent a lot of time inside because of the weather. Many people don't remove their used towels from the chairs and it leaves others wandering around wondering what is available. The deck crews should be on top of that more. The spa was okay. I had a facial and my husband and I had a couples massage. The massage was much better than the facial. The fitness center was a disappointment. While it is large and there are several treadmills, they are not available until 9:00 AM. Very disappointing. The entertainment was good, but when it is in a small venue, it is crowded and hard to get a seat. Back to back activities in these small venues creates a problem because people don't leave between activities. The food was good, our server, Victoria was wonderful. As a suite guest we were able to have breakfast in Sabatini's in the morning. The staff there was also great. Room service was average. Excursions: Cayman Island - we took a coast to coast bus tour. It was okay, didn't care for our driver and her uppity attitude. Cartagena - toured the old city and the San Felipe Fortress. It gets hot, make sure your tour is in the morning. Good tour guide, crappy bus, many many peddlers in the streets! Panama - canal locks were amazing. Domed car train ride not worth the money. Jamaica - toured the Rose Hall Great House - it was fine, finished with a short shopping trip to shops. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise to see the new locks of the Panama Canal which we did. We were on the same cruise ship in August and it was very good. New chef, captain, and cruise director made it a poor cruise. Main problem was the food in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the new locks of the Panama Canal which we did. We were on the same cruise ship in August and it was very good. New chef, captain, and cruise director made it a poor cruise. Main problem was the food in the dining room. Awful. Cruise director liked to hold everything in the center of the cruise ship which was not large enough for dance lessons and dancing at night. This was a poor choice. We will not use princess for a about 3 years since it was so bad which is disappointing since we just reached elite. I know Princess will not contact us as they are happy to fill up all their cruise ships for now...but that may change!!! As fof the room, it was very good and the steward was above average. Bars were great and bartender Zen was the best ever. Jun the bartender was good as well. Entertainment needs improvement. Getting on and off the ship was above average. We liked using the medallions for getting in the room and charging stuff. However, the poor food made it so our next three cruises we have signed up for will be on Holland American and Viking. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great Panama Canal experience! The Caribbean Princess is an older ship with great upgrades and a fantastic crew! The Cruise Director was unbelievable and was a huge asset to the fun on the cruise. The waitstaff in the dining rooms were ... Read More
Great Panama Canal experience! The Caribbean Princess is an older ship with great upgrades and a fantastic crew! The Cruise Director was unbelievable and was a huge asset to the fun on the cruise. The waitstaff in the dining rooms were great and worked together to make your ding experience a great one! The ships decor was terrific and the flow of the activity decks seemed you were on a much smaller ship. I loved the International Cafe for there fresh Lattes and service. A great friendly smile to start your day. The Guest Services Desk was always full of employees to help with you issues, not like other cruise lines that have a skeleton crew (NCL) to service your needs.Overall, the Princess cruise line is trying and staying way in front of their competition with there Medallian program which is helping non techy's like me to feel GOOD! I hope they continue to be way in front and accommodating! Thanks Princess Cruise Line! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We loved this itinerary and we were excited to sail on Princess because it has a nice reputation. We loved the Medallion class and the technology and convenience that the ocean medallion offers passengers. The idea is that it will ... Read More
We loved this itinerary and we were excited to sail on Princess because it has a nice reputation. We loved the Medallion class and the technology and convenience that the ocean medallion offers passengers. The idea is that it will personalize the service for passengers in the future. However, I think that Princess still has a very long ways to go before they do that. In fact, I feel that the personalization of the service has diminished since we last sailed on Princess 10 years ago. We liked the excursions offered by Princess and we loved how streamlined the excursions were with the cruise. The biggest disappointment for me was the food - as well as the state of the staterooms (old carpet, old furnishings). The food in the main dining room was very poor. The grill and pizza was even worse, with non-fresh vegetables, non fresh bread, etc. One night, I orderdered the featured mussels with toast. The mussels tasted very fish, the broth had hardly any flavor, and the toast was literally amazingly stale. Like it had to have been just out for days. I liked the food better on NCL and Carnival - and that's disappointing considering the premium price. I was also not impressed with the entertainment. It's hard to get great entertainment each night on a 10-day cruise - I get it. But the 'singer comedy act' that they had was just so amateur. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have never been on a cruise before and I came in with little to no expectations and a positive attitude. At first I was overwhelmed with amount of action going on and the small rooms, food etc. But after the initial first day, which was ... Read More
I have never been on a cruise before and I came in with little to no expectations and a positive attitude. At first I was overwhelmed with amount of action going on and the small rooms, food etc. But after the initial first day, which was stressful because of flying and nothing with the Princess cruise line, everything worked out. Sure, we did not go on one of our port stops due to weather, but safety was the priorty and I understood that. Also, the staff was INCREDIBLE!! Everyone was so personal, kind and nice! Spoiled me rotten from such great service. Entertainment was great and the whole time I was enjoying, having a blast and was always satisfied with everything. And if at any point I had any issues, they were quickly resolved. The game shows and entertainment was too notch, they have things for kids, teens and in betweens. And obviously adults and older adults as well. We watched a movie outside and ate ice cream, I mean what could be better? So all in all, the best vacation of my life. I would totally reccomend. For a lot of people who complain on these forums, these people are natural complainers so I would take it with a grain of salt. I had an awesome time and would 100000 percent reccommend. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Totally satisfied with the entire cruise experience! All the Princess Cruise people were so helpful, bent over backwards to help you. Food was excellent, service was excellent! Saw some reviews that the Caribbean Princess was dated. I ... Read More
Totally satisfied with the entire cruise experience! All the Princess Cruise people were so helpful, bent over backwards to help you. Food was excellent, service was excellent! Saw some reviews that the Caribbean Princess was dated. I did not, enjoyed the art, especially deck 6 entry to the theater. Do go at least 30 minutes prior to the events. I would highly recommend the Caribbean Princess, and would sail on it again. Also purchase the shore excursions well in advance they sell out very fast. The Princess cruise excursions were very good. It’s worth any extra costs to book thru them for the security of knowing they will wait for you. We did Panama canal partial crossing, It was sufficient. They went thru 1st 3 locks to Gatoon Lake. They dropped off Princess excursions to buses for all Princess passengers. Did the Old Panama city Pacific side tour with 1 hour stop at original canal Lock. Ship was going thru being pulled by 4 engines. Fascinating, definitely best shore excursion ever. Highly recommend!!!!!! One other note, If you do a tour you only see half the transit thru The new locks, for me it was fine Seeing the original canal lock and Pacific side on the excursion. Trip of a lifetime! Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Food in restaurant was very disappointing (eg. 1 got a seafood entree that only had 1shrimp,4 mussels, 0 scallops and one bite of Sea Bass. All served on a bunch of scallop shells in a broth. It shouldn’t even have been sent up from the ... Read More
Food in restaurant was very disappointing (eg. 1 got a seafood entree that only had 1shrimp,4 mussels, 0 scallops and one bite of Sea Bass. All served on a bunch of scallop shells in a broth. It shouldn’t even have been sent up from the kitchen or served ) (eg.2. Got served a bowl of broth with a piece of fish dropped in it. This was supposed to be a “chowder”. Inedible!) (eg. 3 requested rye toast in restaurant for breakfast and got 2 pieces of warm, untoasted, brown bread). Enough said re restaurant fare. We ended up just eating at the World Fresh Market. ie buffet. This buffet food was very good! The production shows were disappointing. The performers were very talented but the shows were not exactly toe tappers or sing alongs. Most of the staff were friendly especially in the all night International Cafe. When we could not go into Limon Costa Rica ,due to bad weather , the company was very fast at refunding our prepaid excursion costs. Alcoholic drink costs were atrocious so we only indulged once. We ordered 2 glasses of wine on the formal dinner night that ended up costing us almost 30 dollars Canadian. We enjoyed the ports and the people. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I (both 53) were asked to join our friends on the Eurodam 11 day cruise to the Panama Canal. Having cruised several times before on Disney, RCCL & NCL we were eager to experience HAL. I was aware that the HAL demographic ... Read More
My wife and I (both 53) were asked to join our friends on the Eurodam 11 day cruise to the Panama Canal. Having cruised several times before on Disney, RCCL & NCL we were eager to experience HAL. I was aware that the HAL demographic was the older sort. We booked in 2018 for a 2020 cruise, so we had plenty of time for research and YouTube video watching. My wife kept insisting that it wasn’t an “old person” cruise....and today, as I sit on the Lido deck of the Eurodam on day 10 of our 11 day cruise, writing this review, I can confidently say that it is a cruise geared to seniors. This doesn’t make it bad, or boring. Perhaps for my wife and I it is a bit boring. But I can certainly see why this cruise appeals to the over 70 crowd. As a disclaimer, please let me remind you that the views expressed herein are from that of a young-at-heart 53 year old. 95% of the passengers on our cruise are older than me...by a good margin. But they all seem to be enjoying the selection of activities and entertainment. There is a game room where the passengers gather to play board games or card games. There are televisions set up in that room. There is a small casino, that seems very tight on the payouts. There are two very talented pianists that play in the Billboard Onboard club and they attract a nice crowd. They performed almost every night so far. I don’t feel as though I am qualified to review the entertainment on the main stage. I am not a fan of stage shows, so normally I don’t attend. I did go to the comedian show....he was okay..but his set was targeted toward an audience 80 and up. I went back a few nights later to see the impressionist, I gave him about 20 minutes before leaving the show. His first impression was of Paul Lynde. If you know who Paul Lynde was...then this is a show for you! There was also a Brazilian musician (Danilo Gonzalez) that performed one night..I did not attend that show but I heard a lot of people walked out on the show because it was a lot of loud guitar music, not targeted toward this crowd apparently. So what is lacking? What could HAL do differently? I’m not sure they will change anything, as apparently this type of cruise works for their demographic, but here are a few things I would like to see. There is no live band on the pool deck. There are no activities throughout the course of the day that might appear on the pool decK. Other cruise lines we have been on have offered volley ball or even belly flop contests which of course would not appeal to this crowd, but surely there must be something they could offer in the form of entertainment. Half way through the first week, my wife and I found ourselves working on a jigsaw puzzle in the Explorations Cafe. That was a first for me. By the way, if jigsaw puzzles are your form of entertainment, maybe the cruise line could pitch in and buy a few new puzzles before each cruise? The one we were working on had a note in the box saying it was missing 11 pieces. Food is hard to find at certain times of the day. You can always get room service 24/7 (although the menu is quite limited). And you can always get pizza by the Sea View pool but you have to order a whole pizza and wait 10-15 minutes. An improvement would be to offer slices and have them ready-made, with an option for a whole pizza if you wish. You can also order burgers and dogs for Dive-In with a 15-20 minute wait. But if you are looking for food around 4:15PM - 5:15PM and the again from 9:30PM - 10:30PM you are out of luck! What ever happened to midnight buffets with ice sculptures and butter carved into seahorses? Does any cruise line offer that type of fare any more? As I sit on my deck chair looking at the selection of activities to choose from for the day, I may go to the Team Trivia challenge but will pass on the selection of “Look ten years Younger w/ Dr. Diana”, “Increase your Metabolism”, “Design your own Luggage Tags” or “Design your own Keepsake Tin Box”. The food on board is good, some of it is very good. I haven’t experienced anything amazing however. You can, of course, pay more money to experience one of their “exclusive” restaurants, but that is an entirely different topic that I could comment on for days. Starting with, “Let me get this straight, you can offer better food if I pay you more money? So in the meantime I have to settle for the “free” food that is included with the cruise?” I know this is common not just on HAL but the other cruise lines I have been on as well, I just disagree with the idea. There was a time when, if you paid to go on a cruise you got amazing food at each meal and didn’t have to pay an up charge for better food. Some of the other cruisers seem to like having the staff dish out your selections at the buffet. I am not a fan. I have stood to the side waiting for a roll or sausage or piece of fruit to be placed on my dish while the food staff is attending to another passenger by dishing up an omelet or crepe or other food item which does need assistance. The food at the Lido is presented in such a way that you cannot, in most cases, help yourself even if the tongs are within reach. The sneeze guards are so low that you have to be very short or have extremely flexible limbs to helps yourself, forcing you to ask for assistance for that food selection that you wanted one more piece of, but were too embarrassed to ask for. The dining room is well run and the servers, assistant servers and head waiters are very accommodating. We originally chose the as-you-wish dining option, thinking that would be great to not have to be locked in to a dining time, but very early on we discovered that once we found a table we liked with servers that knew us, we opted to go to that table each night at the same time and the wait staff accommodated our request. This is one of the truly unique experiences you can still have on a cruise ship. That is...having your waiter call you by name, know your likes and dislikes, having your favorite beverage ready for you when you sit down and all of the other quirks you may have that you would have to explain to a new waiter if you did not commit to a dinner time. I now know that I much prefer that tradition much more than the optional come-when-you-want. Specific to this cruise, the ports were good. I think they could have squeezed another day in at half moon Cay if they wanted to. We had to miss our day in Costa Rica due to rough seas. This gave us three sea days in a row and the ship was tossing everyone around, I won’t say violently, but someone else might say it was violent. The pools have been closed for two days because of the rough water and the sliding roof is closed as well, they say they cannot open it because of the rough seas and it could slide back and forth. Not sure if that is true, it would be a bad design if that is the case. They have a policy not to save pool chairs, but that is largely disregarded by our fellow cruisers. They say that chairs unattended for 30 minutes will have the towels removed and the chair made available to someone else. This is not heavily enforced by the staff, but the seniors on board are not shy about moving your stuff if they feel your chair had been empty for too long. Towels at the pool are super easy to get. On other cruise lines we have traveled on, we have had to “sign-out” towels and then check them back in. It seems HAL is not concerned about missing towels, they are readily available to everyone and no one cares if you take one, three or thirty. Our cabin is fine, plenty of room for two adults, I think our placement at the rear of the shop may have added to the queasiness we felt after a few days of rough seas, but that is to be expected, our room steward tried his best at pronouncing our last name each time we saw him, but he was attentive and thorough and I appreciated his attempt at the towel animals each night. I also liked that this was a smaller ship. We have been on trips that have 5,000-7,000 passengers and on a ship of just 2,100 you are not standing around as much for food, or elevators or disembarking. I am very glad to have experienced the Eurodam. It is not for everyone, But that doesn’t make it bad. I probably wouldn’t do it again, there are a lot of other cruise lines I might like to experience. But knowing what to expect before you go is important for any trip you take. I got what I expected from the Eurodam, I just think they could offer their cruisers a bit more. 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
Interested in the Panama Canal primarily but the whole itinerary was very appealing. We explored our departure city (Fort Lauderdale) before the cruise (1 night). Embarkation and disembarking was a breeze - so well organized, easy and ... Read More
Interested in the Panama Canal primarily but the whole itinerary was very appealing. We explored our departure city (Fort Lauderdale) before the cruise (1 night). Embarkation and disembarking was a breeze - so well organized, easy and quick. Ship has been refurbished so looked new. Cabins were typical sizes and there were good dining options on the ship. The entertainment was phenomenal both at the various bars and the theatre. The service at all times at all locations was impeccable. Our cabin was immaculate at all times. The bar service was excellent. The Medallion experience was outstanding. Every cruise line should offer this option on their ships. It made the boarding process so quick and monitoring ship activities or ordering food and drinks anywhere on the ship was so convenient. I would recommend this ship and itinerary. The itinerary included Fort Lauderdale, Panama Canal, Falmouth in Jamaica, Cartegena in Columbia and Limon in Costa Rica. It was a diverse itinerary that covered every interest. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were excited to view the new locks, which were made for the larger ships. We first went to listen to the excellent lector in the Princess theater, who told us the history of the building of the canal. It was extremely informative and ... Read More
We were excited to view the new locks, which were made for the larger ships. We first went to listen to the excellent lector in the Princess theater, who told us the history of the building of the canal. It was extremely informative and prepared us to better understand what we would be seeing. We had originally booked a mini-suite, and the perks included were additional credits to spend on the cruise, plus no gratuities (a terrific deal) but were pleasantly surprised to find out a few weeks before sailing that we had been upgraded to a mid-ship Club Class suite at no additional cost. As Club Class guests, we had our own entrance to the dining room every evening, plus an upgraded menu. No waiting with 100 other people to enter, we walked right in. And our position in the dining room was separate from all other passengers. By that I mean that it was in a different area with other club class members. We were really spoiled! The new Medallion technology is wonderful, allowing us to speed through embarkation, which took a whole 10 min. for the 3 of us. Debarkation at the end of the cruise was equally satisfying. We had opted for a Princess shuttle to take us to the airport at the end of the cruise, and it was effortless! About midway through the cruise, I came down with my yearly upper respiratory infection and confined myself to my cabin for a few days, but this was my bad, as I should have brought a prescription with me just in case! Oh well, live and learn. The only shore excursion we had to cancel (the girls wouldn't go without me) was our trek through the rain forest and boat ride through the small canals that run through Costa Rica. I have been there before, so no big deal for me, but I hated to see my companions miss out. They did, however, leave the ship to shop for souvenirs at the port, and upon their return said that they were glad we had cancelled, as it was so darn hot. My only disappointment was in the food, the quality of which was not on a par with Carnival, but this is my opinion. Many things in the ships dining room were excellent, but others were not as good as I've had on other Princess ships. In particular the lobster, which was very chewy and not served with drawn butter! My sister opted for the steak (also extremely chewy) and had to politely bury the chewed pieces under whatever remained on her plate. But the service provided by our little Victoria (from the Ukraine) and her co-worker also from the Ukraine, known only as Bo or Baby was excellent! The food up on the Lido deck was hit or miss as well. Some times a terrific selection, and others just a bit below average. And in my opinion, their soups up on Lido were sub-par and watery. I wish Princess would adopt a real deli where fresh sandwiches could be made as ordered, like Carnival. Their sandwiches were pre-made and somewhat rolled up in butchers paper and standing upright in a large container, which made all of the juices run to the bottom and soak the bread. I was not impressed by the food at all. We did the ship excursion in both Jamaica (Greenwood plantation) and city tour of Catahenia, and both were excellent. We got off the ship in Grand Cayman and took the 2 and 1/2 hour city tour offered at the port for just $25. (same tour offered by excursion desk for $49) and it was also excellent! They took us to 7 mile beach (gorgeous) and we also got to see the people swim with and kiss the dolphins at their center for free. We had a choice of seeing the dolphins, or crossing the street to the turtle center. The tour driver was a fountain of knowledge and we enjoyed the tour very much! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was an excellent cruise. The ship was very comfortable, had excellent food and service, and had wonderful entertainment. We stayed on the ship through the locks returning from Gatun Lake to the Caribbean Sea. Fascinating to ... Read More
This was an excellent cruise. The ship was very comfortable, had excellent food and service, and had wonderful entertainment. We stayed on the ship through the locks returning from Gatun Lake to the Caribbean Sea. Fascinating to watch how the lock opens and closes. We were able to get to the viewing area in the very front of the ship, above the bridge! On deck 15, go all the way forward and through the door at the end of the hallway to access this viewing area. Our ports were Falmouth, Jamaica, Cartagena, Columbia, Panama Canal transit, Limon, Costa Rica and George Town, Cayman Islands. We did stop in Cristobal, Panama to pick up passengers who had gone on excursions in Panama. We did an excellent tour with Dora the Explorer, www.cartagenatour.com, in Cartagena. Dora is very enthusiastic about her city, speaks excellent English, runs small group tours and only charges $70 cash for her 4 hour tour. We were able to go to La Popa Monastery on top of the hill which offered stunning views of the whole area. Large buses cannot negotiate the very twisty road to the monastery. Check Dora's website for more information.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise because of the timing and destinations. The info about the excursions are limited. Jamaica was not the best, very disorganized. We traveled on Celebrity last year and it was very enjoyable. This cruise the ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the timing and destinations. The info about the excursions are limited. Jamaica was not the best, very disorganized. We traveled on Celebrity last year and it was very enjoyable. This cruise the open seating is very disorganized, the showers are so small you can't move in the shower without get the bathroom floor soaked and the carpet. Food is OK. Entertainment ok. I have cruised a number of times but this one was the biggest disappointment.We have a balcony so that made the experience better. We took the excursussion thru the Panama Canal which was great but it as very long. In Jamaica we went to a beach that was nothing great. Had rum punch and food, nothing I would suggest to do, then stopped to go shopping, not good. Not sure why I can't review the excursions on their website so I can give other feedback. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After cruising Alaska on Princess Cruise with friends many years ago, we (myself&Hubby)decide to take another opportunity and cruise again in December 2019 over the new year to cross the Panama Canal and start the new year and decade ... Read More
After cruising Alaska on Princess Cruise with friends many years ago, we (myself&Hubby)decide to take another opportunity and cruise again in December 2019 over the new year to cross the Panama Canal and start the new year and decade celebrating life onboard Island Princess. And glad am I, we did!!! Our experience was a 5star journey from the beginning ‘til the end. I will start with the embarkation in FortLauderdale where everything was well organized and we didn’t have to wait a minute(even if the cruise was fully booked).A tip to my fellow travelers:if you can, get to the port early to avoid crowds and long lines.We felt like VIP’s since we board the ship in less than 5minutes.Once we got to our room, everything is history because 10days have been filled with happy moments and great memories we will remember and share for a lifetime. For new year eve, all guests were spoiled with fine dining experience and later on the captain come down to greet and wish everyone onboard a Happy new year! and the champagne was flowing like a river.The party moved from inside to the deck outside where we did the countdown into the new decade together.Happy new year!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose the cruise for the locations and because we had sailed with Princess previously. We knew the cabins were comfortable and dining was excellent. There were plenty of shore excursions to choose from if that is what you are after, and ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the locations and because we had sailed with Princess previously. We knew the cabins were comfortable and dining was excellent. There were plenty of shore excursions to choose from if that is what you are after, and plenty of activities to keep you busy on the ship. We chose to do some tours, but also enjoyed staying on the ship and relaxing by the pools. I LOVE that there is a laundry on the ship. So don’t have to pack enough clothing for the entire trip. The specialty restaurants provided delicious meals for a minimal extra charge. The dining rooms offered a variety of choices and the buffet was amazing. Will definitely travel with Princess again, in fact we have put a deposit down using the Future Cruise program offered by Princess. Would recommend Princes cruises to anyone interested in a cruise holiday. Than you Princess Cruises for our amazing Caribbean holiday. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were excited about this Panama Canal Cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego over the holidays. The cruise ports and itinerary were great! Absolutely no complaints here. Our excursions were a mix of HAL and Shore Ex. They were all ... Read More
We were excited about this Panama Canal Cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego over the holidays. The cruise ports and itinerary were great! Absolutely no complaints here. Our excursions were a mix of HAL and Shore Ex. They were all well done and interesting. The food was just okay. More than once, I had to send my dish back in the main room. It was like cafeteria food and really, I’m not picky but the meat was inedible. The Lido was actually better and that’s not saying much. They ran out of Splenda, lemons, limes and chocolate ice cream halfway through the cruise. Our room thermostat didn’t work and apparently they are in the process of changing them out. Our room started out too warm so we asked to cool it down. They cooled it down but it turned into an icebox!! And they turned the fan speed up so that it sounded like a jet engine... (well, almost) It continued like this the entire cruise. Then the toilet didn’t flush... or did five minutes after it was pushed. We heard gurgling sounds constantly. There are hardly any electric outlets in the bedrooms. They provide plug strips but bring an extension cord or two. Especially if you have a cpap! There were no rooms left when we signed on in March so took a room that was over the Main Stage. It turns out there were rooms that opened later but we were never informed about them so we were stuck listening to any performance or rehearsal under our floor. We really liked the staff and they tried to do the best job they could but they really are understaffed and expectations are very high. We like Holland America but are going to seriously check ship reviews from now on before we book. We like the smaller ships but the Rotterdam needs to be retired. Rusty and too old to fix. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019

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