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1 Princess Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern from Houston

We booked the March 6, 2016 Eastern Caribbean cruise to accommodate a family member's vacation. We flew to Houston one day before and settled in a hotel near Clear Lake, 15 minutes away from the Houston Bayport Cruise Terminal. We ... Read More
We booked the March 6, 2016 Eastern Caribbean cruise to accommodate a family member's vacation. We flew to Houston one day before and settled in a hotel near Clear Lake, 15 minutes away from the Houston Bayport Cruise Terminal. We took a taxi to the terminal and were onboard in 15 minutes after arriving at the terminal. There were lots of staff working and boarding was very efficient. The ship is a bit worn as some of the elevator panels had chipped paint. Once onboard, we received a letter in our cabin from the Captain informing us that due to a diesel generator problem, the ship was not able to travel at full speed. Adding to the fact that we will lose one hour for Daylight Saving Time on the last day of the cruise, Princess decided to cancel the call to Princess Cays and go to Nassau instead. This was quite a disappointment since we really wanted to spend some time at Princess Cays to enjoy the water sports activities. After one sea day, we arrived at the port of Key West and everyone was ready to stretch our legs. Unfortunately the Captain came on the speaker to inform us that due to high winds (>30 knots), that between the harbour pilot and him, they decided that it was not safe for the ship to dock and the ship would skip Key West. So we spent another sea day doing nothing. Then we got to Freeport, Grand Bahamas, and spent the time on shore shopping. it was sunny but the wind was too strong and the waves too rough to safely enjoy the beaches. Then after another night at sea, we arrived at Nassau, capital of Bahamas. Although it was sunny and hot, the wind was howling and it was not typical Caribbean beach weather. We received another letter from the Captain in the evening apologizing for the disappointment of the cruise due to various factors and offered each passenger $50 ship board credit and 25 % future cruise credit to be booked by March 31, 2017. It was a nice gesture to show that Princess cared about our disappointment. Given all the unexpected events, we had a lot of time onboard to eat, take in the entertainment and shop. We chose fixed time dining in the Palm Dining room and our waiter, Marius from Romania, and assistant waiter, Ben from Philippines, worked very hard to make our dining experience memorable. Along with headwaiter, Michael from Italy, they made the dining experience the highlight of this cruise. As with usual Princess practice, there was a different theme every night. The Italian dinner was the best of the meals and the lobster night was made into a surf and turf night. We did not find a need to pay to go to the specialty restaurants as the service and food quality were already very satisfying. The entertainment was also worthy of commendation since Princess put on two production shows with their four singers, nine dancers and the band. They also invited a guest soprano, Jennifer Fair, who added a lot of volume to the shows. She also gave a solo performance on the last night of the cruise. There was also the Entertainer of the Year competition with a vocalist, a magician and a comedian performing multiple shows throughout the cruise and passengers got to vote for the top entertainer. These three were the top attractions in the Princes fleet in 2015 and of course their performances were all very enjoyable. The other surprise was the jewellery shopping onboard. We normally do not buy jewellery onboard as we did not know the value. For this ship, Effy has taken over the jewellery shop and they sent their "ambassador" Zoran to introduce the jewellery pieces. He was a most dynamic fellow and gave at least two talks everyday in the Effy Shop about the various precious stones. He got a few Effy collectors to act as models and appealed to our greed by holding raffle draws at each talk. Other notable entertainment included Bert Stratton, the pianist/ vocalist, performing in the Crooners Bar. The nightly crowd got so big that Princess moved him to the larger Explorers Lounge on the last two nights. He really knew how to entertain the crowd and got everyone participating in the singing. The ship was always busy with the usual Princess band, violin duet, body balancing pair, bingo and art auction. Even though we travelled on a Princess ship in December 2013, we found that the activities were very enjoyable. Disembarkation was also surprisingly smooth. On the second night of the cruise, we were asked what time we wanted to disembark. As I booked a private shuttle to the Bush International Airport, I requested 8:30 a.m. On the last night I was assigned 8:20 a.m. disembarkation. The terminal building was large enough that disembarking passengers did not have to wait too long to get through Immigration and Customs. It took one hour on the freeway to get to IAH. Although it was not a cruise that we expected (only getting one of the original three ports of call), all in all we found it very enjoyable. The staff was Princess' biggest asset. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Caribbean Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.2

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