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21 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to South Pacific Cruise Reviews

My husband and I wanted to see the Panama Canal. Overall the trip was satisfactory. The staff were wonderful. My only objection was that some of the ports were not much to visit unless you were going on a tour. We found that many of ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to see the Panama Canal. Overall the trip was satisfactory. The staff were wonderful. My only objection was that some of the ports were not much to visit unless you were going on a tour. We found that many of the tours were too expensive. The best port was Cartagena, Columbia. It had a small park with exotic birds and a free shuttle. I wanted to go on this cruise because my birthday was December 18th. Our steward Edgar was so kind and competent. He changed our room ( picture window) to a better configuration so we could both get out on each side of the bed. My husband is allergic to msg as well as a number of other things so the staff in the Main Dining room were very accommodating and watched over him including Kieron who was the head waiter. They had him order the night before so they could make sure there were no food additives. The problem was generally the sauces or anything that was a preordered item. We really enjoyed the cruise but encountered a problem when my husband fell in front of the dining room due to the motion of the ship. The medical staff were great though and my husband is now all right. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Great itinerary. However if you receive a complimentary room upgrade please do yourself a favour and do research on where exactly they want to put you. We had our vacation ruined by loud chair shuffling, carts slamming and doors opening ... Read More
Great itinerary. However if you receive a complimentary room upgrade please do yourself a favour and do research on where exactly they want to put you. We had our vacation ruined by loud chair shuffling, carts slamming and doors opening all night long every night. Other than that, the cruise was good, the food and the service were top notch. The itinerary was great too however Grand Turks was kind of a letdown, we took a coast to coast island tour but unfortunately there’s not much to see other than some random donkeys here and there. We ended up at a abandoned lighthouse were we were charged additional money to see it. In Columbia, we took a hop on hop off which was great but the locals shoving items for sale in your face was too much. Our group was harassed like I’ve never before. I know they are just trying to earn a living but they were overly aggressive and honestly it made us feel totally uncomfortable. The other stops were fantastic, Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The ship was great. the food was great. Service was great. Our cabin steward, Austin was the BEST. Right there for anything we needed. Entertainment was good. LOVED our balcony cabin. Convinced me to do nothing but balconies from now on. ... Read More
The ship was great. the food was great. Service was great. Our cabin steward, Austin was the BEST. Right there for anything we needed. Entertainment was good. LOVED our balcony cabin. Convinced me to do nothing but balconies from now on. Ports were mostly good. My mistake for booking a larger ship for the Panama canal. Turns out what I really wanted was to go through the original canal. I had read the history about the creation of the canal and that was the whole reason for the cruise. My mistake. We went through the larger newer canal which was still an experience. Next cruise through Panama will do the whole canal on a smaller ship so we can go through the old locks and hopefully see the history. Balcony still a must and Princess - of course!!! LOVE the medallion experience. Our room was the best. Right of the elevator but never heard any noise from it. Certainly would do the whole experience again. LA to Fort Lauderdale through the canal ready to book for 2021! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Price, it was a little cheaper because of the timing, the Holidays, but I Loved the ship being decorated for Christmas, we even sang Christmas caroling with the crew. We even got upgraded to a better room and it was a very comfortable ... Read More
Price, it was a little cheaper because of the timing, the Holidays, but I Loved the ship being decorated for Christmas, we even sang Christmas caroling with the crew. We even got upgraded to a better room and it was a very comfortable room. King size bed and so comfy, especially the pillows. Plenty of hangers and closet and shelves to remove your clothes for 10 days. And space for the luggage. And bathroom is small but shelves for everything . TV was nice size and a desk with mirror, lots of mirrors in fact. Every morning the cruise director Duvall did a 30 minute Wake Up show with the info for the day, he even wished us a Happy 50th Anniversary on the show, that was exciting. We ate every night in The Coral dining room with the same waiters, Francis and Pan, loved having my napkin put in my lap. Different Menu every night, wonderful and appealing food. I tried so many things! And we thought the food for lunch in the Market place on 15 floor was great. The staff was very helpful up there for drinks. We sure didn’t go hungry!! Oh yea breakfast too, some times in the dining room that was opened for breakfast. We also got room service for our coffee and banana every morning. The entertainment and talent on the ship was outstanding!! We saw three different wonderful productions in the theatre. We tried to see it all, comedians, magic show and much more. We did a excursions on each Island. Grand Cayman Island was the best, such a beautiful and clean Island. And we went thru the Panama Canal. We had a wonderful time and we were treated like Royalty thanks to the Staff and they turn around that afternoon and do it all again. Amazing crew!! Thanks Caribbean Princess! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We decided to go back to see the Panama Canal again. Our cabin was fine and our cabin steward was great. The buffet area was not organized and the servers were not happy people. They were surly and not helpful. The food selection was ... Read More
We decided to go back to see the Panama Canal again. Our cabin was fine and our cabin steward was great. The buffet area was not organized and the servers were not happy people. They were surly and not helpful. The food selection was surprisingly poor. We are Platinum level, so this was not our first Princess experience. The Panama tour was 2 hours late, cramped seating, and disorganized. When we disembarked, that was disorganized also. We were constantly assured we would get off the ship at the promised time. Then we were held because the terminal was “too busy”. We have enjoyed the loyalty program, but I’m afraid this will be our last Princess cruise . I think they have lost their edge due to nickel and dime motivation. We bought one of the International Cafe coffee cards, and only one of us could use it, plus the card expired at the end of the cruise. Before, the cards had no expiration. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. However, this boat is over the hill. The food was very disappointing in the Crown Grill (my steak was inedible because of gristle - could hardly cut it) and Planks BBQ tasted like it was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. However, this boat is over the hill. The food was very disappointing in the Crown Grill (my steak was inedible because of gristle - could hardly cut it) and Planks BBQ tasted like it was warmed over several time. My biggest complaint is that despite numerous complaints to the Grill manager regarding gristle in the steaks, they continued serving the cheap, poor quality meat - primarily the Porterhouse cut - my Porterhouse was actually a T-Bone steak - the tenderloin side was only 1.5" x 2.25". They did offer to replace the steak, but we would have missed the entertainment. They would not allow us to have return visit on them. They ran all production shows 3 times each, and discontinued Movies under the stars - they only ran movies on the big screen during the day and early evening. The strong point for Princess is their wait staff and help are marvelous. I noticed several times managers yelling at employees in front of guests - managing by intimidation. It is obvious to me that Princess is trying to cut corners where ever possible. Princess is just not what it used to be. All in all, a cheap cruise for a cheap prices. You get what you pay for - but not much value in this ride. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We picked this cruise to mainly see the Panama Canal. EMBARKATION- Fort Lauderdale is very convenient for us because we live in Tampa. This was one of the easiest and fastest embarkation process we have experienced. We did have to ... Read More
We picked this cruise to mainly see the Panama Canal. EMBARKATION- Fort Lauderdale is very convenient for us because we live in Tampa. This was one of the easiest and fastest embarkation process we have experienced. We did have to wait to board the ship because the Coast Guard would not clear the ship for some reason. the other passengers that were waiting complained that Princess ran out of coffee and snacks!!! REALLY! You will be on a ship with an all you can eat buffet!! I think we boarded the ship around noon?? CABIN - We immediately went to our room to drop off our carry on items and our cabin steward, Elmer Grande introduced himself. We asked for extra hangers and told him our main concern was to always have ice in our cabin!! Elmer was one of the best cabin stewards we have every had! We have been on over 35 cruises all over the world! Back to the cabin: bed was comfortable, the room was really cold which we love, the towels were old and dingy and pillows were old and flat. ANYTIME DINING - We had dinner in the Bordeaux Dining Room 5 times during our cruise. We were very impressed with Vijay and his assistant, Christina! We were able to request them 4 out of the 5 times at the Bordeaux. Sadly, we were disappointed with the food. We knew immediately when we had the food from the Horizon Cafe that it would most likely be disappointing in the dining room. The food was bland, no flavor. I am assuming that they have to limit the spices due to having an older group of passengers. SPECIALITY DINING- My husband and I will usually do 2 to 3 nights in the speciality dining rooms. I thought I was prepaying for one night at the Bayou Cafe and one night at the Crown Grill. They did have Sabatini's, but we have not been impressed with Sabatini's on previous Princess ships. Our first night at sea, we had dinner in the Bayou Cafe. Andrew was our waiter and he was excellent. The food on the other hand was disappointing(except for the gumbo). Bland, bland, bland! My husband's New York strip had no flavor. I had the filet mignon and what saved it was the 3 speciality salts that the waiter recommended. So I thought our 2nd speciality restaurant was going to be at the Crown Grill, but I found out there was no Crown Grill. We canceled our 2nd reservation for the Bayou Cafe. A few days later, we decided we wanted to give Sabatini's another chance so we booked a reservation for the 3rd night at sea. Again, DISAPPOINTING! Do not order the Lobster Trio! You will get a tiny lobster tail that is boiled, mushy and looked like a piece of blubber! I was instructed by our adorable waiter(Thai guy with funky glasses) to dip the lobster into the mini bowl of lobster bisque which had 2 microscopic pieces of lobster in it. I think the third food item of the trio was a lobster risotto - I can't remember because it was tasteless! My husband ordered steak again and it was average! We are use to having aged and flavorful steaks. HORIZON CAFE - there was a wide variety of food to choose from, but again, bland. The only dessert that was exceptionally was the BeeHive Cake. All the others all tasted like they were sugar-free. The service was great. SHIP ACTIVITIES-boring I do have to say that the ship stayed fairly empty out in the common areas except when there was a sale! Thank goodness my husband and I brought dominoes. The only table big enough to play dominoes was in the library! Unfortunately, it was extremely warm in that area. SHOWS - we were very please with all of the shows, comedian, magician and the Elton John Tribute. GRAND CAYMAN - we have been to this Port several times. We picked the Dolphin Encounter and Turtle Centre. I should have known that it was a bait and switch for swimming with the dolphins. I ended paying $70 extra to actually swim with the dolphins. But I did get a picture frame with a photo, a drink and a website to download about 70 pictures. The Turtle Centre was boring. It would have been nice to have a guide telling us interesting facts about the turtles. CARTAGENA, COLUMBIA - we will NEVER, EVER visit this area again. It is dirty and you are accosted by street vendors selling you junk. If they are not following you and in your face, they are harassing you while you are waiting in an area for the bus or if you are on the bus. The vendors would actually throw merchandise to the upper deck of the Hop On/ Hop Off bus. They are screaming for money and if the passengers do not want the merchandise, you see the the merchandise flying off the bus. I must have told the locals "No thank you" at least 250 times! I do not want magnets, hats, sunglasses, cigars, beers, water, soda, tablecloths, headbands, etc. I thought vendors in Jamaica and Morocco were rude and obnoxious - this was, by far the worse place we have been to. The traffic is horrendous. They do not follow laws there. You have to be very careful where you walk because the sidewalks/roads have huge holes filled in with trash or covered up with a piece of cardboard. As far as the HO/HO bus, many passengers including my husband and I were upset because the tour guide did not make an official announcement to get off at the Castle de San Filipe. Yes, the bus stopped several times near the castle, but it was because of the traffic. At the 2nd stop after the castle, 4 passengers asked the guide why she did not announce the castle stop and she said she did. The upset passengers had prepaid entrance tickets for the castle and there wasn't enough time to go through the entire bus ride loop to get back to the castle. The guide told them they had to get off the bus and get a taxi back to the castle. It was disappointing not to see the castle. PANAMA CANAL - loved it. I'm sure it is impossible to have cleaner windows when going through the canal, but it would have made it easier to see from the ship if you are in the Horizon Cafe(front of the ship) or even in our cabin which at the very back of the ship. It is truly an engineering marvel watching a huge ship going through the new locks. We did an excursion through the jungles to visit Fort San Lorenzo and the new locks. Our tour guide and driver were amazing. The bus ride was long and uncomfortable due to the poorly maintained roads, but we were able to see huge monarch butterflies, Howler monkeys and a 2-toed mama sloth with her newborn baby on her stomach. LIMÓN COSTA RICA - we did the Puerto Viejo Beach and shopping excursion. Our tour guide, Marvin told us some interesting facts about Costa Rica. It was a long ride to the beach, but the roads are decent. As we were driving through Limón, there is definitely not much to see there. The beach was average. When we were dropped off at the city of Puerto Viejo, we had about 75 minutes to grab lunch and do some shopping. By the time we finished lunch, we only had 20 minutes to shop before boarding the bus. The shops lost a few sales because they did not have correct change to give back to the buyers. The little shopping area at Port Limón where the ship was docked was great. Very clean and the vendors are so humble and polite. I rarely buy souvenirs, but we got some great deals on artwork, coffee, cacao candy, mahogany wood items and cigars! JAMAICA - we wanted to do the beach excursion, but it was sold out. This was the one port that we did not purchase the excursion prior to the cruise. So we purchased the Rose Hall/Beach/Margaritaville/Shopping excursion. I found Rose Hall interesting; my husband found it boring. The Hip Strip shopping area was a rip off. Overpriced, cheap souvenirs. Truthfully, they should skip Hip Strip and Margaritaville and go straight to the Doctor's Cove Beach Resort to spend more time at the beach. The catamaran ride back to the ship was great. The rum punch was delicious and potent. I was happy to not be accosted by the locals and the roads are much better in Montego Bay versus Ochos Rios. This was our 9th Princess cruise. We may not return to Princess for our next cruise. We went on our 1st Norwegian cruise in July and the food choices were amazing and so delicious. It was the Norwegian Breakaway....lots of activities. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Loved this cruise!!! This ship is georgeous!!! The medallion is so easy to use. Definitely makes shopping and playing slots a breeze! Our cabin was a nice size with a pretty good amount of storage. The bed and pillows were ... Read More
Loved this cruise!!! This ship is georgeous!!! The medallion is so easy to use. Definitely makes shopping and playing slots a breeze! Our cabin was a nice size with a pretty good amount of storage. The bed and pillows were great. The air conditioning was pitiful though. So bring a fan!! We had an extended balcony which was really nice! We cold spread our patio furniture out more. Wanted to enjoy a nice breakfast on our balcony but the room service menu was lacking!! Just danishes and a bacon egg biscut. The stores onboard had a little bit of everything I bought a couple dresses and found one to be an irregular. Disappointed in that. But kept it as I had already torn the tag off. The shore excursions were over priced and rushed. As they are on all cruises. Would have liked to have seen more entertainment like musicals or plays. Bingo is only 4 games each time. It takes longer for them to set up bingo than it does to actually play it. But over all we enjoyed our cruise. And we have already started planning our Alaskan cruise with Princess!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to see part of the Panama Canal locks. Plus all the ports were places we had not been too. Our first princess cruise. A smaller ship, older crowd but we truly had a wonderful time. It was my husband (45) , myself (44) & my ... Read More
We wanted to see part of the Panama Canal locks. Plus all the ports were places we had not been too. Our first princess cruise. A smaller ship, older crowd but we truly had a wonderful time. It was my husband (45) , myself (44) & my daughter (20). It was a grad from college trip for my daughter! Food was delicious! Entertainment amazing. Loved Project 5 , performances, etc. Buffet was awesome and tonneau of variety and vegetarian options for myself. Pop package was disappointing with only one diet option of Diet Coke. We were used to royal Caribbean any diet flavour. Dining room was great food but not great vegetarian options . Excursions we did 3 with ship and 2 on our own. Short port times in a few places though . Very relaxing cruise as not a lot of activities on board as per our previous cruise experiences on royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise after much investigating dining, entertainment and other reviews. We were in cabin Emerald 735 with the obstructed view as they called it. The balcony was wonderful no obstruction st all. If you wasn't to book ... Read More
We chose this cruise after much investigating dining, entertainment and other reviews. We were in cabin Emerald 735 with the obstructed view as they called it. The balcony was wonderful no obstruction st all. If you wasn't to book I aft cabin I strongly suggest this one. Yes it was on top of club fusion but we heard absolutely nothing at all. The worst we heard was the hangers sliding back and forth on a day we had 10'15 ft. seas. Cabin steward Luis wss amazing The buffet I felt was very repetitious and somewhat cold when it came to food temp. My dining room waiter for the most part was Shane from Jamaica truly a class act Specialty dining for our anniversary was at the Crown Grill. It was outstanding. Bridget out server went over and beyond the call of duty to make our evening a night to remember. And lastly. Sabatinnis was my overall best. My favorite meal is Veal Parm but it wasn't on the menu. My hubby just happened to run into the main chef there and asked if he could make it. I was enthralled when Chef came to my table and said he was doing the dish. Above all I would absolutely day it was my personal favorite. We also dined at Planks which was very good and definitely worth the upcharge. Overall it was a great cruise. We also booked a cruise on Enchantment Jan 2021 back to back 14 days. This was a bucket list check off for us. And Todd Veautour, I couldn't imagine having that experience with anyone but you. It was an awesome anniversary cruise. And again I can't stress if you get the chance to book aft go for Emerald 735. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I love cruising the Caribbean Princess . I like the gym - it is big and has a great selection of machines and seminars in a large ,private place - unlike the newer ships. I wanted to experience the “new locks” at the Panama Canal. I ... Read More
I love cruising the Caribbean Princess . I like the gym - it is big and has a great selection of machines and seminars in a large ,private place - unlike the newer ships. I wanted to experience the “new locks” at the Panama Canal. I love the new large TVs and great selection of movies and TV. I love the Medallion system. Great casino , great pools, great staff and food- of course there were minor negative things, but they were all taken care of. And I won the Pirate Sea Queen Poker Tournament. It cost 0 to enter and I won Princess casino chips. My cabin steward treated me like a VIP. I had an inside room on Lido - my favorite deck. - next to pool and buffet- and one staircase from the gym. The tours arranged by Princess were great . All in all it was a dream vacation The weakest point was the entertainment-the same show one day for 2 performances and then the next day for one in the Princess Theater. And one night they had a movie that was already in the room - Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I've cruised 23 times prior to this cruise on four different cruise lines. We decided to give Princess a try. I was underwhelmed. The ship was very nice, easy to maneuver around. We had an ocean view cabin, it was spacious and clean. ... Read More
I've cruised 23 times prior to this cruise on four different cruise lines. We decided to give Princess a try. I was underwhelmed. The ship was very nice, easy to maneuver around. We had an ocean view cabin, it was spacious and clean. I really liked how an interior wall separated the room from the closet. This was useful when someone was sleeping and your other half needed to get clothing from the closet. Dining.....the food was ok. Nothing special. We tried one specialty restaurant, Steamers. As a huge seafood fan, I expected more. I was not impressed. The absolute best part of the trip was the Entertainment staff. The cruise director Duvaul, his assistant Jerry and the ship's Dj, DJ Kev White. These guys brought so much energy to every activity. They we're very inclusive and you could tell they enjoyed their jobs. Overall the service on the ship was adequate, nothing special. The ports we're what I expected, however, because we we're late to Panama, we we're unable to get off the boat. Major Bummer. Another plus was the embarkation & disembarkation. They we're very smooth. I'd give this vacation an 8 out of 10 based primarily on the itinerary (able to see the Panama Canal at work and the entertainment staff). I do have another Princess cruise booked for June 2020, a 30 day cruise that I'm super excited about. I hope that one exceeds my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Do not take the Caribbean Princess at any time for any reason unless you want the worst experience of your lifetime and want to waste your money and time. On our first night on the ship, the dining room was freezing cold. The waiter did ... Read More
Do not take the Caribbean Princess at any time for any reason unless you want the worst experience of your lifetime and want to waste your money and time. On our first night on the ship, the dining room was freezing cold. The waiter did not care. One lady at our table asked for a tablecloth and wrapped herself in the tablecloth to keep warm. That was only the start of it. We arrived in the dining room at 5:00 pm and we were not served until 6:30 pm! An hour and a half waiting for our food and freezing at the sane time. That night our room (R736) had a knocking noise every second of every minute of every hour. Still awake at 2:00 am, I called the front desk and asked for help. No one came to our room that night. We called again the next day and asked for a room change. They said nothing was available. That was NOT true, there were plenty of rooms available. We kept asking for a room change and they finally took us to a room on the opposite side, the last room of the long hallway. The next “room” would have been the water!!! I said NO! I did not cause the knocking problem, so why were they treating us like total crap? We paid full price for our cruise. finally, at 8:00 PM, they changed our room on the second night of our cruise. They ran the same music and plays over and over again. There was very little variety of shows on this ship. How disappointing to see the same comedian and the same magician over and over again. We reserved the Sanctuary on the ship, but we quickly found out that their LIFT for scooters is/was broken (and still is broken) for the entire duration of the cruise, so I was only able to hobble up the stairs on Panama Canal Day. The whole reason we booked this ship was 1) to go to The Sanctuary; and 2) to go to the pool by the spa. Well, I couldn’t go to The Sanctuary because of the broken lift and I could not go to the pool by the spa because for most of the cruise, it was NOT filled with water!!!!! The other pools had ladders and this was the only pool with stairs, so having a bad knee, I could not use the other pools and the one pool I could have used did not have water in it. The food was always cold and if you like cold food, you will love this cruise. The prime rib was raw, the lobsters were small, and tonight the strip steak was like shoe leather. Everyone was always complaining about the food. Everyone was getting sick by Wednesday and throwing up and they had vomit bags everywhere!!! I stayed in bed for the day because the ship was so rocky. We heard from crew who said it is always like this on the ship. I’ve been on many other ships and I’ve never ever felt sick at all. There’s more, but you get the idea. We heard that Princess moved half the crew to the new Sky Princess and this crew now is leftovers and newbies that are not trained. I would certainly agree with this because the staff on this ship was not friendly and they were not helpful. We are GOLD level with Princess, so we have been on other Princess Cruises and always had a great time. The wait staff was always friendly and would joke with us. Well, this wait staff was NOT friendly at ALL and they didn’t even give us their first names. The coffee cups were so hot, others at our dinner table burned their hands and/or lips. Everything was cold when it should have been hot and hot when it should have been cold. This was just a mess of a cruise and I highly recommend that if you want to go to the Panama Canal — do NOT take the Caribbean Princess. Stay home and watch a video or take another ship that cares about their customers. We just booked a Disney Cruise and spent $5,700 on this new cruise set for March of 2020. After this horrible cruise on Princess, they will never ever get another dollar of our cruising dollars!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We love sailing with Princess and enjoy the traditional atmosphere and older crowd. This cruise was great except for a few issues... Embarkation was bad from the start due to customs issues and computer problems. But I think it was ... Read More
We love sailing with Princess and enjoy the traditional atmosphere and older crowd. This cruise was great except for a few issues... Embarkation was bad from the start due to customs issues and computer problems. But I think it was just a fluke, It took several hours even for priority boarding ...They gave us free drinks on board with a nice apology for the delays. We were a party of three staying in the family suite on dolphin deck. It was beautiful and very nicely appointed. This cabin has a large balcony at the front of the ship. Great to watch the Panama Canal and sit outside when docked. Couldn’t use it much when we were at sea due to the wind. Our room steward Jose was warm and very friendly and efficient. We enjoyed the cruise director staff and our club class dining servers the most on this ship. The went above and beyond to provide excellent service. Other onboard entertainment was kind of a crap shoot. We loved Korey the piano guy in Crooners. Most nights it was hard to get a seat. The production shows were outstanding with professional singing and dancers, complete with beautiful wardrobe and sets. We really enjoyed those. We were disappointed in the visiting entertainment that were flown in. Comedy, magician, and singer we did not care for. What they lacked, entertainment crew made up for in trivia games, vow renewal service, dance off, themed nights, karaoke, and all round fun activities. Lots to do if you wanted to participate but not overbearing. The entertainment crew worked really hard to engage with all the guests. We particularly liked Phil, Alex, Ashleigh, and Scotish Ken. They made ever event fun and inviting. Food was basically good, ports were great, ship is beautiful and clean. We enjoyed the formal dining most nights and went to the buffet a few a few times. We found that mostly bland, lacking in variety. The themed seafood night was great though, complete with oyster bar, king crab and shrimp. That was the night we left Puerto Vallarta, so don’t miss that. The staff in the buffet dining though were great. We got good service and usually had no problem finding a seat. My main complaint was the food there was often bland, repetitive and frankly kind of strange. Sometimes it seemed like they were just recycling leftovers in weird combos that really didn’t go together. The presentation was beautiful but just didn’t taste very good. We never went hungry though, that’s for sure and always found something to eat :) The pizza, Stromboli, burgers and hot dogs were always available and really good. We loved the laid back feel of this ship and the passengers, we never felt rushed or crowded. In general this was one of favorites we’ve ever done and would highly recommend it. Will be sailing again on the same ship to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I was a little nervous about this cruise - especially the ship - because of all the crap reviews I had read on cruise critic about it being beat up, old, blah blah blah. Fake news! I actually really liked this cruise. The Island is ... Read More
I was a little nervous about this cruise - especially the ship - because of all the crap reviews I had read on cruise critic about it being beat up, old, blah blah blah. Fake news! I actually really liked this cruise. The Island is not brand new but it’s in decent shape. And it also has character, lots of places to escape with a good book, nooks and crannies etc. It did not seem crowded at all, much different from Royal and Regal. They’re both gorgeous ships but almost *too* bright and new and too crowded. Stupid parrot towel clips and unread hardcover books on every deck chair on those - obnoxious! But the Island never seemed that way. The cabin was nice, it was just for me, so plenty of space, balcony was perfect. The bed was amazing - I slept so well! The food was so-so - honestly, it could be improved a bit, as could the variety of items you can have delivered via room service. Was not impressed with the specialty restaurants. The staff overall were very friendly. As a solo traveler, I did feel overlooked by staff at times compared to larger groups that seemed to receive more attention and a higher level of service. Sad! The staff who did go the extra mile got very nice tips. Those who didn’t did not. Such is life. But they almost all got nothing because the only ATM on board has an $8.50 transaction fee, which I would’ve refused to pay because $8.50 = highway robbery. Luckily, my bank covers those charges. The ports of call were fantastic! Colombia was a little edgy but I’m glad I went. Going through the Canal was an incredible experience, and Limon, Costa Rica is gorgeous and welcoming. The shore excursions were all great. Horseback riding in Falmouth, horse and carriage tour in Cartagena, and whitewater rafting in Limon. The crowd on board was old - very few young people. But given the itinerary, I expected this would be the case. It would be nice if Princess tried a little harder to attract a bit younger of a crowd - I’ve been on several of their cruises and this seems to be a theme. Overall though, this was a very good cruise. If you’re on the fence, go for it. You only live once. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The Panama Cruise was very interesting to us all(three couples), the itinerary was just as expected, varied and very interesting. The embarkation was a breeze, they let us on the ship as soon as we arrived at the port so we could relax, ... Read More
The Panama Cruise was very interesting to us all(three couples), the itinerary was just as expected, varied and very interesting. The embarkation was a breeze, they let us on the ship as soon as we arrived at the port so we could relax, eat and have a drink. Our rooms were ready by 11:30 and we had our luggage waiting for us in the rooms. The disembarkation went just a smoothly, a well oiled machine. The ship being a little smaller was great, never any crowds, the crew and staff very friendly and helpful. Dining room staff in particular were very warm and a pleasure to see and talk to each night. Our room steward Cathy offered to unlock our adjoining balcony doors every day at noon and relocated them around seven pm while we were in the dining room. This enabled us all to share a glass of wine every evening before going to our dining room. We all thought the smaller ship to be an advantage, the service, entertainment and food were hard to beat. She’s a very comfortable ship, you won’t be sorry. We would sail on this beauty again, anytime. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I booked this cruise, like most everyone on it, for the stop in Easter Island. I have sailed the Ocean 5 other times because of the itinerary and this was our 45th Princess cruise! I prefer the larger ships because there are more things ... Read More
I booked this cruise, like most everyone on it, for the stop in Easter Island. I have sailed the Ocean 5 other times because of the itinerary and this was our 45th Princess cruise! I prefer the larger ships because there are more things to, larger show rooms, and better gyms. The Ocean, which will leave Princess next March, is showing her age. I hope I never have to sit in those chairs in the Cabaret lounge again! Our mini suite was very nice. Large with plenty of storage space and a roomy bathroom with tub. The balcony cabins are nowhere near as spacious, but I guess they will do. We had a rough 3 days in the Caribbean, then a great sail thru the canal. The pacific was nowhere near as rough as the Caribbean tho when we approached Easter island the captain was unsure whether we were going to weigh anchor or not. Because he knew that all of us were going to be disappointed if we didn't land, he went ahead and made the decisions to drop the anchor. The tender was pitching, and rocking, but we were slowly loaded onto the tenders and we made it. The day was beautiful and all the private and ship guides were waiting even tho we were 3 1/2 hours late getting off. Our visits to the Tahitian islands went well also, and we came straight home on Air France in premium economy. The food sucked, was nowhere near as good as our delta food on our domestic flite in 1st class. The seat was better than economy. Premium had 8 seats across, and economy had 10!!! Well, one island more off my bucket list!!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We cruised out of Fort Lauderdale heading towards Tahiti on this perfectly sized ship, if you love the pizzazz and excitement of a 4000+ passengership you may not like The Ocean Princess. She is due to be retired from the Princess Line in ... Read More
We cruised out of Fort Lauderdale heading towards Tahiti on this perfectly sized ship, if you love the pizzazz and excitement of a 4000+ passengership you may not like The Ocean Princess. She is due to be retired from the Princess Line in March 2016 so if you want your chance on her you better hurry. There were never any long waits for anything as the total passenger load is 680 tops. We were treated great by everybody in the crew. Food was great if you ate in the dinningroom or at the buffet and usally was the same menu. Pizza was served throughout the day and there was a cookie cart that sailed around the deck every afternoon around three, since this was our first Princess Cruise maybe this is a Princess tradition? A week into the cruise they started serving a new IPA beer called Sea Witch made for Princess Cruise Line and it was great for the Hop Heads out there. Any complaints I would have would be directed towards other passengers that are just rude i.e. walking into shows late and disturbing others and the show while doing, Ocean Princess' lounge is small and if you don't duck the spot light would be blocked by your head. I have seen other reviews talking about the ships wear and tear and would mention this too however the ship is 20 years old and to compare it to a new builds shiney everything dosn't float. The wood throughout Ocean Princess was reminiscent of long ago Ocean Liners with foux fireplaces and a great little library. There was a laundry onboard and don't miss the kitchen tour if they give it during your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
After a very uncomfortable flight from Australia, considering the time difference, we finally neared the cruise terminal and spotted Amsterdam, among 5 other ships and felt at home immediately. She was just as beautiful as she was in ... Read More
After a very uncomfortable flight from Australia, considering the time difference, we finally neared the cruise terminal and spotted Amsterdam, among 5 other ships and felt at home immediately. She was just as beautiful as she was in 2011.It was almost like coming home to a favorite place. Embarkation was very well organised, and we were in our stateroom within minutes with one of our two cases. The other case was onboard (somewhere). After an hour or two I looked out our door and down the length of the corridor, and lo and behold, there was one case sitting there all by itself, people were walking around it. It was our missing suitcase. I walked up and dragged it home to 2628.We had booked first sitting because 2nd was a bit late. We utilised the wonderful Lido on many occasions, where the food and service was excellent. We celebrated our anniversary in Peru and had a table for 2 that night. We were pleasantly surprised to be serenaded by the the stewards with the Indonesian song of goodwill, and a small cake which was a lovely touch. They are things only friends do, right? .We were reminded how courteous and helpfull the stewards were, and it was genuine.It didn't matter whether they had overalls on or officers uniforms, we were greeted like welcome guests. Our room was more than adequate with more than enough storage. The bathroom is more spacious than Princess. The television still has the same problem with it's placement and ability to conrol it. You must stick your arm straight up towards the ceiling to change the program. Otherwise the room was kept immaculate by our stewards ,and they did everthing that we asked. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We greatly enjoyed the 2013 HAL Grand World Voyage (115 days) on the ms Amsterdam. It's a little sad getting back to the real world after the adventure, the glamour, and the pampering over the past four months. However, we do have ... Read More
We greatly enjoyed the 2013 HAL Grand World Voyage (115 days) on the ms Amsterdam. It's a little sad getting back to the real world after the adventure, the glamour, and the pampering over the past four months. However, we do have some fabulous memories. In case it might be useful for anyone else, the following is a wrap-up of what this incredible journey was like for us. When we started the World Voyage, our hunch was that 115 days might drag on forever, but it didn't -- the time actually flew by. We felt very comfortable with the daily schedule and began to think of the ship as our home that was being magically transported to places around the world about which we had always dreamed. Many other destinations that we thought we would never visit in our lifetimes turned out to be equally intriguing and exciting as well. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. General Impressions The ms Amsterdam is an excellent sized ship for a world cruise. It's big enough to contain everything a person could possibly need in a home-away-from-home: several excellent dining venues, lounges, theatres, classes, deck chairs, etc. Although it's classed as a medium-sized ship, the Amsterdam had many of the advantages of a small ship: we recognized most of the passengers and staff (and knew many of them by name), and it wasn't a long walk from one end of the ship to the other. Our stateroom (Verandah Suite) never felt confining; there was enough room for everything we brought with us. The ship's staff and crew always reacted positively to passengers' comments or requests. We frequently observed them going out-of-their way to ask if guests needed assistance. Especially striking was the positive, helpful attitude of the "Front Desk" (Guest Relations) staff on this Grand World Voyage. Without exception, they were always friendly, always cheerful, and always willing to help. We have never encountered anything like this on other cruises. Bravo! The Cruise Director, Bruce, seemed to be especially attuned to the special needs of guests on a long journey such as this one. We understand that Bruce has been with Holland America since 1992 and has served on 18 Grand World Voyages -- nine of them as Cruise Director. We can't say enough about Bruce; he is undoubtedly one of a kind and a real asset to Holland America Line. We packed almost exactly the right things to bring on the cruise, due to our reading of numerous message boards on the Internet, including CruiseCritic.com. Pre-cruise assistance from Holland America was almost non-existent. Perhaps they believe that pre-planning should be simply personal preference, even for people who do not cruise often. For this itinerary, both us brought too many cold-weather clothes (e.g., sweaters and jackets were not needed). The weather was beautiful almost the entire four months -- remarkably good luck! - We never had seriously rough seas -- a few days of gale force winds, but nothing serious. That's really amazing for spending this much time on the open ocean. - Temperatures were moderate to warm the entire time, with the exception of early in the cruise along the west coast of Peru until we left the cold Humboldt Current. There were also cool rainy days in Cape Town and Richards Bay, South Africa. However, it needs to be said that these "cool" periods meant temperatures were in the low 60s. - During the early part of the cruise we missed two tender ports -- Easter Island and Rarotonga -- due to windy conditions and moderate swells. However, as we went along, local people in many ports told us that we must have brought good weather with us, because "the day before you arrived it was terrible weather." - In Asia and Africa, we had a few days with brief rain spells that didn't spoil our enjoyment in visiting these locales, including Nha Trang, Sydney (Day 2), Albany, and Cape Town (Day 2). The rain for our mini-safari from Richards Bay was uncomfortable and limited wild-animal viewing, but we liked the experience nonetheless. - Captain Mercer always kept us updated on meteorological conditions and any future weather or sea problems that we should anticipate. Things We Liked No decisions, no work, no worries for four solid months Free time for us to do as little or as much as we wanted to do We went places we never thought we would ever see (e.g., Tasmania, Sri Lanka, Namibia, Devil's Island) The two weeks we spent visiting New Zealand & Australia (actually 3 weeks, if sea days are included) were absolutely great. These two countries made a very favorable impression on us -- wonderful ports and wonderful people; we left reluctantly, wishing we could stay longer. Touring some of the most renowned cities of the world (e.g., Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Cape Town) with free time built into the schedule was exciting and enjoyable. The desert experience in Namibia of riding in 4x4 vehicles on the very tall sand dunes was a thrilling adventure beyond our expectations. Professional entertainment in the Queen's Lounge almost every night aboard ship for four solid months was enjoyable. There were at least 60 different acts; some were hits and some were misses -- that's understandable. We did hear complaints from veteran world-cruise travelers that there were no "big-name" entertainers this year as they had seen in the past. Nonetheless, we went to the shows almost every night. That's something most people can't do at home. The 6-person Amsterdam Orchestra was superb. The orchestra remained intact (no changes in membership) for the entire four-month journey. Their challenge was to accompany each of the visiting professional singers and solo artists nearly every night, with a different style and tempo. They were always the perfect complement to the guest performers. As we understand it, the orchestra members receive their music the day of the performance and then do one rehearsal. We don't know how they managed this so well. Outstanding meal programs -- a wide variety of selections, superb preparation, wonderfully presented and served. Preparing 5,000 excellent meals per day for passengers, crew members and officers for four solid months in locations all over the world must be a huge challenge. Holland America delivered supremely well. The main dining room and Lido buffet offered consistently excellent food served by correspondingly excellent staff. We were very lucky to be assigned to a table at dinner in the main dining room with two other couples with whom we were compatible and whose company we enjoyed for the entire voyage. Other passengers were not so lucky. Pinnacle Grill is an excellent specialty restaurant on the Amsterdam. The atmosphere, staff, and food quality were always superb. Much of this can be attributed to the managers -- Kim & Tina -- who are first-class professionals. The ship has a particularly good library, including two librarians on-duty for the full cruise, as well as a book club, and a book exchange. There were many special benefits (perks) for cruising on a Holland America Line Grand World Voyage that we greatly appreciated. These included the following: - Pickup and delivery of luggage from our homes by FedEx one week before departure was a brilliant and prized benefit for Grand World Voyage guests. At the end of the voyage, our luggage arrived at our home by FedEx one day after cruise disembarkation. - Complimentary shuttle busses available at every port where it was needed - "Good Morning Amsterdam" TV show taped before a live audience every sea day - Special gifts for all World Voyage passengers on many formal nights - Ship-board activities, including photo contests, HAL Chorale, book discussion groups, exploration speakers, sit & knit group, and many qualified instructors on varied topics such as dancing, tai chi, watercolor, arts & crafts, bridge, etc. We heard someone say, "If you're bored on a HAL world cruise, then you're a boring person." - Special events in the Pinnacle Grill -- Captain's Dinner, Murder Mystery Shows, Le Cirque - Special educational emphasis on regions where we were traveling was especially well done. We clearly felt a cultural immersion at many ports, and we thought it greatly enhanced our experiences. These included Travel Guide Barbara's presentations, selected local menus in the dining rooms, country-oriented pool deck parties, as well as folkloric shows or local performing groups brought onboard the ship for entertainment. - Several-day visit by Holland America's CEO indicated to us the importance the cruise line places on the Grand World Voyage and on its guests. - Very big, labor-intensive (for the crew) special party in Bali, arranged to coincide with the HAL CEO's visit, was just amazing. - Two highly talented dedicated florists were onboard for the entire cruise, and they created beautiful, artistic fresh flower arrangements all over the ship which were refreshed frequently -- wow, they were great! - On this long voyage, crew members seemed to enjoy getting to know the passengers, including their drink and food preferences. - Medical and dental department on board for the entire cruise. One of us had an abscessed tooth and might have had to leave the ship if the dentist and his equipment had not been available. We were aware of other passengers that were treated by the medical staff for broken limbs and other ailments. Travel Guide Barbara has been a staff member on 15 world cruises and has worked for Holland America for more than 20 years. She presented a 45-minute lecture in the Queen's Lounge several days before every one of the port calls on this cruise. The insights she passed along were always pertinent, useful, and based on her experience. She never pushed shopping at particular stores, rental car companies, etc. The Digital Workshop (sponsored by Microsoft) was very well done. "Techspert Tom" was an unusually good asset for the cruise. He is one of the best personal computer teachers we have ever encountered -- relaxed, patient, knowledgeable, and always current on new technology. His classes were informative, and he even tailored some of the material for the world-cruise experience. We congratulate Holland America and Microsoft for developing this relationship. Areas for Improvement For passengers, use of the Internet was expensive, and reliability was spotty during long stretches. We were very happy that some access was provided, especially for this lengthy cruise when it was essential for many of us to stay in touch with family or to communicate in the event of an emergency. We were frustrated with the limited bandwidth onboard ship. We understand why reliability is so bad when we are in the middle of the ocean or in less-developed parts of the world. However, that doesn't mean that we were happy with the situation. Holland America was very late in sending detailed information to passengers in sufficient time before the cruise. Even though most of us made reservations more than a year in advance, they waited until the last minute to give us the details we needed for advance planning. As an example, we would have preferred knowing the themes for the 19 formal nights at least 3-4 months in advance, for shopping purposes, but that didn't happen. We talked to passengers who never received advance information, and many others who received theirs only days before their departure from home. We didn't understand the need for 19 formal nights on this voyage. That's too many, for myriad reasons. Perhaps we could understand having one formal event per week. The Grand World Voyage was 16 weeks long, so 16 formal nights should have been the absolute maximum number. We paid a lot of extra money for a stateroom with a verandah we couldn't use, because guests in the adjoining stateroom used their verandah for cigarette and cigar smoking many times during each day. Spending a day on Easter Island was one of our reasons for booking this particular Grand World Voyage. Getting so close, but not being able to go ashore due to choppy seas, was a big disappointment. That much being said, we believe Captain Mercer made the right decision to curtail tendering passengers to the island; we don't fault him in any way. We were just frustrated that the opportunity eluded us. We found this hard to believe, but apparently fellow passengers could not be trusted. Early in the voyage we put refrigerator magnets, from the ports we visited, on the outside door frame of our stateroom. Our Bora Bora magnet disappeared after a few days (obviously stolen), so we removed the magnets off our door. Down the hall, another room was doing the same thing, and despite their magnets also being stolen, they continued displaying them. After about 2½ months, five of their magnets had been stolen. They put a sign on their door asking that the magnets be returned; but, of course, they weren't. By the end of the voyage, eight magnets had been stolen from their door frame. Unbelievable! Summary Holland America's 2013 Grand World Voyage was everything we had hoped for, and more. We had wonderful experiences that will remain with us forever. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We were among the lucky few who were able to take the 2007 World Voyage on Holland America's Amsterdam. We embarked at Ft. Lauderdale on Jan. 15. Embarkation was painless though lengthy. During the hour or so it took to board, the ... Read More
We were among the lucky few who were able to take the 2007 World Voyage on Holland America's Amsterdam. We embarked at Ft. Lauderdale on Jan. 15. Embarkation was painless though lengthy. During the hour or so it took to board, the ship provided free juices and sodas and had seats at strategic locations for those who need to rest. We would recommend arriving about 2PM to board. By that time there is virtually no line. Pre-embarkation was more trouble. Holland America did not do a good job with the details prior to leaving. Apparently they were installing new computer and phone systems. It took more than seven frustrating hours to pay for the cruise via phone and then our credit card was charged five times for the cost. It was also very frustrating trying to book excursions on line.. We ended up booking many excursions on our own with non-ship agencies. Holland America sent no information on shot requirements or visa requirements until we called and asked 40 days prior to departure, just in time to complete the requirements. Some passengers could not embark with us because they had not been informed about the required visas. They flew to Easter Island to board about 14 days into the voyage. Once on board the cruise was flawless. We had perfect weather for 102 of the 105 days. The dining room and cabin staffs were outstanding: patient, polite, and always smiling. Considering some of the picky passengers their behavior very notable. The training and HR departments of Holland America are commended for selecting and training such high quality personnel. As is typical, meals were served in the formal dining room or in the Lido. Sandwich and pizza stations were open during the day at the covered pool. The food was superb. Lots of expensive dishes were served, veal, lamb chops, venison, etc. There was always a choice of 10 entrees and choices of appetizers, soups, and deserts. There was entertainment every night. On a cruise this long, the entertainment was surprisingly varied and consistently high quality. Unusual entertainments include the playing of a 144 string hammered dulcimer, xylophones, banjos, theramin, and even Hawaiian music played on a bagpipe. You had to be there to understand! Though we had the least expensive category of cabin, the cabin was spacious with a couch and four closets. Plenty of room for practical packers was available in the closets. Sanitary standards were strict. Stewards stood at the entrances to the dining room with hand sanitizers for us to use prior to entering the dining room. In each public restroom, towelettes were to be used when opening the door when exiting. This was in addition to admonishments to wash hands. At the first indication of a virus, passengers were quarantined in their cabins for two or three days. They were reimbursed $150 a day for this. Consequently, there was no outbreak of viral illnesses. We did get to see an exciting medical evacuation at sea, 200 miles off the coast of Australia. The critically ill passenger was taken to a hospital in Australia. After a lengthy recovery, she rejoined the ship. With 65 sea days in a 105 day voyage, we got to know other passengers quite well. Almost all were easy to get along with, well educated, interested in the world about them and retired. Plenty of activities and lectures kept those who wanted stay busy occupied. The gym and spa were very well equipped. They were well used but never crowded. If one wanted to sit and relax, plenty of spaces were available for that; the outdoor pool, the covered pool, the very large and well stocked library, the theater, and a number of lounges. Often walking through the ship, we wondered where everyone was. So many public spaces dispersed the passengers. After a flawless on board experience we were welcomed back to the real world on April 30th with a two hour wait for a porter to get our baggage and shopping additions though customs and to transportation to the airport. It was an orderly process but verrrry long. This time there were no chairs or refreshments provided. That's another on shore irritant Holland America might be able to exert some influence over. So, if you have the time and money, consider a world voyage. It was exciting, educational, relaxing, and never boring. Read Less
Sail Date January 2007

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