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2 Houston to Caribbean - Southern Cruise Reviews

My husband and I haven't cruised for over 25 years. Our last cruise was on a Carnival cruise back in the day when you had one dining option, the Grand buffet was grand and the food was equal to the best 5 star restaurants in New ... Read More
My husband and I haven't cruised for over 25 years. Our last cruise was on a Carnival cruise back in the day when you had one dining option, the Grand buffet was grand and the food was equal to the best 5 star restaurants in New York. Boy times have changed cruising. We cruised for Christmas this year. I was excited to see all the holiday decorations on board. I was disappointed that the decor for Christmas, a time when we all over decorate, was minimal. The gingerbread houses that were placed through out the ship looked like the children from the last cruise decorated them. Sloppy, candy still in wrappers and royal frosting put on without care. First impression was ehh!. Our cabin (11022) was very nice. We had a balcony that was great and we could sit out in the chairs at night to watch the sun set, or have our morning coffee. Our cabin steward, Karta, was terrific. Once we boarded, we got our bags unpacked, which were delivered quickly. As I laid down on the pillow, it smelled like old sweat! Karta was quick to give me a different one. These rooms are much larger than they used to be. If you like smaller ships, this is for you. Only 2400 passengers. Now for the food. We made our dinning reservations for the specialty restaurants as soon as we could. If you want to dine in any of these restaurants, get your reservations early otherwise you'll be dining very late if at all. The "complementary" dining rooms don't require reservations. We ate 3 times in the French restaurant Le Bistro. Food was phenomenal. Our waitresses were Nareen, and another wonderful lady from Grenada. Both were very attentive. We loved them both. We also ate in Cagneys, service was poor, and with the exception of the steak, the food was not so good. Another night we ate at the Brazilian steakhouse...wouldn't waste my time or money there. Meat was tough, under seasoned and the sides were at best institutionalooking tasting. The main dining room is served Cafeteria style..the food is good, but wouldn't write home about it. Deserts are just ok, nothing special. Even the Christmas Buffet was mediocre. I expected something really amazing. The ports are nice. Cozumel my favorite, they have starbucks with free WiFi. Belize city and Roatan are interesting, but so many are poor. We took the glass bottom boat trip that was very educational. Hosted my a Canadian trained marine biologist. Her main message was stop the algae growth by NOT urinating in the ocean!!. The ship crew really push the shopping in these ports! They almost scare you into only shopping at their recommended shops... just do your homework before going. If you want diamonds, Tanzanite and other gems, know what the cost us at home so you know if you are getting a good deal. With the exception of the diamonds, the gems may not be in white gold or even sterling. Most are plated brass. Internet is pricey. 100 minutes for 75.00. Or by the minute for 95 cents per minute. Think before you buy. It is so most time to debark and head to the airport. We had a nice relaxing time aboard. Before going again, I think I'd look at royal Caribbean because it is more formal, something I am more used to. Hope this helps you plan your cruise. Aloha. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first Princess cruise, and I was looking forward to it, but....This ship needs a refurb badly. Worn carpet, out of date furnishings and colors, tarnished metals. Even the shower reminded me of a cheap hotel shower, the kind ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise, and I was looking forward to it, but....This ship needs a refurb badly. Worn carpet, out of date furnishings and colors, tarnished metals. Even the shower reminded me of a cheap hotel shower, the kind you definitely don't want to forget wearing shower shoes in. Cabin and balcony were adequate, if not inviting. The crew staff seemed demoralized, and in some cases, downright surly. Our cabin attendant made an effort to be friendly, but just seemed tired and overworked. Unlike all the other ships I've been on, there was no outdoor area on the back of the ship to sit at a table, drink, snack, and socialize while watching the ship sail away. There was a small outdoor pool/bar area on the back of the ship with a few tables, but that was a smoking allowed area, so wasn't really an option. The library was actually just a wall of books set aside in the Internet use area; no tables for quiet socialization or playing games. The food was well executed and presented, but was very average, taste-wise. And whoever set up the navigation system around their main buffet needs to be fired. You can enter from one direction, and exit from another direction. The space between serving areas was cramped. Instead of road rage, I was sure we would encounter "buffet line rage" before the end of the cruise. It was fairly chaotic. Every cruise I've been on if you wanted to go to the buffet after getting on the ship, diners were easily and quickly accommodated. With the way their system was set up, there were very long lines, and this also included during main buffet use times. Princess needs to put some highly visible signage near the elevators so cruisers will easily know where they are. There were small signs at the hall on each side of the elevators, but these were not adequate. The ease of getting on and off the ship was good. And the muster was excellent. Some people would think it was too long but I appreciated the details provided. I also enjoyed the movies that were shown in the main show auditorium. I normally wouldn't go to a movie on a cruise, but somehow felt at loose ends and just decided to see a couple of them. At this point, I can't say I wouldn't try another Princess ship or cruise. Maybe this was just an exception. But this is the first cruise I've been on where I was kind of looking forward to it being over. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014

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