55 Houston Senior Cruise Reviews

Our ports were Cozumel, Roatan, and Belize. The ship is lovely, well laid out, and spacious. There are many comfortable seating areas around the ship to hangout in when you want to get out of your cabin. The Computer Cafe/Library had many ... Read More
Our ports were Cozumel, Roatan, and Belize. The ship is lovely, well laid out, and spacious. There are many comfortable seating areas around the ship to hangout in when you want to get out of your cabin. The Computer Cafe/Library had many computers and someone there for computer support most of the time. We ate most of our meals at the Horizon Court buffet and found the food to be very good. At dinner time most nights the Horizon Court buffet was closed and you had to eat at the Cafe Caribe buffet. Cafe Caribe was a single line buffet and therefore the line moved very slowly. We much prefer Horizon Court where there are food islands and you can move between the "islands" without getting bogged down in a single line. The public areas of the ship like the lounges and theater were kept very chilly. A sweater or jacket was a must to be comfortable. The lifeboat drill was done promptly and was very organized. The only drawback was people carrying on a loud conversation over the announcements. The ship's staff did not attempt to quiet them so that the rest of us could hear clearly. What a lovely and spacious cabin. This cabin was very difficult to find since there are only 9 of them and they are located on Deck 6 near the Front Desk in a private hallway with unmarked doors. Even though we had studied the ship's layout carefully, we still had to find someone to show us where the cabin was located. The location was very good for the Front Desk, Shore Excursions Desk, the Plaza on Deck 5, and the International Cafe/Coffee Cafe. It was very quiet and we never even saw or heard our neighbors in the other Window Suites. The cabin was basically square in shape with 2 large windows. There were three separate closets and many many drawers. The bathroom had two sinks with a separate glass walled shower and jetted tub. The shower pressure and temperature was good on 3 days of the cruise. The other days had almost no water pressure and barely warm water. The temperature in the cabin was cool bordering on cold. We had to set the thermostat to the highest setting to be comfortable. A maintenance technician spent almost an hour working on it but there wasn't any change. Since this was a Suite, we had a DVD player already hooked up to the TV and we could have two movies at a time from the movie library. The TV could be swiveled to face the bed or couch. The bed was very comfortable and there was a hideaway couch. The big problem with these cabins on Deck 6 was the noise from the ship's stabilizers. The seas were slight to moderate but you could hear the stabilizers every time they moved. This was not a constant noise but it would come and go on a irregular basis. There was lots of vibration and clanging to go along with the noise. The price for this cabin was between the cost of Balcony Mini-Suite and a regular Suite. While I really loved the space and set up of the cabin, I would not stay in a cabin on that low a deck again.  We had a problem with the safe in our room that didn't work because the batteries were dead. We notified our cabin steward and he suggested we tell the Front Desk for quicker service. We ended up talking to the Front Desk twice and it still took a 1 1/2 days and 3 maintenance visits for the batteries to be replaced. There were 3 days at sea during this 7 day cruise. This was entirely too many days at sea for this length cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We took this Cruise on the Occasion of our 45th Anniversary with the whole Family. The Staterooms were very well laid out. However, the Ship itself is not very handicapped accessible. The Doors leading to the Smoking Area outside on Deck ... Read More
We took this Cruise on the Occasion of our 45th Anniversary with the whole Family. The Staterooms were very well laid out. However, the Ship itself is not very handicapped accessible. The Doors leading to the Smoking Area outside on Deck 7 were very hard to open. My Husband, who uses a Walker had Problems with this. On several Occasions he also had to fold up his Walker to be able to navigate the Hallways, since there were Service Carts parked and no Cabin Stewart in sight.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our first cruise with Princess, and probably be our last with them. Our ninth cruise overall. Picked it over the Norwegian Jewel out of New Orleans, because Bayport was closer and we got a mini suite here, cheaper than a balcony ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Princess, and probably be our last with them. Our ninth cruise overall. Picked it over the Norwegian Jewel out of New Orleans, because Bayport was closer and we got a mini suite here, cheaper than a balcony there. A lot shorter drive for us, too. The service on CB was very good. Our cabin attendant Ryan was ok. Remember to put the DO NOT DISTURB in your key slot. They can still come into your room, even if the lower dead bolt is locked. They knock first, but come in shortly after knocking. We had late seating, table 109 in the Palm Dining Room. Our waiter Michaela was GREAT along with her assistant. She was always bringing us extra stuff to try. But the evening dining menu was heavy towards Italian entrees, which is not my favorite. Mostly same deserts every night. The coffee after dinner was terrible. It was like they wanted you to buy a latte or cappuccino, after your meal. We did celebrate two birthdays (son & daughter-in law) and our 38th wedding, 3 different nights while dining in the Palm Dining Room. Michaela brought the "special little cakes" out each time with candle lit, and she got all her tables around us to join in signing to us. The CB also puts balloons and a big card on your cabin door, on your special day. That was the first time that has happened to us on a cruise. It was very nice of them to do this! Also, I got a $100 onboard credit for just being a Veteran from Princess Cruise lines. THANK YOU!!! You have to go to their web site and sign up before your cruise. Another thing worth mentioning, Disabled Veterans get to park free in the official Port Of Houston parking lots, both Galveston and Bayport. I just show them my Disabled VA card. Thanks POH. The buffets are laid out badly having to go around in a circle. The omelets served at breakfast were very dry. The lunches in the dining room were good. The shows were ok. No late night adult comedy. Except for one the last night in an over crowded bar. The pizza was very greasy. After 11:00 pm it seemed like nothing there was nothing going on. If you wanted any thing you had to go to the 5th floor, to the coffee bar. You had to pay for coffee, tea, hot chocolate, lattes, fraps, etc. The deserts and sandwiches were free. We did the ATV in Cozumel thru CB, private tour and extreme zip line with Steve Bush (Roatan Trips & Tours), and river boat and Altun Ha ruins thru CB. The ATV was very rough riding over the rocks, zip line was great, the boat ride was boring and we only got to spend 1 hour at the ruins. We would like to have had more time at Altun Ha after the long and bumpy bus ride to and back to ship. Embarkation and debarkation were good. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We sailed on Caribbean Princess on 12/14/2013 and were really looking forward to getting away and enjoying some warm weather! We'd been set to sail with RCCL out of Galveston that week, but changed when we learned that Princess was to ... Read More
We sailed on Caribbean Princess on 12/14/2013 and were really looking forward to getting away and enjoying some warm weather! We'd been set to sail with RCCL out of Galveston that week, but changed when we learned that Princess was to be sailing out of the Port of Houston, and it's significantly closer to where we live in NW Houston. For whatever reason, the Houston area’s been unseasonably cold ever since Princess first got here in November, and the 14th was no different. We had some last-minute errands to run, so we left our house around 9 a.m., thus missing the email that warned us that boarding would be delayed – about the only true message Princess sent out during the cruise! We got to the Port of Houston around 12:30 p.m. since we board early due to my disability and were directed to a loooonnnnngggg line of cars that ultimately reached the auxiliary lot, where we started Row 6. No reason was given, but at 2:00, we were told that if we wanted, we could go into Kemah for lunch because there was plenty of time before boarding would begin as the passengers returning had not yet been cleared to leave the ship! We decided to wait because it was sprinkling and nasty out, with a bitter cold wind blowing as well. We finally began moving around 3:45 a.m. but once we parked, it took little time to go through embarkation and board the ship. Our Cabin was A303, a disabled cabin with no threshold and enough space for “Nascar Nellie” my scooter – who was wearing her Christmas Finery and twinkling with LED lights – one set of batteries lasted the week…thanks QVC! We had ordered a soda card for my husband but that was it. Next time, if there is one – we’ll also get a coffee card, not because he drinks specialty coffee but because except for the dining rooms and buffets, you had to pay for the privilege of getting not only coffee, but also tea and hot chocolate, UNlike our prior experience with RCCL. Once again, just as I said with our last trip on Princess, we felt as if they nickelled-and-dimed us to death on the cruise. It seemed like everywhere, something cost extra, and it's amazing how much those little things add up. We chose Anytime Dining because my husband is diabetic and is used to eating at 6 p.m. so we felt that would give us the chance to eat close to the same time. WRONG! The first day, since boarding was delayed (and so was our departure), we didn’t get to the buffet for lunch until almost 5 p.m. and we didn’t feel like having another big meal. The food in the buffets was plentiful and tasty much of the time. Everywhere were hand-sanitizer units, and it was good to see everyone using them! There were even signs in the restrooms urging people to use paper towels to open the doors when leaving. I had only one gripe with the restroom facilities: because there are handicapped stalls when you first get in there, it doesn’t mean that you should use them instead of regular ones – every time I had to wait while one or more people who did not appear to be disabled in any way, shape, or form, took advantage of the extra space. There wasn’t enough space for me to leave Nellie behind, so I just waited. I could understand if there weren’t enough regular stalls, but there were, and most often, they were vacant. It’s just a courtesy thing, ladies! The second night, we were directed to the Coral Dining room, where we learned that we wouldn’t be able to dine until at least 7 p.m. (actually 7:30 before we were seated) because it had fixed seating until then. It wasn’t until Day 5 that we learned of the existence of the Int’l Dining Room, but ironically, IT didn’t have availability for us until 7:30 as well. We asked about making reservations, but were told by not only one, but two people, (and a phone recording) that they weren’t taking reservations. Each night, as well, there was a huge delay between our salads and our entrees. On virtually every night in a dining room, my meat was too tough to eat, and since we had such a delay, I didn’t ask about a replacement. Not only that, but the entrees we did get were not even warm, but tepid. This was a huge difference between our last trip on Princess. That time, we had poor service on the first day, and they switched us to Anytime and gave us the same seats and waitress for the rest of the trip – marvelous!!! Twice, we chose to eat in the Caribe Buffet and enjoyed it almost as much as the regular dining rooms. We thoroughly enjoyed our Meet & Greet event, but it was a good thing that we’d made sure everyone knew when and where because it wasn't mentioned in the Princess Newsletter that day. We had a great time and many of us exchanged grab bag gifts themed “What we wouldn’t sail without.” Some of the gifts were really clever and everyone had fun. On Thursday, we met again and swapped “Tall Tales” with prizes provided by one of the members who was from Calgary, Alberta. Raoul claimed to be afraid to sail, but seemed to be enjoying his time at sea! Unfortunately, our bad weather followed us throughout the Western Caribbean. We did leave the ship for awhile in Cozumel, but it began to rain, so we returned. Roatan, Honduras gave us some sunshine, but much of the day consisted of torrential rainfall. My husband joined another couple to go to the Cameo Factory, but Nellie and I stayed behind because she doesn’t like rain very much. We did get to go out on our balcony for awhile when they got back and we enjoyed not one but two rainbows. The second one was so close that I’d swear you could see just where the pot of gold was – and it WASN’T in the Casino! In Belize, they won’t tender scooters, so we remained onboard as well. We enjoyed people watching, and spent some time in the casino – where I actually won almost $40 playing a 2-cent slot machine! I gave $20 of it back, but spent a long time doing it. Friday the 20th marked probably the worst day of the trip. We were told to have our luggage outside our doors by 9 p.m. On other cruises, it’d disappear almost as quickly as you put it out, but not this night. We went to join some friends, and then came an announcement from the Captain, telling us that due to bad weather in Houston, they were going to make a run for it, and would hopefully arrive before it did. They anticipated a 9 pm arrival on Friday, the 20th (luggage?), but would not be disembarking guests until the regular time on the 21st. Still no luggage disappearing… About an hour later, there was another announcement from the Cruise Director (more on him later.) NOW, the fog had arrived and they told us that we could not arrive until Sunday, the 22nd, with docking taking place around 11 p.m. on the 21st. We were to retrieve our luggage. They advised anyone who had air reservations to make their changes themselves, UNLESS they had booked through Princess, same with transfers. They provided only complimentary phone and Internet service to enable this. The ship had pretty much stopped in place and that was the situation when we went to bed. We hadn’t been able to get a copy of our statement, and none was ever placed under our door. The next morning at 7:00 a.m., my husband woke up and told me that we were moving again, and that it appeared that the fog had lifted. Just moments later, the mysterious Cruise Director came on and told us that, contrary to what they and we had been told, we were now about to enter the Houston Ship Channel and would be docking, not on Sunday, but on Saturday at around 11 a.m. (or noon). We should put our luggage out as soon as possible and then go for breakfast. Disembarkation would occur as soon as possible after we docked, and wait for your floor to be called. So, we had breakfast and went to the public areas to wait for disembarkation directions. We said goodbye to our Steward, Raymond, who had been wonderful to us all week long, and we gave him extra gratuities – he was the only one we did that with. After we’d waited for almost an hour, they told everyone to please go and wait in their cabins and disembarkation information would be provided. It was maybe 11:30-ish and we were still moving. When we got to our cabin, it had been prepped for the next cruise. We ended up sitting in the little chairs provided in the room – and it was nasty outside again, so the balcony was of no use. There we sat until 3:30 p.m. when we were told to disembark. We were among the last and by then the wind was howling and it was pouring down rain. Ed ran through it to get our car from a handicapped parking spot, but they didn’t want him to drive under the Departure Portico to load my scooter, so he ended up getting soaking wet – and so did Nellie! I had plastic covering her tiller, but everything we had ended up wet. We finally got to our home in NW Houston about 5:00 pm…and were we ever glad to be home!!! I don’t have a whole lot against Princess – it’s certainly better than Carnival. What we did see was a staff who didn’t really care a whole lot. In all our our dozen cruises, we’ve always been able to recognize the cruise director, yet this one we never even caught sight of. Due to the mess with dinner times, we didn’t get to enjoy any of the entertainment (and we don’t play bingo!) There weren’t towel animals, chocolates or so many of the little touches that we’ve come to enjoy when cruising. I won't even comment on gratuities. We didn’t get sight of the captain, either, because we didn’t get our invitation to the returning guests event until AFTER it happened. There was one person in one of the shops who was friendly. Those behind the Purser’s Desk appeared no less than surly the one time I did make a request. We’d heard so much from our M&M friends who were “Elite” but I think they were the only ones to matter to Princess. Frankly, we cancelled an RCCL cruise to be on this one and we’re sorry we did. From rumors we’ve heard, another captain has left the Caribbean Princess due to Port of Houston issues – but Princess KNEW what it was like before they ever returned there! I don’t understand why there are all these problems, but it’s affecting those who are cruising. We felt worst for those who changed reservations and then ended up having to pay for another night’s lodging if they hadn’t purchased travel and insurance through Princess. No, the weather wasn’t their fault, but the way Princess reacted TO the weather WAS. We’ll think long and hard before we sail with them again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Although we have cruised many times (HAL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean) we had never done a Princess Cruise. We live in the Houston area, so using the newly opened port was a breeze. Embarkation: Although you pass through a heavy industrial ... Read More
Although we have cruised many times (HAL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean) we had never done a Princess Cruise. We live in the Houston area, so using the newly opened port was a breeze. Embarkation: Although you pass through a heavy industrial area, getting to the Houston Port is not difficult and we can see they are working on the roads, so as to widen and improve them, still. Parking right by the ship is so handy. We are so used to having to shuttle back to the ship, but unloading luggage and shooting around to park is so quick, with just a short walk across the parking lot back to the ship. Check in was also quick and the wait to be called by group was painless. NOT so painless was the long slow moving line to board the ship. Our boarding pass had a number and they also placed a sticker number on our clothing. We were told the sticker had nothing to do with boarding. It happened that both our pass and our sticker number was 8. We watched countless people go up to board, using their sticker number, only to be told, NO, not time yet. It was confusing to many. The line divided when we entered the ship and in the next line, we waited until our turn to have our plastic card scanned and our picture taken by a hand held device. That seemed to be the hold up, causing the boarding process to be slower than we had experienced before. The ability to go right to your stateroom is wonderful. Not so on many other ships. We were told that no dining room was open and to go to Horizon on Lido for lunch. In the past, we have had the option to go to the dining room OR the Lido. However food was good and service excellent, with a smile. Although we had signed up for Traditional Dining (Palm Dining) we opted to move to a table with friends, thus they assigned us a table in the Island Dining Room, where they put the Anytime Diners. But they gave us the same table nightly with Marion and Igor serving, both fine young men with wonderful service. They each went our of their way to do their jobs, with ease, jokes and good information. A pleasure. Ship Appointments: Although we understand the Caribbean Princess is going in for refurbishment this spring, we think she is a Grand Old Ship and the occasional little area needing attention did not bother us at all. They are still continuing to paint the outside, at ports, reapply varnish on rails, etc. Beautiful, tasteful decor. Entertainment: The Illusionist: Jonathon Hawley is excellent, as was the comic Miguel Washington and the unusual juggler, Aaron Bonk Not so the singers and dancers. The first show was painful and we did not attend the second. We thought the food was quite good and the desserts excellent Overall, a great start to Princess and we will definitely go aboard again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013

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