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2,731 Princess Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews

Let me start off by commanding the crew who fought through adversity and came out shining. Kudos to all who worked on this voyage of so many things wrong. We got into Ft. Lauderdale 3 days early to relax and do a little sightseeing - ... Read More
Let me start off by commanding the crew who fought through adversity and came out shining. Kudos to all who worked on this voyage of so many things wrong. We got into Ft. Lauderdale 3 days early to relax and do a little sightseeing - whoops - it rained most of the three days! But, we did have a great Valentine's dinner at the Old Heidelberg Inn close our Best Western hotel. The staff at this hotel desperately require training in customer relations at minimum. Actually, they should be fired! But that is another review on Trip Advisor. Embarkation was quick and actually running early. Got to our cabin (B755) at the back of the ship with a great stern view, nice balcony and just the right size of room for 2 weeks of togetherness. Then, on to explore a bit until our luggage arrived. Nice layout to public rooms, but some of the lounges appeared to be "add-ons" becoming part of the hallways. What happened top intimate Barrs? We did find one tucked away - the Explorers Lounge. This is where the trivia contests were conducted each evening which made for some entertaining evenings. Speaking of entertaining - the floor shows in the Princess Theatre were wonderful. Super talent on display with every musical. We did not take in the standup comedy shows (interfered with Trivia). We did not pack any formal wear so we ate at the buffet most days (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Only had two breakfasts in the dining room and only three dinners on the non-formal days. Oh, and we tried Steamers as an add-on one evening when they had a two for one sale. Food - what a major disappointment since our last cruise (trans-panama) three years ago! We were served in the buffet, because there was an Norovirus outbreak on the previous sailing. You pointed to what you wanted and they put it on your plate. Hand washing before , after, and even during meal time. Enforced. Which is good and the staff did wonders. But the stuff they were serving up was not great. I have had better at a Chinese buffet at out local Chinese Restaurant in the town I live in - in the boonies of Canada. To order wine with your dinner was a task for the computer literate only. The Medallion app only worked some of the time. Twice we did not get the wine ordered and once we got charged but no wine showed up. To get coffee at any meal time you had to line up to have it served by crew. There were no floaters serving anything - they were all tied up in the buffet area. We got tired of shambling for coffee at breakfast on our third day out - we decided to have brekkie in the dining room. Fine, if you have an hour or so to have a simple meal. Service was super slow and not very attentive to your needs for coffee refill or any pastry or bun. The salmon served at breakfast was near raw and I ended up not eating more than two mouthfuls - c'mon folks - prepare food to guest standards - not some chef that is used to a spoonful of near raw salmon with little crackers. North Americans do not eat that way. Fish or sausages or bacon, eggs, toast, coffee (lots) and serve it up quick - not 45 minute waits. So that was a bust although we did try once more later in our cruise - same result - not to be tried again. Dinner was a long drawn out experience-- a good hour longer than breakfast. And again the food was not dining room quality. Except for one night we had steak and that was very good. So Princess got one out of three on dinners. None on breakfast. Steamers was just OK - a bit too greasy for my tastes. Also somewhat tasteless. At our second port my wife had an accident requiring 5 stitches at the ship's medical centre. That was traumatic enough but the shore excursion folks (on who's tour it happened) - were so sorry it happened they sent my wife a Stanley bear as a "get well" wish. But the medical centre charged us over $900 for 5 stitches. Still fighting with Princess Insurance on that one. After our stop in Curacao - we were supposed to go to Aruba - no way with the outbreak of Norovirus. So we headed back to Ft. Lauderdale a day early. Yes, they put us up at a nice resort (JW Marriott Turnbury Golf resort) but lunch for two (salad and a sandwich) hit $65. A bit out of my league. Too much drama for what was supposed to be a relaxing trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised with princess for the past 10 years. They are absolutely consistent with 4 star service. They are constantly upgrading and hands down they have the best entertainment from the big Vegas Style production shows to the ... Read More
We have cruised with princess for the past 10 years. They are absolutely consistent with 4 star service. They are constantly upgrading and hands down they have the best entertainment from the big Vegas Style production shows to the single magic and comedy acts. The cabin rooms are white glove clean and anything we ask for, is delivered promptly to our room. The only shortcoming is some ships dining menus are not like they used to be. This particular cruise did not have an exciting menu but that's the executive chef. My specific bèef is that they dont have my favorite " Rice Pudding" Anyone who asks, we give Our last cruise was amid the corona virus and the measures the ship staff went to was over and above all expectations. We couldn't have had better care from our mothers at home ! We would gladly go back right now even when the corona virus is escalating across the globe. This pandemic was not created by cruise ships. Being on a ship in tgemiddle of an ocean is the safest place on earth. A ship is floating quarantine. Planes are moving virus carriers around the globe. Princess scores 12 out of 10. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because we love the Caribbean islands. The stops were great, except Trinidad. We were there during Carnival and the streets were loud and violent - wouldn't choose that port again. Quick note about wipes, regular ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we love the Caribbean islands. The stops were great, except Trinidad. We were there during Carnival and the streets were loud and violent - wouldn't choose that port again. Quick note about wipes, regular Clorox wipes won't kill Norovirus, but the hydorgen peroxide wipes do. We took a container on board and wiped our cabin a few times during the two weeks. I can't say enough good things about the crew. They worked so very hard cleaning the ship - they had their regular jobs to do, then spent another 2 hours a day cleaning. The railings, walls, carpets, everything in the cabin, touch screens, elevator buttons were all sanitized once an hour. The dancers and other entertainers scrubbed the theatre between shows - all the seats and folding tray tables - great job! The virus seemed to spread mostly because of a few selfish, arrogant passengers who refused to stay in their cabins for the required 3 days. Also, spouses were not quarantined which made no sense to me. They are sharing beds and bathrooms with ill passengers and were allowed to roam the ship freely. Because of my food allergy we ate mostly in the dining room and our cabin. The headwaiter, Ivan, was fabulous in taking my order and letting me choose anything off the menu. If you just ask, you can mix and match from the menu - this main course, that veggie and a different potato. The food was noticeably better than the previous January. We only ate in the buffet twice where staff were serving and there were long lines for everything. We found the entertainment excellent, but quite a bit too loud. We thoroughly enjoyed the piano bar many evenings. We did a mix of Princess and private excursions and all went well. We had a mini-suite and enjoyed the space and uncovered balcony. I love going out at night and enjoying the stars. I would much rather catch the sun on our balcony than on the noisy, crowded pool deck. That said, we found many quiet nooks on the upper decks to enjoy the view. The Medallions were just plain stupid! Hubby's worked fine, but mine didn't work at all. I went through two and finally just used an access card like before. It kept showing me off ship (?), wouldn't open the door, sent our drink order to the wrong lounge, charged the wrong price .... I didn't even try to set up the "find another cruiser" function. We were disappointed to miss Aruba, but Princess treated us very well -sent us to a lovely golf resort in Miami that had amazing food and great views. The line-ups and buses were a pain, but worked just fine. All in all, we had a mostly relaxing cruise. We met some lovely people, some of whom will be life-long friends.I'm glad we had a spacious cabin where we didn't worry about anything. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had saved for this trip of a lifetime and it was shocking. We were told the boat had been deep cleaned and it was perfectly safe to travel as the norovirus was no longer an issue. This could have been no further from the truth. Within ... Read More
We had saved for this trip of a lifetime and it was shocking. We were told the boat had been deep cleaned and it was perfectly safe to travel as the norovirus was no longer an issue. This could have been no further from the truth. Within two days passengers were vomiting with diarrhoea. As you walked to your cabin you could smell both. People were very poorly and they tried to play it down my saying it was mild. As soon as we boarded crew were serving buffet food. There were long waits for food at peak times. Once you got your food you then had to line up again for your drinks. They should have at least had staff serving water to your table. Hand washing was meant to be strict and in most cases it was but on several occasions we saw passengers skip the hand washing and just use the gel which is not effective against Norovirus. Tables were not wiped properly. Top and part of your chair but in an outbreak the edges should be wiped. Norovirus escalated very quickly so on day two we decided we would not go to shows or use the pool. Take the stairs and avoid touching anything outside our cabin. I can honestly say we were disciplined. Passengers were emptying their drink containers down hand washing sinks, this should not be allowed. Interactive screens were not wiped. When we pointed this out to guest services their reply was we did not think of that. Four days before the cruise was due to end I caught it. Can only put it down to chopping fruit onto my cereal as my hands possibly touched the table then touched food. We followed protocol. Called 911 from our cabin. We were told a nurse would call. My husband had to call over 24 hours three times and complain to guest services. No fresh water arrived when we asked. I ended up on a drip. Very poor medical care. Once in the medical centre it was good. Food was bland and uninspiring. We really struggled to find tasty food. Salad was probably the best option. It was more like a back street cafe. Staff were friendly and helpful and the only positive thing I can say about the cruise. I will say though the sanitation staff were poor and did not do the job well. I can see why this virus is still onboard and continues to spread. It’s really put us off cruising with Princess. Cabins are okay. Tired and dated. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were looking forward to this cruise due to the itinerary. One of the ports of call was Trinidad which was where my father was born so there was a personal connection. WE were disappointed that this 14 day cruse was reduced to 11 days ... Read More
We were looking forward to this cruise due to the itinerary. One of the ports of call was Trinidad which was where my father was born so there was a personal connection. WE were disappointed that this 14 day cruse was reduced to 11 days due to a virus that infected many of the passengers on the ship. We were disappointed in the need to return to port early (and only were able to visit 3 of the 8 ports on the itinerary) but we completely understand the need to do this. We had wonderful weather - so as they say - when you get lemons make lemonade!!! Having said that this was our second Princess cruise within the last 6 months (sailed Alaska on the Coral Princess in September 2019) and we were again underwhelmed. We have one more Princess cruise booked for April 2021 - Transatlantic on the new Enchanted Princess and unless there is a big turn around this will be our last Princess cruise. The embarkation and disembarkation process is all a science now so there are no issues there. Very efficient and well managed. We were in a balcony cabin (A308) which was your typical balcony room. Bed was comfortable and love having access to the outside. There was an overhang which is always good to protect from sun (if needed) or rain. A cabin steward had little personality and as the cruise went on, when we did see him, he always appeared impatient that were were in our room. It seemed as though we had to work around his schedule. We had a late seating with a table of 8. Plan on at least two hours as service was slow. It appears as though Princess has cut back on dining room staff. Every night one of our servers would pour one of the table guests wine and then we would have to either ask for our or get up and get our bottle and pour it ourselves. We often had to wait long periods of time to receive our food and several times the orders were confused. Some of the main meals were very good but on average we were disappointed with the overall selection. We heard form a couple fo table guests that went to the buffet rather than the main dining room that there was a better selection and certainly much quicker at the buffet. Since dining is a big part of our cruise experience we are disappointed in the lower quality of food and service that we have received on our last two Princess cruises. Medallion is the new option for Princess. It has great potential. Again we experienced the reduction in staff when we were wanting a drink around the pool. we couldn't find out steward to take our order so we had to go get them ourselves or order through the app. Ordering through the app expect up to 10 - 15 minute wait. One word of advice however, if you order try not to change your location. One of our cruise partners ordered a drink and then decided to go for a walk. The poor server had to chase her around the ship!!! LOL In this day and age I still can't believe that Princess allows smoking in the Casino. There is a designated smoking are on the ship but it is a free for all in the Casino. Decidedly unhealthy regardless of the venting they have. Even though the ship had undergone a refurbishing in May 2019 the ship looks tired. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were booked on a 14 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Caribbean Princess Feb 2, looking forward to a relaxing holiday visiting places we have never been to before. We flew to Fort Lauderdale from Victoria BC via Toronto. Due to an ... Read More
We were booked on a 14 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Caribbean Princess Feb 2, looking forward to a relaxing holiday visiting places we have never been to before. We flew to Fort Lauderdale from Victoria BC via Toronto. Due to an accident beneath the aircraft after the doors had been closed, we sat on the runway for 4 hours. As a result we arrived in Fort Lauderdale over an hour after the ship was to sail. There was said to be 130 cruisers booked on 4 different cruise ships on that flight, the same day as the Super Bowl in nearby Miami. Thank God we booked through EZAIR. As we banked to land in Fort Lauderdale a groan went up on the plane as we could see two Holland American ships had already put to sea and another Princess ship was gone. Only one ship stayed to get their passengers, the Caribbean Princess. What a relief as there was literally nowhere for passengers that were left behind (117) to stay in the area due to the super bowl. Exhausted we were quickly run through the safety briefing and off to eat and sleep. On the 4th day of the cruise my wife and more than a hundred others came down with the flu, later proven to be Norovirus. Ultimately the Captain reported there were over 300 sick and less than 20 crew. This was a bad one for her, violent vomiting and diarrhea. We were confined to quarters for 24 hours and the medical staff provided medicine and finally a shot that settled her down. Cost were minimal and there was no service fee for the medic to visit her in the cabin. At that point the ship invoked procedures that included crew serving of food, enforced hand washing at eating venues and sanitizing everywhere else along with constant disinfecting of surfaces throughout the ship. It was all hands on deck for the crew who when not doing their primary jobs were cleaning and serving. I even saw the performers cleaning and disinfecting bannisters, elevators surfaces etc. However the illness continued to spread and some people who were supposed to be quarantined were found in the eating areas and escorted out to the disgust of others. Oddly there were far fewer sick crew according to the Captain's regular updates. As for the cruise part, we visited St Maarten and St Thomas, were refused entry in St Kitts, got into Martinique and that was the last port we visited. We missed Barbados, Trinidad, Bonair and Aruba. On day 7 the Capain informed us that we were turning for home and would arrive 3 days early. Initially we were told the company would refund half the cruise cost, excluding taxes. Later we were told in addition to the refund the company would give us a credit equal to the other half of the cruise towards a future cruise that had to be completed within a year. Anecdotally I heard that people who changed their flight plans would be compensated for additional costs. We decided to stay and the company provided accommodation and transportation to a hotel. We ended up in the WR Marriot resort which was very close to 5 star accommodation. IMO this was very generous. I would have taken much less than this considering we were onboard for 10 of 14 days. All that aside (and it is a lot) we really enjoyed the ship. We love the Medallion system which made life easier in a lot of ways. Unfortunately the medallion system does not like really old phones and not every function worked well on my iphone 5s. The entertainment was the best I have seen at sea. Creative performances with lots of high tech included. The ship was full and their were small lineups often but no really long waits for anything, especially the elevators which were really fast and responsive. The cruise days were relaxing (funny how when it is a scheduled cruise day it is fine but when it is a forced cruise day you have a different outlook). We had an inside cabin, as usual, and were satisfied with the arrangement and the surprisingly big TV. Our cabin steward, Rodney, was outstanding and very flexible, especially when DW was sick. The crew worked tirelessly and I mean that literally. Most of them were pulling double shifts by this time. Their attitude was much more positive than the guests. Talking to a server I mentioned that they might get a day off in Fort Lauderdale he replied they would be disinfecting the ship top to bottom and probably not get ashore at all. In summary I tried to hate the cruise but in retrospect found much of it relaxing and enjoyable. The addition of another almost free cruise in the fall makes it more tolerable. The ship did not cause the illnesses and did everything possible to combat the illness and try to prevent its spread IMO. I will definitely cruise on Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The food was very disappointing on this cruise. The dining room food was so bland that we just stopped going halfway through the cruise. I remember the disappointment on everyone's face when one meal in particular arrived. I still ... Read More
The food was very disappointing on this cruise. The dining room food was so bland that we just stopped going halfway through the cruise. I remember the disappointment on everyone's face when one meal in particular arrived. I still find it hard to believe that they had the nerve to serve such a meal. The buffet (World Market) was okay for breakfast and lunch, and some of the specialty restaurants were good, but for the price of this cruise, you shouldn't have to pay extra to get decent food. I mostly found the decor of Caribbean Princess pretty uninspiring, although the World Market looked updated and tasteful, and the back of the ship was nice. Other complaints are that they were always blaring movies at one of the main pools, so you couldn't just sit and relax. Often you could hear two different music sources at the same time. And the hot tubs weren't hot – just warm. You also had to keep a close eye on your bill – even after buying the drink package I was charged for a couple drinks. (I pointed it out and they removed them, but the reason they gave for one of them is that I used their app and the drink came from room service rather than a bar.) And to top things off, there was sickness and coughing all over the ship. We were all perfectly healthy when we left on the cruise, but four out of six of us got the flu during the cruise and two developed pneumonia. This was my third and most expensive cruise – my first with Princess – and was definitely the worst. After this experience, I probably won't go on another cruise, but if I ever do, it won't be with Princess. Believe it or not, I really don't like to complain – we're so privileged to be able to have a vacation like this – but our entire group was quite disappointed with this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our 14th time on Princess and 4th on Caribbean Princess. We took the cruise because we hadn't been to the Panama Canal for several years. Everything met our expectations, except for the implementation of the new Medallion ... Read More
This was our 14th time on Princess and 4th on Caribbean Princess. We took the cruise because we hadn't been to the Panama Canal for several years. Everything met our expectations, except for the implementation of the new Medallion Class Technology. Before saying what was wrong with the implementation, I must say it is great technoloy if the users are able to understand how to use it. It was the fastest boarding we've ever had on a cruise. It's neat to be able to find your friends around the ship, buy stuff with the tap on the phone, see what's going on around the ship at a particular time, and have the cabin door unlock as you approach. That said, the implementation suffered on several levels. First, there were serious problems with the smart phone apps. We couldn't download the Ocean app once on the ship. (While sitting in the theater at 1:45 PM on Boarding day listening to the Cruise Director tell us how wonderful the technology was, most of us with iPhones were still trying to download that app. We all had the same error message, "Can't connect to iTunes store". I don't remember a thing the cruise director said. I do remember thinking, "Does he know what a fool this technology is making him appear to be!") I finally figured out a solution which involved uninstalling the Medallion Class app I'd loaded before coming onboard and then reinstalling it by downloading it from the system on the ship. Then I was able to download the Medallion app and get things set up. It was well after dinner before I was able to get that done; because thousands of my fellow travelers were also trying to download apps. No cruise line has a big enough pipe to support that simultaneous Internet demand. My guess about how that could have happened is that a new update to the Medallion Class and Ocean apps had been developed before we left for the cruise. I'm guessing Apple hadn't cleared that app for the iTunes store because of bugs, but Princess had pushed the apps to the ship. The new Ocean app certainly wouldn't handshake with the old Medallion Class app. As to what the bugs that kept Apple from putting it up might be, an obvious one is that geographic location wasn't displayed on any of the photos we took both on ship and on shore excursions. My phone didn't start displaying that photo information again until I'd uninstalled the apps after the cruise. One other technical bug is that the whole system seems to have been designed for 24/7 Internet access from the Medallion system through purchase of 24 hour or cruise long Internet packages. It seems that somebody finally realized that the frequent travelers have free Internet minutes. The solution to that was access through a screen on a web browser that is separate from the apps. It was really easy to run out your free minutes by mistake the way it's set up. That happened to my wife. We gripped, and the minutes were restored. The second problem is marketing gobbledygook. When you finally get the Ocean app installed, there are six or seven parts all called "Ocean" something. I still can't remember what each individual one is called. (While the designers are probably too young to understand "Age Related Memory Loss", the guests certainly aren't. I'm surprised Princess hasn't changed the title of the person in charge of the ship to "Ocean Captain"). The company did mess with another bridge position. "Navigator" is the jargon term for "help desk employee". The physical location of the help desk is "Ocean Front". (Great oxymoron. It has nothing to do with the ocean the ship sails on and is located at the back of the ship.) Yet another terminology problem is that the Internet is called "MedallionNet". That wouldn't be so bad were the Wifi system on the ship not also called "MedallionNet". That renaming of common terms was a contributing factor to my wife losing her 250 free minutes of Internet. It happened when whe wanted to go from Internet on the browser screen to the Wifi system. She might have hit the "Medallion Net" button in the center of the screen instead of closing the browser and going to the app. One last note is that in deploying a system that requires hand held devices, Princess seems to have forgotten they need to be recharged. There is still just a single two plug outlet in a stateroom. The cost of adding another outlet plus a couple USB ports would have been no more than a rounding error in the cost of the new hardware that's been installed throughout the ship. (Didn't bother us. Thanks to something I read on Cruise Critic five or six years ago, I always back a small power strip when leaving for a cruise.) A note not related to IT is that the theater is too small. It takes three shows for all the passengers to fit. On our three prior cruises on Caribbean Princess, they did three shows a night. Now they've gone to two. We had 5 PM traditional dining - the earliest sit down dining offered. We got to the theater at 6:45 PM and couldn't get seats together for two people for the 7:15 show two times. When we were able to get in, the shows were good - worth waiting in line for. Some comments about dining. I have Celiac Disease and thus must eat gluten free. In the evening, I take advantage of formal dining where I have the same waiters every night. They learn about the food allergy the first night and then accommodate me the rest of the cruise. (It doesn't work that way in anytime dining. New waiters every night.) On this cruise, in 5 PM traditional dining, our waiter Richard Rodriguez did an outstanding job meeting my need. I was able to pre-order for the next night, he would have things specially made gluten free for me, and he generally kept me out of trouble. That all happened while providing excellent service. I can only give a mixed review about dining at breakfast and lunch in the buffet. There is plenty of food that's gluten free. With the exception of a couple of desserts at lunch, none of it was labeled gluten free. On the first day, kitchen staff persons were available at lunch to show us what was gluten free in some areas of the buffet. I remember the man that gave me the tour showed me lots of things. All I remember out of that is, "the soups are always gluten free". The other stuff was intermixed among non gluten free items, and then there's the fact that the fare on the buffet changes every day. I played safe. What I had was good, but I'm sure I missed a lot of great stuff; because it isn't labeled. One last comment - my "Platinum" benefits as a frequent cruiser on Princess aren't worth much in light of Celiac Disease and the new technology. The three main benefits have long been 1) expedited checkin, 2) Special receptions at 5 PM, and 3) Free Internet minutes. As I noted above, everybody blows through checkin at the pier with the new technology. I need to eat at traditional dining because of Celiac, and since I'm not a night owl, I don't want to sit down to dinner at 7:30 PM. That leaves me in 5 PM traditonal dining when all the platinum activities happen. Finally, the cruise line is obviously moving towards Internet packages and wishes the free minutes thing would go away. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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 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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
First things first. The crew and staff on this ship are exemplary. I cannot fault them on anything. Especially our cabin steward - Jerry. That man is a true and pure gem. However, I can't say the same for one young man part of ... Read More
First things first. The crew and staff on this ship are exemplary. I cannot fault them on anything. Especially our cabin steward - Jerry. That man is a true and pure gem. However, I can't say the same for one young man part of the guest services team - which I'll get to later. That boy needs to learn how to use a tissue and not the back of his hand. Now on to the meat of it. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We didn't get our medallions ahead of time because we live in Canada and they only ship them to the US. But that wasn't a problem as we had downloaded the app and were "ship ready" before we got there. Although I was annoyed that we got our embarkation email stating we wouldn't be able to get on board until 2:30 pm. When I called to ask if we could be bumped up to the first embarkation group (because I had medicine I needed to take in a clean and sterile-ish environment) - I was told that the earliest anyone could get on board would be 12:30. We arrived for 12:00 to check in, which went very quickly to be fair, only to find out that embarkation had already started at 11:00! We could have been on board 90 minutes sooner which would have equated to being able to get to the Sanctuary to book seating much sooner and not have to get waitlisted. (Read more on the Sanctuary further down). OCEAN MEDALLION: About halfway through the cruise, my medallion wouldn't recognize me as I walked up to the cabin door and would only recognize my husband's medallion even when he was walking about 5 steps behind me. Even when I tapped my medallion on to the screen it would take a while before it would recognize me. I don't like the idea that the medallion is more of a tracker. It's not necessary for anyone to know where I am or where I've been. Why does my name and face need to be plastered on the screens that I've interacted with on board? Why does my name need to appear on my cabin door? I'm sure that violates about a dozen privacy laws - including GDPR. That should be something you should OPT-IN to not have to opt-out of!! I only knew I could opt-out of it when we spoke to some other passengers who shared our privacy concerns and they told us they went to the front desk and asked to have their name removed from their cabin door. Deplorable behaviour on the part of Princess. Don't even get me started on how crap the apps are! Constantly crashing, rarely working right. It even crashed my phone to the point where I couldn't use it and had to delete the app altogether! GUEST ARRIVAL EXPERIENCE: Of all the cruises we've done over the last few years, we've never had to wait more than a couple of hours for our luggage. This time, we didn't get our luggage until almost 7:00 pm and we boarded at lunchtime. Not great. Luggage collection at the terminal was not ideal. Princess should be paying the porters since I'm required by Princess to drop my luggage off at the curbside. That burden should not fall on me financially. Unacceptable. SHIP: I felt that I was deceived by Princess claiming to have fully refurbished this ship. It's blatantly obvious from the moment you step onboard, that has not happened at all. I only noticed one area that had clearly been refurbished (Sanctuary). The ship was obviously retrofitted to be turned into a Medallion Class ship - but if that's what you're claiming is a full refurb - then you need to re-evaluate how you market your ships. Like I said - I felt deceived since simply adding panels all around the ship and outside each cabin to accommodate a system (which let's face it - doesn't work well at all) doesn't constitute a full refurb. The ship is big enough but seriously lacking in activities that don't revolve around quizzes (which we love and attend at every single opportunity) or the like. This ship is very old. Retrofitting it to be a Medallion Class ship doesn't change anything other than adding more grief with a system that rarely worked on our 2 wk trip. They've sullied the ship even further by adding more casino gaming options on the Medallion Class app itself & adding gaming panels throughout the ship. The ship is in a state of disrepair as is evidenced throughout. Eg: the cabins have dated, old furnishings. The mattresses need to be overhauled (i.e. - thrown out and not simply renamed as "luxury soft"). You may be able to pull the wool over the average cruisers eyes (i.e. - octogenarians who don't know any better) - but those of us that are savvy cruisers see your scam coming a mile away. The Spa & dining rooms need massive updates. There are broken tiles all over the spa changing rooms & the dining areas look like they belong in a retirement home - especially the Palm Dining Room. It smells horrid & looks even worse. DINING: Princess is known for their food. Heck - they've been voted as 'Best Dining at Sea' for a number of years. What happened on this ship - I have no idea. This was not the Princess food we were used to. We used the Island Dining Room and found it to be dated decor. The dining room was very clean & the service was exceptional. Wait times were not too long - on average, about 10 min (at the time of evening we were going - between 7:00 - 8:00pm). It was nice to have the option of anytime dining and not be restricted by having to dine at a specific time. The food however was not up to par. Apart from a few meals over the 2 wks, most of the food was not of a good standard. Quality was fine but taste was not. Bland, boring or just not appetizing. We had to return food on several occasions. One evening we were sent to the Palm dining room for dinner and sent back ALL of the food. It tasted atrocious. We ended up eating in the buffet. In the buffet, the crew were always on hand, very polite and cleaned up tables regularly. They always asked if we wanted coffee/tea at breakfast or anything else during lunches. No issues with the crew at all. The ice machines were constantly broken. We had to traipse around the buffet area looking for an ice machine that worked - EVERY SINGLE TIME. Quality of the food was ok. There were some items/recipes that were quite nice, while others should not have been attempted. WAY too many desert options, and not nearly enough healthy options. Total lack of variety in fruit. They even ran out of watermelon about half way through the cruise. You're in the Caribbean - explain to me why the ships stores couldn't arrange for more varied fruit / veg options from the various ports we stopped at? Not nearly enough is done to usher people towards the hand-washing stations. We've cruised with other lines where they won't allow you to pass through to the buffet area if they haven't watched you wash your hands. Not Princess. The open deck food outlets were hit & miss. The ice cream bar needs work. You can't have soft serve ice cream ONLY and call it an ice cream bar. Every other cruise line we've been on has a large variety of free ice cream available in their buffet restaurants (RCCL, NCL, even the horrid ones like MSC and Costa have REAL ice cream available). One day - we went to the ice cream bar to get some ice cream and it was 10:59 am. The attendant wouldn't serve us because "the machines aren't ready yet because we only open at 11:00 am". Seriously? The machines weren't ready at 10:59 when you open at 11:00? The pizzeria though is exceptional. Delicious authentic pizza. One of the best pizza's I've had at sea and on land! BAR SERVICE: The only thing I'll say about the bar service we used was that one evening in Club Fusion (while waiting for a quiz to start), we ordered drinks from the app on our phone. I had a glass of wine (very nice) and my husband ordered Grolsch beer (something he'd been ordering the entire cruise). The waiter comes back & says "we don't have any here". So I told him very politely, to kindly go to whichever bar on board has that beer and get us one. He then changed his story to "we don't have any onboard at all". The exchange went something like this: Me: You have no Grolsch anywhere on board? W: No, I'm sorry. Me: Not one single bottle? W: No ma'am. Sorry. Sometimes this happens. Me: Yes I know. But with beers like Bud or Miller not Grolsch! W: Well, we had a batch and it went bad a few days ago. Husband: Wait - you've been serving me bad beer for days? I just had one yesterday! W: No sir. It's just this one batch. Us: What??? At that point we gave up & ordered a glass of wine. The bar staff at the Crooners Bar were fun and lively. Which is probably why it was always packed. That bar needs to be bigger to accommodate more people. It's probably the best bar on board in my opinion. That's where they should have put some of their so called refurbishment money. ENTERTAINMENT & ONBOARD ACTIVITIES DuVaul and his activity staff are EXCEPTIONAL. DuVaul's talents are wasted on this ship. He had us in stitches all the time! Hilarious antics. They need more game shows like the ones he hosts. He's intensely funny & has a great personality. We couldn't stop laughing. The activities staff work so hard to make everyone's stay pleasant & fun. There just aren't enough activities on board. That's NOT a slight against the CD & his staff, but against the company for not offering more physical activities on board. The Links (apparently a mini-golf course) is laughable. How do you get off calling that a golf course? That's a 10 x 10 space with some holes in it!! Movies under the stars should be renamed to "college football all day long". Pathetic. Production shows were lacking quality. We only went in to see one or two and decided better of it. Just not up to the par that we're used to with Princess. And how do you NOT have shuffleboard? That's the epitome of a cruise ship! Shuffleboard and cruising are synonymous! But I guess that's no surprise since they only have one fully outdoor deck (and I don't mean the higher pool / sports decks). That's where they SHOULD have spent their refurb money. Outdoor areas. Why would you put a smoking area out there on deck 7 forcing those of us who want to have a nice walk around the deck to have to inhale that garbage? It's 2020 - get with the program. Ban smoking across the fleet! PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS Don't even get me started on the destination presentations given by Mrs. May (can't remember her first name). They were a pathetically lame excuse for a port lecture. Total joke. She got most of the info wrong, was grossly unqualified for the job and immensely inaccurate most of the time regarding historical 'facts' about the ports and general port information. I kept wanting to scream out at her that she was wrong every time she opened her mouth! During her talks she kept constantly saying "I don't know what excursions they have for this port - I don't work for the excursions team". What in the actual what? You can liaise with them and with the port authorities and the port tourism offices to get a better understanding of how things change since the last time you were there. The amount of times she said things like "I don't know if this is still valid because I've not been to this port in over 2 years" was extraordinary. There wasn't a single thing she said on those port talks that I didn't already know from looking at the internet before we set sail. Unfortunately, Princess didn't do well on the itinerary when they were trying to figure out how to have a 2 week cruise over Christmas and New Year. They should have accounted for those ports that were visited on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Clearly the team that plans the itineraries didn't do their due diligence and research to find out what services and attractions would be open in those two ports that were affected by Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Unfortunately, we were unable to see anything of any value in those two ports - especially Barbados - since EVERYTHING was closed. They failed miserably on those two ports. Princess should look into extending stays in many of the ports. Antigua should have been longer. It's such a beautiful island and needs much more time to explore. Same for St. Kitts. Curacao was EXCELLENT because we had an actual FULL day / evening there. Arrived just before 08:00 am and didn't leave until 10:00 pm. That was perfect. ONBOARD SHOPPING BOUTIQUE Why would you not stock essentials in the boutiques? Things that are practical that people might either have forgotten, or damaged while on board? Practical things like belts, stockings, even lingerie! Those are the kinds of things that would make a difference in someone's vacation. Even things like evening shoes for both men and women. My husband ruined one of the heels on his shoes and had you offered dress shoes in your boutique, he would have bought a pair. As it turned out his sneakers were damaged about 1/3 of the way into the cruise and he ended up buying a pair of Sketchers that the boutique sold. THAT'S practical stuff. Not pointless $500 + outfits! We all look forward to the sales at the end of a cruise. It's a given that there's going to be mostly crap they're trying to offload, but you also get some really good deals on jewellery, watches, clothing, etc. Oh no - not Princess. Couldn't possibly. EVERY cruise line does this. They put out the more popular items (not just t-shirts) for sale and people snap them up! Learn from other lines Princess - learn! LOTUS SPA & SALON: My only comment here is regarding the actual physical spa itself. It needs refurbishment. Especially the changing rooms. We used them all the time and in the women's changing area, one of the two bathrooms was CONSTANTLY closed for repair. The toilet was leaking regularly and had to be serviced ALL the time. They spent how many millions supposedly refurbishing the ship (which we all know means nothing) but clearly didn't spend it in areas that matter. The tiles in the bathroom (inside the changing rooms) were all busted. I only used the Salon for one service (pedicure) and that was very nice. My technician was lovely, personable and knew exactly what she was doing - very high quality service on her part. CASINO: Oh wow. What a waste. Tightest slots at sea is what they SHOULD rename it to. We're not heavy gamblers but we always walk away with more than what we spend in casinos at sea. Not Princess. She just gobbles up your cash and doesn't give you any back. I've learned my lesson where Princess casinos are concerned. Never again. The amount of gambling terminals spread throughout the ship and their availability on the Medallion app is deplorable. That's just another way for Princess to get more money from people. They should be encouraging other activities - not just gambling. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Embarkation and Disembarkation As Elite members, embarkation was a breeze. We did not obtain our Medallions in advance, because we figured the priority line wouldn’t be too long and we were right. On our last cruise, we did obtain our ... Read More
Embarkation and Disembarkation As Elite members, embarkation was a breeze. We did not obtain our Medallions in advance, because we figured the priority line wouldn’t be too long and we were right. On our last cruise, we did obtain our Medallions in advance and it was a lot of fiddling to get them done, plus we had to remember to pack them. The non-priority lines were much longer, so may be worth considering doing in advance. Disembarkation was quick and efficient. We shipped our heavy bags direct from the ship to our home airport. We only had a small bag each when disembarking. Lines for US and Canadian citizens were short. Itinerary and Ports Probably the most interesting ports to visit on a 14-day Caribbean cruise. We did this cruise in November 2018 and still found it enjoyable. As my husband doesn’t like to tour, I have to take the ship’s tours if I want to learn more about each of the islands. The port specialist, Cherry, gave presentations on each of the ports and I was able to follow these each day on the TV. Cherry’s advice was very helpful. I’ve listed the tours below. Weather We were very lucky to have good weather and smooth seas every day. Staterooms We had a mini-suite on Dolphin Deck 9 on this trip. The staterooms (and the entertainment areas) on this ship are showing their age and need to be renovated in the near future if they want to compete with the newer, more modern ships. The bed is really comfortable, just too small for my husband and me. Wish they offered king-size beds. The “do not disturb/clean my room” signs constantly fell on the floor. Also, looks like the cruise line has reduced the number of stateroom stewards. We had to allow our steward two hours to clean the room, but on the disembarkation day, he had a small army of helpers. Food MDR food was OK if you knew what to choose, except I like my hot meals hot and they were usually tepid to cool. Need warm plates. After the first couple of days, I stopped ordering beef or steak, because the meat was tough and gristly. I stuck to poultry and seafood most of the time. The Cesar’s salad is wonderful. We saw a lot of people ordering it every night. If they figured out how to get some seasoning (garlic or other) in the croutons, it would be perfect, so we ordered it without croutons. Salmon was good, especially the Caribbean salmon – very tasty. I always like their Chicken and leek pie. The fresh bread rolls are yummy too. The vegetables, on the other hand, were rock hard most of the time. I couldn’t even cut the broccoli with my knife. I know chefs like to offer veg “al dente”, but really, my gut didn’t like the veg. I prefer my veg cooked so they’re medium soft but not soggy and certainly not so hard. Not a lot of choice for desserts, other than ice-cream, although they have a list of nice desserts they offer every day. Note: If you want a table for two in “anytime dining” in the Island Dining Room, you need to get there before 5:15; otherwise they escort you to the Palm Dining Room, which is much noisier. We’re hoping to book Club Classic on our next cruise – no waiting and plenty of tables for two. International Café had a good selection of sandwiches, desserts and snacks all day. It was very popular. Also, that’s where you get the best coffee on the ship. World Marketplace, or Horizon Court as we have known it over the years, is the best place for breakfast. Not perfect, but much better than the MDR. They offer a variety of breakfast foods, but I must admit they don’t vary them very much. Lunch always looks delicious – sandwiches, soups, salads and hot meals, if you prefer. We were disappointed with the dinner options. Food was tepid to cold and not a great variety. Entertainment We are very interested in a ship’s entertainment. Princess used to have at least two guest entertainers performing at the same time, but most evenings, it was only one. The cruise staff host multiple game and trivia shows, as well as karaoke, so you’ll find it’s often the guests entertaining other guests. Some of these events are good, but I don’t understand why they have so many, unless they’re under the misconception there’s a large audience in the Explorers Lounge each evening. That’s usually because there’s nothing else to do. The only exception is The Voice of the Ocean, which attracted large crowds during the auditions and finale. Lots of good talent onboard. The very talented singer, Daniel Bondi won. Lisa B. was the runner-up and she received lots of accolades, too. Caribbean Princess Orchestra was fantastic. Production shows were marginal. They really didn’t have a lot of shows for a 14-day cruise. Cruise Staff DuVaul is the CD and his assistant CD’s were Karen, Jerry, Kaitlynn and Jacinta. DuVaul is very likeable and entertaining. Karen is the Zumba instructor and a good dancer. She’s also a good organizer and game host. Jerry is a good singer and great at hosting karaoke and musical trivia. Kaitlynn is good at hosting game shows. Jacinta is new, but she did host a trivia game and did a good job. While we liked them all, we’d still prefer to see professional guest entertainers more than staff entertainers. Holiday Atmosphere The atrium was decorated with trees and swags. Looked quite festive. We had two opportunities to sing Christmas songs with the crew and other guests. The kids seemed pleased to see Santa on Christmas Eve. The Holiday Show in the Princess Theater was more like “amateur dramatics,” although the crew singing their version of the Twelve Days of Christmas was quite funny. Shopping I browsed the shops but only bought one or two items. However, the outlet sales were really good. Ben, the shopping concierge held a few raffles and also worked as a substitute cruise staff member. He’s really good. Spa I didn’t use the spa on this trip, mostly because I had a massage and had my nails done before departure. Casino The casino was our muster station and was on deck 7. To get to the Princess Theatre you either had to walk through the casino or go to deck 6 and walk around. When in the casino, I chose the starboard side where there was less smoke. Captain’s Circle Like most Elite members, we no longer attend the Captain’s Circle party. Service Overall, the service was good. You’re always going to find a couple of exceptions. Medallion Class We just used our Medallions to open our stateroom door, but there are many more uses with their app. However, I switch my phone to airplane mode, then switch it off and place it in the safe when I’m on a cruise. I want to enjoy my vacation. Other Passengers About 60% were seniors and we had a lot of Elite guests. There were several families with kids, but not overwhelming, which is fine. I don’t mind kids on a cruise. Just wish their parents would keep an eye on them and not let them run everywhere. They don’t understand the safety aspects and the consequences of possibly colliding with a senior who could fall and break a hip. We had three formal nights and most guests complied with the suggested evening wear. I did see at least two people declined entry to the MDR because they were wearing shorts. Just read your Princess Patter for guidelines and follow the ship’s etiquette recommendations. Ports St. Thomas – We docked at Havensight – yeah! Good access to many shops. I just went to the pharmacy in building 5 to pick up a few extras I’d forgotten to pack. Reasonably priced and helpful staff. The view of Charlotte Amalie from the ship is spectacular. We’ve visited this port many times and done the tours, so we don’t mind staying on board. Antigua – We didn’t disembark here this time. If you walk more than a few hundred yards, the neighborhood is not somewhere a female can safely walk alone. Cherry’s presentation showed the other side of the Island – Englishtown – was really pretty, so maybe I’ll do a tour there next time. St. Kitts – We were there on Christmas Day. The streets in Basseterre were almost empty. At this time of the year, they celebrate Carnival every evening. I took a tour to see where the Batik cloth was made – very interesting and colorful. It was very humid inland. The driver took us to the other side of the Island where the rich folks lived. We could take panoramic photos from a hill. Vendors want to take your photo with the tiny green monkeys, but Cherry warned us to decline, as these baby monkeys are taken away from their mothers at a young age. The driver seemed to be on “Island time” and we arrived back at the port 45 minutes late. Barbados – Always a lovely island, but I had done an island tour a year ago and the tours offered didn’t interest me. I took the shuttle to the terminal shops, took photos and came back to the ship. We had two medical emergencies at this port. Martinique – I did a tour last year and wasn’t too impressed. I would have liked to walk past the market stalls and along the shoreline to the town of Fort-de-France, but wasn’t sure if it was safe to walk alone. Trinidad – Last year, I went to Maracas Beach, which was very nice but a long drive. None of the other tours interested me and I decided to stay on board after Cherry warned us to only walk around Port Spain in groups because of pick pockets. Curacao – This was by far the best tour and we had an excellent tour guide, Helvig who was very knowledgeable and helpful. We visited the liqueur factory. I’ve been there before but it’s always a nice visit. From there we visited an Aloe Vera Farm which was really interesting. However, the presenter offered samples of the juice which I didn’t taste. I tested the lotion in the shop. Afterwards, we visited a Chi-Chi Doll Workshop. The dolls were colorful and the ladies painting them were very friendly, but just not my taste. Aruba – I was disappointed with my tour, because I had chosen it to see the Gold Mill. We visited the California Lighthouse, Alta Vista Chapel and Natural Bridge – all places I’d been to last year. When we reached the Gold Mill, the driver/guide swung round the parking lot, pointed to the mill and drove off. He then took us to see a couple of their rock formations, which wasn’t on the schedule, and brought us back to the ship 15 minutes early. That’s the time we could have taken to visit the Gold Mill. General Impression of Tours I’ve been sailing with Princess for many years and the tours don’t vary much from year to year. I’d like to see Princess offer some different tours. Talk to the locals and find out more. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose club class mini suite. Excellent for 2 week voyage. A bit disappointed with the entertainment of Santa and holiday events because of such a huge crowd in Piazzia. Maybe show this entertainment on tv so more can see. I’m sure that ... Read More
Chose club class mini suite. Excellent for 2 week voyage. A bit disappointed with the entertainment of Santa and holiday events because of such a huge crowd in Piazzia. Maybe show this entertainment on tv so more can see. I’m sure that was the best place not knowing weather conditions and having a full capacity of guests. Club class dining is outstanding, a bit disappointed in buffet. Formal nights were mostly informed in dining room, but was so much happier in club area. This is noticed on many cruises and I like it I enforced. It is on your booking and buffet is open if you don’t want to dress appropriately. The entertainment, dancers, musicians, singers were enjoyed by all ages. It was wonderful to have holiday decorations the entire time. All of the ports had decorations as well. I was disappointed how all tour groups met off ship and had to walk some distance to find group and then to get to tour bus or boat. I prefer to meet as tour on ship and leave as a group, not a mass exit when approved to go ashore. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Caribbean Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.5 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.5 N/A
Service 4.0 4.2
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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