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702 Princess Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews

We wanted to try Princess, as it's supposed to be a little more upscale. We also liked the choice of ports. The first thing we noticed is that the passengers are a little older and more moneyed then other cruises we've been ... Read More
We wanted to try Princess, as it's supposed to be a little more upscale. We also liked the choice of ports. The first thing we noticed is that the passengers are a little older and more moneyed then other cruises we've been on. The average age was at least 60. Many, many of the passengers were repeat passengers in the elite category. Obviously, Princess has a loyal following. I'll break down my experiences by area. Rooms and guest services - We were very, very happy with the performance of our room steward. He was super attentive and friendly. The rooms were very clean and nicely sized. The beds are very comfortable. While the on-demand movie selection was extensive, the live tv choices were just ok. Our interactions with the front desk personnel were excellent. Entertainment - The shows were outstanding. Great job by the performers. The theater is undersized, coupled with the high quality of entertainment, meant getting to the theater very early to ensure a seat. Get there early; the shows are worth it! The other entertainers were also good (The comedian was good day 1, but so so his second show.) We also enjoyed their own inhouse entertainment - the impromptu dance contest, the Voice of the Ocean and the meet the officers shtick. All in all - kudos to the entertainment department - great job! Food - Mixed reviews. For the most part, the main dining room was very good. However, I noticed that when we ate late, while the main courses were very good, the appetizers were somewhat dried out and stale. Breakfast in the MDR's was also very good. I was very, very pleasantly surprised by the food on Lido. The selection was excellent and the quality was very good, especially considering this was a buffet. I was also very happy with the international cafe, their 24 hour food spot. It always had a nice choice of pastries and parfaits, sandwiches and croissants, and salads. The attendant was excellent. They also have a coffee bar where you can get a cappuccino or coffee; however, beware that these coffees are extra cost. We also had dinner at the steak house and Sabatini's. Both restaurants had great service and great food. However, disappointingly, the steak house apps were also dried out (again, we ate late). All in all, we were extremely happy with the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise since I have always wanted to go to Quebec City and we thoroughly enjoyed that French-speaking port. We had good weather--in fact in was hot in Quebec City. Our second favorite port was Portland, Maine, an attractive ... Read More
We chose this cruise since I have always wanted to go to Quebec City and we thoroughly enjoyed that French-speaking port. We had good weather--in fact in was hot in Quebec City. Our second favorite port was Portland, Maine, an attractive and charming town. We had been to Boston and Halifax before, but enjoyed both of them again. The trip was rather port-intensive and I would have liked more sea days, which are relaxing since you don't have to get up early for an excursion. We went on an excursion in almost every port. On the sea days I missed having any enrichment lectures on board. The ship itself is very attractive and we enjoyed the variety of food, especially in the buffet, where they had gluten-free and dairy-free choices and also left out cereal for a snack or to take to your room. The dancers and singers in the production company were excellent. The party band was also excellent. The sailaway activities seemed somewhat limited until halfway through the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We picked this cruise because of the timing and location - early August in an area that is not too hot at that time of year. We stayed at a hotel in Quebec City the night before the cruise began - that gave us a little more time to see ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the timing and location - early August in an area that is not too hot at that time of year. We stayed at a hotel in Quebec City the night before the cruise began - that gave us a little more time to see this charming city. Embarkation was a breeze - we dropped off our luggage, had essentially no paper work because of the Ocean Medallions used by Princess on this cruise, then walked on the ship. After a quick bite and a look at our room, we went off the ship for a walking tour of the Old City in Quebec. Some positives: (1) the food in the buffet was better than I expected (and better than most other cruise lines); (2) the smaller restaurants provided a nice change of pace- they were either free or a nominal price; (3) the internet is excellent - much better than other cruise lines; (4) the room is tiny (as are most cabins on other lines), but there were many places to store things; (5) the room steward was excellent; (6) good variety of equipment in the fitness center. Some negatives: (1) the main theater is much too small - we missed several shows even though we arrived 30 minutes before the scheduled start; (2) the medallions are nice for embarkation, but why are they not used to pay for drinks at dinner? we were overcharged one night in the Main Dining Room - eventually it was resolved. (3) The material presented on each port in the daily sheets is helpful, but we would really like to see some live talks - on the history and special features of the next day's stop. For example, the day before we get to Boston, there could be a talk about the city. In general, there are not enough enrichment lectures. (4) I would like to see someone reminding people, as they enter a restaurant, to wash their hands (5) Disembarkation was not great - we were scheduled to leave the ship at 7:55 AM but we were not called until 8:40 - 45 minutes late. Not sure what the problem was. (6) The waiters in the Main Dining Room could use more help - many cruise lines have an assistant waiter. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are frequent Princess Cruisers and booked this ship and itinerary with a few friends, this one beginning in Quebec City, ending in New York. The plan originally was for my husband and I to rent a car and drive to Quebec City, but Air ... Read More
We are frequent Princess Cruisers and booked this ship and itinerary with a few friends, this one beginning in Quebec City, ending in New York. The plan originally was for my husband and I to rent a car and drive to Quebec City, but Air Canada had $99 fares, too good to pass on. My brother generously offered to pick us up at 4:30 in the morning for the ride to Boston’s Logan airport. I don’t know if I could have done the same AND have been so cheerful at that hour. Pre-Cruise, Quebec City: We booked two nights pre-cruise at the iconic Hotel Chateau Frontenac. Imagine our joy when the desk clerk at check-in announced that we’d been upgraded to Gold Class, with access to the VIP lounge with free breakfast and more. The trade off was a room on the scaffolding side of the building being renovated, not a problem if you don’t mind workmen appearing outside your window and loud sandblasting starting at 9 a.m. The only time it was a bother was the last morning when we were re-packing the bags and spent a significant amount of time in the room. Otherwise, this beautiful and magnificent hotel lives up to its expectations, and you can feel the history within its walls. The room was luxurious and classy, though a little dark due to construction apparatus blocking a good amount of natural light. The hotel’s location, however, couldn’t be better for seeing Quebec. In all its glorious state overlooking the city, restaurants, shops and attractions are located just a short walk away, and if that’s not enough, an invigorating hike or the funicular down the steep hill to the Old Town is not far away. A stay at a classic, historic hotel calls for an activity of equal class, so four of us signed up for the Frontenac’s High Tea, complete with singer, piano accompaniment, a variety of teas to choose from and delicious finger food served in fine china by a friendly waiter. It was all so Downton Abbey-ish, except with a French flair instead of British. Even my husband, who has never shown any love for tea, seemed to be getting a big kick out of the whole experience! While we were in town, we took a 2-hour guided walking tour with a local guide for a good overview of the city, starting at the Frontenac, and downhill past Citadel, Place Royale, and ending in the lower Old City. The day was not the best, as it was hot, humid and rained heavily nearly the entire trek down the hill. Fortunately, we came prepared with rain gear and enjoyed the tour and the exercise nonetheless. Still, we were tired, wet and not willing to make the steep uphill climb back to the hotel, so we boarded the funicular and were whisked up the hill back to the Frontenac in just minutes. I definitely would love to return and spend more time here. From the Frontenac we had a beautiful view of the Caribbean Princess on the St. Lawrence river below, awaiting our arrival. Embarkation: It was time to board the ship, which had been docked for two days in the Port of Quebec. We checked out of the Chateau Frontenac, and after a fairly long wait for a taxi to accommodate the four of us, we were finally on our way to the ship. Traffic was backed up all the way down the hill, but it was a nice way to people-watch along the way. Besides, our driver, a kind and patient woman, seemed amused by the lively and comical commentary coming from her customers eager to get started on their cruise. Princess had recently rolled out their new Medallion Class cruising on the Caribbean Princess, featuring an actual round medallion (replacing the old key card) and a bazillion electronic ways to enhance the cruise experience. Our medallions arrived by FedEx about 2 weeks before the cruise, encased in enough paper and cardboard to destroy a forest. A small padded envelope would have been sufficient. After some frustrating trial and error, maneuvering the disk into the lanyard holder, downloading the Ocean READY app, and syncing the medallion with our passport info and photos, as instructed, we were finally ready to rock and roll. Embarkation and getting through security was a breeze - you still need your passport, because the security agents don't give a hoot about your medallion. Wearing our new fashionable bling - and carrying a backup copy of our boarding passes just in case - we stopped briefly to check in with a crew member and were on board in no time at all. Ship and First Impression: We are no strangers to Princess, and they have always been our favorite ships, so we pretty much knew what to expect when we boarded. Still, we last cruised Caribbean Princess in 2005 and would have to dig through photos to remember specific details before the recent makeover, but we were really impressed with how bright and shiny the public spaces appeared when we boarded. The ship is beautiful! The Piazza has been spiffed up and looking better than ever, and my favorite part of any Princess ship of this class is the full Promenade Deck, which did not disappoint. Since cabins were ready to receive guests, we headed right for ours to unload our stuff and headed out to explore the ship. Balcony Cabin L251: This is a standard balcony cabin located forward of the pools on Lido Deck 15, and we would definitely book it again. 10 flights of stairs going down to dinner and shows became part of our daily workout; going up 10 flights was something else, and I did this just once after Muster, while my husband waited with the masses for an elevator. We really appreciated the cabin location, super convenient to the main pools, buffet fare, ice cream/specialty coffee station, and the fitness center and spa just a deck above. Best of all was the short walk to the bar and our favorite bartender, Rocky, located just around the corner. Because it was located forward of the elevators, as well, there was very little traffic and it was quiet most of the time. But the real bonus is a door all the way forward that opens to a viewing deck that sits over the bridge, available from sunrise to sunset, as the hubby and I found out one evening when we were quietly escorted off by a security guard after hours. However, at times when it was fine and legal to be up there, the view was fabulous for arrivals and departures, and, in fact, the view coming into New York at sunrise was absolutely amazing and drew quite a crowd at 5:30 am. The standard balcony cabins on this ship are fairly roomy. There was no sofa, which I did miss from the deluxe balconies or standard balcony cabins on the NCL ships I’m used to. There were two chairs - and for us, that meant one for sitting and one for resting feet upon - and a desk that we found useful for storing gadgets, papers, and all the other stuff accumulated over the course of a cruise. Night tables with drawer space on either side of the bed was also helpful for storage. The closet area came with a ton of hangers and plenty of space for hanging clothing, but the shelf space was a little skimpy. The large screen TV was a big improvement, with a large amount of cruise related programs and a fair number of free movies to choose from. Other than that, there were just a couple of news stations and old TV show episodes, including The Love Boat, of course! The bed - because everyone asks - was super comfy, with Princess still having the best beds at sea in my mind. The balcony was adequate, with a small table and two chairs with reclining backs. Free WiFi Minutes - Now you see them, Now you don’t! With platinum status, we each had 250 free minutes of WIFI. Sadly, they disappeared in a flash after not logging off correctly. Just shutting the browser won’t disconnect it, and I should have remembered that fact from past cruises. On port days or when we were within cell service I used my International Day Pass from AT&T to keep in touch, post to social media, browse, text and check emails. On the two sea days, I swore that I would disconnect, but my willpower evaporated on the last day of the cruise, and I caved and bought the unlimited day plan. Princess Medallion Class Cruising - the Jury is Still Out. The Ocean Medallion, Ocean apps and WIFi speed were great - when they worked together, which was nearly never. In a nutshell, we found them a little awkward and confusing. Why on earth does Ocean Medallion require so many apps - SIX of them to be precise? Two of the apps, Ocean PLAY and Ocean CASINO, we had no use for. We already waste too much time and money in the REAL casino. A third one, Ocean VIEW, has Princess-related videos, which didn’t pique our curiosity, either. Ocean COMPASS was useful for connecting with friends, but that only works when the friends accept on their end. The other feature of COMPASS is the ability to order food and drink wherever you are on the ship and have it delivered. A friendly crew member showed me how to do this the first day, and it worked, even though the bar was 50 feet away and I could have just gone to get it myself. In the end, though, it was just as easy and much more social to belly up to the bar and order one. That left the final app, Ocean NOW, which was handy for checking the daily schedule, when we could get WiFi to cooperate. I consider myself to be techno capable and know my way around an iPhone, but this all seemed like a bit much - a lot of trouble for a little bit of benefit. Princess did have an Ocean Medallion session in the theatre on the first day, but going to school was not part of my vacation plan. At one point over the first couple of days, my husband did seek help from the wizard at the Medallion desk, but even he was unable to figure it out. [Editorial Note: A recent report from Princess indicates that they will soon be consolidating apps, hopefully making the functions of Medallion Class a little easier to access!] If there is one positive thing about the entire Ocean Medallion program, it would be the medallion itself and the way it magically unlocks the cabin door when it senses you’re nearby. This came in handy on more than a few occasions when I had two hands juggling food and drink, and used my elbow to press down on the handle to push the door open. The medallion also works the same way when you order drinks at the bar. Your face pops up on the bartender's screen, and they know it’s you. Occasionally, they asked us to scan the medallion or asked for a room number when it was busy. On one level, it’s kinda neat, but on another I do wonder about guest safety, security and privacy with this “GPS’ feature - and how many drinks get billed to the wrong room. Lido Deck/Pools: Given our cabin's close proximity to everything on Lido Deck, we frequently found ourselves out by the pool - either in it or lounging around it. The pools on this ship are a decent size, and on this Canada/Northern New England cruise they were pleasantly uncrowded, though the hot tubs (not terribly hot, by the way) and pools did get busier in the afternoon on nice days. Word of warning: Due to dense fog, the ship’s foghorn blasted every few minutes during most of the last day of our cruise and was particularly deafening at the pool with the movie screen, at least to my sensitive ears. The adult pool, aft, was a heavenly oasis throughout the cruise, the water was warm, and the lounge chairs (only 20 of them) have comfy cushions, making it a great place to read or relax. Fitness Center: If you’re an early bird and like a treadmill workout, forget it. Even though the center opens at 6:00 am, the treadmills aren’t available until 8:00 am on this ship, apparently a result of complaints from occupants of the cabins directly below it. This was a huge disappointment for us - if we don’t work out first thing, then chances are we won’t, though we did return a couple of afternoons when we - or the gym - wasn’t busy. There are just two recumbent bikes and two uprights, which, as you can imagine, are always occupied. Early one morning my husband went to the gym and watched while a woman spent an hour on a bike, selfishly ignoring the line of people waiting to use it. There should be a 30-minute limit at peak times or when people are waiting, but we saw no signs posting that fact. The Spa - Couples Massage. We are not spa people. The last time we visited the spa on a cruise ship - or anywhere - for something other than a haircut or a facial was in 2002, our first cruise on the Grand Princess, our 25th anniversary. For some reason, my husband of 42 years thought it would be fun to pre-book a couples full-body massage on this Canada/New England cruise and booked it for the afternoon of a port day after returning from a morning tour. I was less than excited and had no inkling of what to expect, and the whole idea sounded a little weird. But what the heck. We marched down to the spa, donned our robes in our respective changing rooms, and met up in the treatment room. The two young women who worked on us were pleasant, with his masseuse being the chattier of the two, and mine seeming to be new but still capable of a good massage. It didn't take long to realize what I'd been missing all these years. She no doubt had some serious knots to work out, and it wasn't long before I was totally relaxed and my guy was peacefully snoring in the bed opposite me. I did have to ask her to back off the ankle because it's sensitive after a fracture a few years back. In the end, they did attempt to sell us some magical ointments and explain what else we would require to help us live through the next millennium, but there was no high pressure to buy anything. Strange story: While he was at the Spa, my husband made an appointment for a head shave. He went to the spa at his appointed time expecting the return of his chrome dome and was told that the guy who does hair was "MIA" and they didn't know when he'd be back. What? Huh? Did he jump ship? Plus, they told him they don't shave heads - they only do buzz cuts. Not sure why they failed to mention this when they made the appointment. Pretty weird. So no head shave. Bar Service: On every cruise, the first place we visit on any ship is the bar by the pool. Because our cabin was just steps away from cool liquid refreshment, the bar at Neptune's Pool became our "stop" on the way, and bartender "Rocky" became our new best friend. He saw us coming from a mile away, called us by name (presumably with the help of Medallion ID, of course), and was ready to serve with his best "Isaac" imitation. Other than Rocky and the Neptune Bar, I can’t remember when bar service has been so lacking on a Princess ship. I don’t know if they were short handed or if they were focusing on searching for the folks ordering from the Ocean Medallion apps, but we were hard pressed to find someone to take a drink order in many places - the theatre, in the atrium, poolside, and, most notably, Vines, the wine bar. We stopped by to chat with friends as they were sipping wine before dinner, and no one was in sight to see if we wanted anything. BUT - watch how fast they come if you try walking off with their premium Vine's stemware to enjoy elsewhere on the ship. When we finally did get service, the same missing waiter magically appeared from nowhere to chase me down in order to switch out the good wine glass for a cheaper travel version. Entertainment and Dining: We skipped more shows and performances on this cruise than usual, either because we had seen the shows before, we were busy wading through a 3-course dinner in the dining room, or we were just plain tired. We are early-to-rise, early-to-bed people at home, and old habits die hard, even on vacation. Still, we did stay awake long enough to catch some very good acts: Les Grands Hurleurs (Folklore Performance): Wow! Feet on fire! This energetic French-Canadian trio of talented musicians - guitar, bass and a foot-tapping fiddler - will make you want to dance in the aisles - or even your seat, and we absolutely loved them! Comedian, Richie Minervini: I can tell when a comedian is funny by how many tears of laughter I need to dry, and I needed half a box of tissues for this guy. He's got quite a TV and comedy club history according to his website, though I didn't recognize him and never watched the shows he was famous for ("King of Queens" or "Rosie"). In any event, he was hilarious, and his jokes hit their mark. Static - I actually left my husband behind in the cabin one night and went out dancing to this lively, high-energy dance band. The two lead singers do an awesome job taking turns mingling with the crowd and encouraging everyone to get out on the dance floor and boogie to pop, oldies and disco. Bravo - This was the only production extravaganza we experienced on this cruise. The Princess singers, dancers and orchestra came together to perform pop music with a side order of light opera. We had seen this show on a previous Princess cruise, and the vocals, costumes and choreography were as phenomenal as I remembered. It was definitely worth the re-run! The Casino - My husband is fond of slots and we had a nice discount on this cruise with a "Casino" offer from Princess, a promotion probably reserved for the biggest "losers", which was the case, again, on this cruise, flushing a lot of cash into the sea. If anything good came from that, we received another "Casino" discount to apply to the next cruise! Sabatini's Italian Trattoria. We had not planned on trying any of the added-fee specialty restaurants on this cruise, but made a spur-of-the-moment reservation at Sabatini's, and we were not disappointed. We live in an Italian/American neighborhood in our home town and have the best Italian food around, so I was a little skeptical whether cruise ship Italian could compete. Turned out it was just as good as anything back home. Service was impeccable, the food expertly prepared and delicious. Of special mention is a trio of pastas my husband ordered as an appetizer - absolutely amazing. Then, while dining on our Italian dinner, we watched as waiter after waiter brought out a quartet of delectable desserts to other tables. When the dessert menu arrived, we didn't hesitate and each ordered our own. While we were waiting for them to arrive to the table, little did we know that singing waiters were going to surprise us with a cake for our anniversary. There was no way we could do double dessert, so we had them wrap the cake and deliver it to our cabin, which was a good move, because it would have been a darned shame if we didn't have room in our bellies for these slanted glass goblets containing tiramisu, berries and chocolate sauce, panna cotta and one of the cruise line's famous Chocolate Journey creations. Positively sinful! AnyTime Dining. Sabatini's was, of course, the culinary highlight of the cruise, and Anytime Dining in our venue of choice, Island Dining Room, had some good offerings, as well. My prime rib was delicious, though I did hear several people complain it was tough. The always-available fettuccini alfredo was even better than I remember, and the French onion soup was amazing, as always. The best entree on the menu was the beef medallion, very tender and delicious. Service, on the other hand, was inconsistent, with long lags between courses, and accompaniments like butter and sour cream for a baked potato were slow in coming. One noticeable change was the steak option missing from the "anytime" menu, now replaced by a burger. On a positive note, because we were willing to share a table, we had no wait to be seated without a reservation. In fact, the only time I made a reservation was for our group of 8 on the final night of the cruise so we could enjoy a bon voyage meal. World Fresh Marketplace (a.k.a.Buffet). With the exception of room service a couple of mornings, we had breakfast here most often. However, while everyone else naturally gravitated to the first stack of plates and nearby food stations, we headed on through to Planks BBQ and adjacent Steamers, both open daily in the mornings. It was far less crowded and much quieter, though by the end of the cruise, others had discovered our secret. In fact, Steamers is also where the omelet station is located, which made me wonder how many people weren't even aware of its existence. Most of the same breakfast options were available here, and if they didn't have it, the nearby main buffet did. We found the food generally good, with a wide selection of items to choose from - both at breakfast and lunch. We also stopped by here a couple of nights to grab a snack for the room. International Cafe: This is my favorite snack venue on the ship, with complimentary salads, sandwiches, quiche and desserts. The adjacent coffee bar serves up some delicious specialty coffees for a fee. Slice Pizzeria. Caribbean Princess does not have their famous sit-down Alfredo's pizza restaurant, so this pool-side pizzeria was the next best thing, and served up fresh and tasty pies. The best part? It was just steps away from our cabin, so we could easily grab a slice whenever we craved it which, I confess, was too often. To our delight, they have added deep dish focaccia and sliced stromboli to the menu, which were delicious. The Salty Dog. I don't think we tried the burgers at this poolside grill, but the hot dogs were good. Plus, maybe I was inspired by the "poutine" (fries covered in gravy and cheese curds) I tried in Quebec City, but suddenly I wanted to smother my fries in toppings, so I ordered them covered in cheese and bacon. Now, the ports ... Quebec City: Montmorency Falls and Ile d’Orleans. This was a cruise-sponsored tour which I wouldn’t do again and would only recommend to those who would be satisfied with a very brief glimpse of Montmorency Falls. The first stop was Lac-Beauport, a small lake beach resort where we got off the bus, looked at the lake, and got back on the bus. It seemed to be a lake like any other, and was nothing special. My one interesting take away of this tour, though, was the display of interesting art posters by local artists, one of which could possibly be a distant relative of mine. My dad came from Quebec, and, who knows, maybe "Pierre" is a distant cousin! The next stop was the L’En-Tailleur Sugar Shack, a place popular with the tourists but everyone should visit at least once, as Quebec prides itself on their maple sugar products. It was an interesting display of how maple syrup is made, complete with really good warm complimentary apple pie and coffee. Be sure to douse it with with the provided maple syrup - it’s delicious! The last stop on the tour was Montmorency Falls, and for those who wanted to snap a photo or two from the rear of the gift shop, I’m sure it was fine. But I am a photo nut and like to be up close and personal with my subject and make the moment last. By the time the bus unloaded, I had barely enough time to race to the falls, snap a few photos, and race back. There are other fun things to do at the falls - trails, cable car ride, zip lining, and probably more. If you’re in Quebec City on a cruise and want to spend quality time at the Falls, just take an Uber or taxi from the ship. The guides love to point out the fact that Montmorency Falls are taller than Niagara Falls. This may be true, and while the Falls were impressive, they just don't have the same breadth and scope as Niagara Falls and lack the WOW factor you get from Niagara. Saguenay/Fjord National Park - Cape Breton, NS: We pre-booked an independent small-group tour of the Fjord and surrounding areas through a local guide, an excellent tour which got off to a rather rocky start. My husband was a bit under the weather, so I ventured out alone on this 24-passenger minibus tour. Even though I prepaid, I still had to stop at the office shack on the pier, wait in line, and get a ticket which is assigned a bus number. I went to my assigned bus, which strangely had no seat for me, so back to the shack I trekked. After some confusion, I finally had a seat on another mini-bus. We finally drove off, and I happily had the seat all to myself. I am happy to say that the tour got much better after this, and I would highly recommend it. Our guide, Louise, was a real sweet French lady who spoke enough English to get her stories across with knowledge, humor and enthusiasm. Stops included a site with an assortment of interesting Nativity carvings, a stroll across a beautiful covered bridge and an hour-long visit to the lovely town of L’Anse St. Jean to have a bite to eat or just take in the scenery. But the highlight was the nature trail in Saguenay Fjord National Park, where we hiked to three separate overlooks to see the magnificent Saguenay fjord that our ship traversed to reach the port of Quebec City. The views were stunning and one of the top 10 best views in all of Canada, we were told. Charlottetown, PEI: Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island Scenic Drive. This was a ship tour, and it was very good. We saw three of the 50 lighthouses on the island. Our guide was a friendly local man who told us all about the history and culture of P.E.I. and its lighthouses. The first lighthouse, Brighton Beach, was viewed from the shore road sidewalk, but the other two, Prim Point and Wood Islands we were able to view and access from the grounds. In fact, for the third and final lighthouse (Wood Islands) my husband and I succeeded in climbing the narrow steep stairway to the top, a very proud accomplishment for us. On the ride back to the ship, our guide, who had a genuine appreciation of the local music and arts, entertained us with his harmonicas. It was a very beautiful and relaxing tour. Having never been here before, we were pleasantly surprised by the lush and beautiful landscapes of Prince Edward Island. Sydney: I organized a private 6-hour mini-Cabot Trail tour for my husband and me, plus 6 of our friends. Since Sydney turned out to be a tender port, we weren’t certain about the logistics of meeting the tour on time, but the tour office was very communicative from the get-go, arranging to meet as soon as we were able to leave the ship. We all met onboard at the Island Dining Room to collect our tender tickets and were on the first tender over to meet our tour. Our driver/guide was happily waiting for us with her roomy 12-passenger van right at the dock when we stepped off the tender, and we were on our way by 7:30 a.m, well before the ship's excursion. She showed us around a portion of the 185-mile trail loop, covering as much ground as possible, stopping for snacks and the best scenic photo ops along the way. We all loved this tour - we were able to be on the road well before the cruise ship busses, cover more ground (specifically the prettier west side of the trail, as recommended by the guide), and experience more of beautiful Cape Breton, all at a significantly lower price than the cruise line tour. Portland: My husband has a couple of friends/colleagues in Maine, and we used this day in port to meet them for lunch. They suggested DiMillo's on the Water, a floating restaurant just a short walk from the ship. Our friends recommended I try their famous lobster stew, and it was delicious. After lunch, our friends were kind enough to drive us around town and show us the sights. Halifax: I had been here before, having seen the Maritime Museum, and once again with my husband last October when we did a tour of Peggy's Cove and other attractions. We had no plans on this visit, but needed to find a pharmacy, so took a walk up the hill to check out the city streets and the historic cemetery. On the way back, we walked along the Boardwalk and grabbed a lobster roll for lunch, and headed back to the ship. Boston: We live an hour away, have been there a million times, so we used this port as an extra sea day, enjoying the aft pool and deck without the crowds, catching up on my reading, and watching the planes take off and land at Logan Airport. Brooklyn, New York: The cruise ended in New York, and even though I have plenty of previous photos of Lady Liberty and the New York skyline, I never get tired of the view. It was particularly beautiful watching the sun rise over the city, and I got some great shots from our balcony, the upper decks and that awesome view spot with limited access way forward on Deck 15. Disembarkation: The cruise was over and it was time to take our leave, which is always a little bittersweet, especially when it's been a particularly good cruise. Unfortunately, disembarkation was very disorganized and took unusually long because they were late getting the luggage off the ship. For the first time I can remember, some passengers disembarked before their luggage did. Final Thoughts: The ship is gorgeous and the destinations were beautiful, particularly Prince Edward Island and the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. The scenery and ocean views on the excursions just blew us away. Weather was a mixed bag of rain, clouds, sun and lots of fog, the most fog I've experienced on any cruise. In fact, on our final day at sea from Boston to New York, the fog was thick and the ship's horn sounded every couple of minutes most of the day. We took advantage of the Future Cruise program and used credits for another cruise from NYC in November 2020 on the new Sky Princess, a 10-day sailing to Fort Lauderdale. Hopefully, the techies at Princess will have worked out the kinks in Medallion Class cruising. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Let me start by saying that the actual ship is very nice and we had a nice trip. PROS: The cruise directors, Andrew & Andy, were really fun. The entertainment was very good. We enjoyed the various trivia games, there was a great ... Read More
Let me start by saying that the actual ship is very nice and we had a nice trip. PROS: The cruise directors, Andrew & Andy, were really fun. The entertainment was very good. We enjoyed the various trivia games, there was a great magician, awesome juggler, and very interesting high-tech lights\video\music act. The food was great in both formal dining room and buffet. They have great video screen at the pool that plays recent movies (that you can also view later in your cabin). There are fun "touch screens" on every floor where you can locate the people you are travelling with, see deck plans, the entertainment schedule, AND there is fun "explorer puzzle game" for the kids to play. There are 3 regular sized pools (one is private one for adults only near the spa), and one very small "kid's area pool", so there are different options. I think they make good use of the space and boat doesn't feel too large (or too small). Also, very "non pressure" from the staff. I've been on some cruises where they are always trying to sell you things, but this ship wasn't like that. Stops on our cruise were awesome. In particular I loved Quebec City, & Prince Edward Island. Halifax is nice, but a bit more of a bustling city. Sidney Nova Scotia is cute town but a "young port" so tour options (e.g. if want to go to the Alexander Graham Bell museum) are limited if you don't book ahead. You can't even really even find a taxi. - - - CONS: There are limited shore excursions and most of the good ones they sold out months before the cruise. (Not sure why they can't see the high demand and arrange for additional tours). It ended working out OK for us though because we found that for most ports you can find alternative tours outside of the port for cheaper than Princess charges. The EXCEPTION though is the port of Sydney, Nova Scotia. If you don't book something ahead won't be able to find trips on short. The "app" (where you can order drinks and see entertainment schedule seems to be a bit of a work in progress (didn't work very well for me). I could see upcoming events schedule but never could do anything else with it. There was mystery "high seas heist" ongoing game that we participated in, which was semi-fun but sloppily run and slightly confusing. There is "kids club" for area but for some reason it is closed from Noon-to-2PM so it didn't work out well for my wife and I when we wanted to do some of the things like the art auction on the boat, or trivia. Also, the staff in the area are not that friendly, and per my kids (so take with grain of salt) they had strictly regimented task for them to follow. (e.g. they couldn't just draw, read, play video games or Foosball when there was an activity like "t-shirt painting" going on. You have to do what group is doing while in kids club, at least if you are in the 7-to-11 year old section). Perhaps not the cruise line's fault but found the "exit port" in Brooklyn NY to be run horribly. A lot of confusion, and they routed people into different lines... allowed people to cut in the lines... and ultimately you could just walk out of the port if you wanted to (there was no security check or anything) so all the confusion wasn't really necessary if they were better organized. Lastly, bad ratings to our cabin (E514), mostly because it is located directly above the lounge where loud music is played most nights. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for the port itinerary and length of cruise. We've done a CNE twice before (7 and 14 days, in October) and wanted warmer weather, less rain this time. We've cruised w Princess before and DH was not ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the port itinerary and length of cruise. We've done a CNE twice before (7 and 14 days, in October) and wanted warmer weather, less rain this time. We've cruised w Princess before and DH was not impressed with the food, about 5 years ago. However on this cruise, dinner was delightful each evening. We had My Time Dining and made reservations each day, always requesting Table 210 for 4# in the Island MDR. We landed at this table on Day 1, and the server, Viktoria R, was the absolute best waiter we have experienced on the seas. Attention to detail, recommendations were spot on for each of us, friendly, professional - she didn't miss a beat. We had 2 nights when our reservation was moved to another MDR, when we showed up, we were instructed to go elsewhere - which was a pain and no explanation was provided by the HW or host in the Island and when we arrived upstairs, that dining room team was confused as to why tables were being sent to them. After 2 nights of chaos, the reservation returned to table 210# and all was right in the world, at least for dinner. Memorable food - the prime rib, early in the cruise was outstanding, honey mustard dressing was raved about at the table, and a chocolate dessert - with cookies and ice cream was the bomb, but each night dinner at table 210# was a treat and no complaints from our foodies. Now back to the review - after we booked, we learned about the new Medallions - registering online was difficult to take the photo, upload and the scan the passport, but we managed. A lot of passengers complained about the whole process. The biggest pain was poor communication about when to expect the Medallion to arrive. We completed all steps over 30 days prior to sail, and waited. No update. Finally about 10 days out the system indicated the Medallion was on the way, only to change the next morning online to unable to ship, not sufficient time to process and mail. I was terribly disappointed and resigned to picking it up at the port. Then one night, about 5 days before we departed, Fed Ex dropped off a small box, even though the status had no change. Packaging was nice, represented the company and new initiative well. It included a carry case and lanyard without any upcharge. We were set. Then 48 hours before we traveled, I got the email indicating the Medallion was on its way - by then it was already packed in my carry on. Port Everglades is a favorite for embarkation, I just find it easy. This day, Princess was working out of a different terminal because of a Navy ship being commissioned. Staff kept apologizing for slow internet speed to get us processed which was unnecessary. We got to the port about 10:30, after an overnight at the Courtyard FLL airport and comp cruise port shuttle. We sped through security and check in - then got to sit in a general waiting room until our group number (4) was called. We have no loyalty status (Gold) so we were with the masses, with the Elites pulled out to wait elsewhere. It wasn't crowded and after 30 minutes or so, it was time to board, a little after 11. We went straight to our cabin, which was ready, to drop luggage, then off to the buffet for lunch. The buffet are had plenty of room and we found a table. Food was typical buffet, which was expected. Afterward, we returned to our balcony for sail away, our checked luggage was there to unpack and then it was time for the muster talk/video/demonstration, for us in the casino. Cabin - Deck 14 309 Balcony. Our cabin steward, Pablo, was hard working and attentive. When the balcony divider door basically was falling off, he saw it before we did and had the maintenance team in there to fix it. If he was asked for something once, he remembered it each day, such as extra washcloths in the bathroom. I have only praise for him and appreciated his service. The cabin was a typical balcony cabin, average size, 2 chairs on the balcony, no footstool which was ridiculous, even though I requested it on their 'check in' status card sent to us about Day 3. King bed that was super comfortable, desk/chair and the famous barrel chair, but no sofa. There was an empty fridge, a former mini bar, that took 24 hours to cool bottled water, but it kept everything cool for the trip once it cooled down, and my expectation was lowered. We had a side/by/side balcony with our family and maintenance did open to divider early on Day 1. (but about Day 7, it was ready to fall off the hinge) . This divider is wonky and really in the way when opened. On other ships our experience has been the divider folds flat and secures, this one only opened about 45 degrees and required us to position a deck chair to keep it from slamming as we sailed. Our balcony had a cover which was nice for us. However, our neighbors in 14-311 had excessive noise from above - and at times we could hear it too - from sliding chairs on the pool deck to stomping feet, even though there was a cabin above us, the noise from the pool deck was awful. We will never do another cabin under the pool deck regardless if cabins are above. Imagine, the pool deck starts early, before 6 am with set up, and doesn't die out until at least midnight each evening. Ship itself is dated, limited entertainment, but the bands and production shows are good - but it is not the glory days of cruising. We didn't expect it to be, so we were not disappointed. This cruise is about the ports, and little evening activity occurs. We were ok with it, and enjoyed our balcony most evenings after dinner. Ports for us were intense - we walk a lot and did over 5 miles in NYC, Boston and Quebec, with 3 miles on average in other ports. Since we had been there before, we had a plan on what we wanted to do. Weather was perfect, mid to upper 80's in Charleston, NYC and Boston, others were upper 70s to low 80s, low humidity. Rain only briefly in NYC as we ferried to the ship and again on Day 1 in Quebec, but we had ponchos and it only lasted a couple of hours. This was our port focus: Charleston - easy, walkable port. We walked through the historic district and market area. There is a grocery about 4 blocks from the ship - so we stocked up on flavored coffee creamer. The shuttle around town is free - so we rode the loop twice and used it as a hop on/off without the cost. In the past we have visited the Aircraft Carrier and Medal of Honor Museum (awesome) and the Tea Plantation - another fun excursion. NYC - the ship docks in Brooklyn and the ferry terminal is less than a 1/2 block from the terminal. We took a ferry to lower Manhattan and transferred to another ferry to midtown. We visited Times Square, took the subway to lower Manhattan, and then ferried back to the ship. If the rain had not impacted, we had planned to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. The rain was actually a thunderstorm and we got back to the terminal before the major downpour. Tip - buy your ferry ticket in advance via the Red Hook app. It will save you line time. Cost is less than $3 each way, with free transfers. We've been to Manhattan numerous times - so we didn't go to the 9/11 Memorial/Museum or other must see stops on the island. Newport RI - a jewel. After an uneventful tender (we didn't try to get off with the masses, but waited about 45 minutes and had no wait; understand those who waited until 1030 or so, had a LONG wait for a tender), we walked a couple of blocks to the visitor's center, got a lay of the land, reviewed tour options (you can buy the mansion tix and other tours there) and decided to take the public bus for $2 out to the cliff walk and mansions. We had a delightful day there. The bus system was terrific. Boston - we wanted to see the USS Constitution, so we took a city bus out there and walked the Freedom Trail back through the North End to Quincy Market. The Holocaust Memorial is not to be missed. While we have been to Boston several times and don't always do the same things, we always walk through the Memorial. It right by Quincy Market. We took a public bus back to the port ($2, paid onboard) and then walked about 3 blocks to the ship. Bar Harbor ME - our favorite NE port. Another tender with no complaints. The ship team executed a new wait plan flawlessly - everyone into a MDR with a ticket - then called ticket numbers in bulk to move toward a tender. Everyone had a seat while we waited. This day we went to Acadia NP and took the Island Explorer to get there (free). This public bus is a 6 block walk up the hill from the tender port. You catch it at the Village Green. Their team is there, and readily helps to navigate the various bus routes - we did 3 separate routes inside the park (all free, donations accepted) to tour a large loop in hop on/off fashion - views are amazing. The buses run about every 15-20 mins and you catch the route desired. Google their website for details and map planning in advance. We had reservations for lunch at the Jordan Pond House - a delightful table on the lawn for popovers, blueberry lemonade and amazing views. A hike around the pond afterward made the afternoon. It was then back to Bar Harbor for souvenir shopping back down the hill to the tender. A great day. Halifax - it's been almost 10 years since we visited Halifax. The port area has grown with housing and retail / restaurants in a 10-12 block area. Wow! This port has an extensive dedicated inside craft/souvenir market. We rented a car with Hertz, their location is less that a block from the port. We drove out to Peggy's Cove - it was terribly crowded due to a national holiday, but we had no problem parking and walked around the community. A lovely spot on earth. Afterward we drove back a different route, with breathtaking lakes and quaint towns. We stopped at the Swiss Air Memorial - just beyond the Peggy's Cove turn off - and then stopped at Fairlawn Cemetery where a lot of Titanic victims are buried. We ended the day at the Citadel, then returned the car and walked back to the ship. A great day. St John - it was Sunday and a national holiday weekend - we arrived early morning, but limited retail was open. We've seen the reversing rapids in the past, so we walked to the Market - and waited for it to open at 11. Afterward we walk around town for a bit, then back to the terminal - with a smaller, tented vendor area and free WiFi with tables and chairs for comfort. The last time we were in SJNB - the wind was unbelievable, to the point we could barely walk. Thankfully, the wind was a breeze on this visit. Sydney - we walked around the town - it was a Tuesday, but other than the port vendors, it is a quiet town. We visited a lovely church and enjoyed a history lesson there. Free WiFi in the terminal - with big round tables of passengers sitting together, but everyone was looking at their phones. In Sydney, there is a coal mine museum and tour - and if you are lucky their chorus will have a concert - look for this tour. Quebec - another favorite - Day 1 we walked around the old city - upper and lower - visited Parliament Building - amazing! Then over to the Citadel and Park, then 600+ steps and 5 miles later we were down in the lower area again. Such a fun day, even with ponchos the first couple of hours. Day 2 were disembarked - a taxi up to the Hilton to pick up another rental car with Avis. They reimbursed for the taxi fare. Note - the port is extremely organized - although the tented taxi space is a long walk - there were only 15 people in front of me and it went quickly. It took me longer to walk through the tented areas. About 2/3rds of the way through it, there are passenger vans and greeters with clip boards where you can pick up a direct to Airport and other city location shared rides (a ride to the Hilton was quoted as $5 compared to an $8 taxi). The vans were all 15+ passenger Mercedes with room for luggage. As soon as one partially filled, the vans were leaving. I continued on for a taxi, which was a quick process, too. After returning to the port in the rental - signage is lacking in the port area where to enter - and a few missed turns - I picked up my fellow passengers and we were off for a day in the country. We went to the St Anne Basilica - about 20 miles east of the port - it was amazing - and truly the highlight of our trip. We have been there before - and would definitely go again. On the way back we stopped at the Falls for another visit. We enjoy it too. Then onto our hotel, the Comfortel Airport. A comfy place where I would stay again, about 10 minutes from the airport, even in rush hour with no overnight plane noise. The next morning, we flew out with a layover in Toronto. That said, Toronto required us to switch terminals, go thru security in the new terminal and US Customs. The US Customs team consisted of 2 agents checking credentials with no queue to the line. A 3rd agent would come out to relieve for breaks, but not stay open to work the line - which was completely through the cattle lines and backed out of the room. A lot of people missed flights because of poor management of the area. If folks were texting on cell phones, they were put to the back of the line - if other passengers offered to let folks ahead to catch flights - they were told no, everyone had to stay in their place. Ridiculous. US Customs can do better. I was embarrassed for them. If Air Canada had not held our flight - 1/2 of the passengers would have missed it. A young bride arrived on the plane in tears over the emotion of the ordeal. I'm sharing this in case you are like me and think a 1:45 layover should be sufficient to make a connection - we got to the gate with no time to spare - boarded - and then waited over 20 minutes for the rest of our party to join us on the plane. Plan accordingly. That said - the Princess Cruise was nice - good food - great ports with extra late evenings in several of the ports, including NYC and Boston. We enjoyed it - and encourage others to consider this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The title of this review is taken from my answer to the Princess post-cruise survey question asking me to summarize my experience with the Ocean Medallion in no more than ten words. Please also note that while I will endeavor to follow ... Read More
The title of this review is taken from my answer to the Princess post-cruise survey question asking me to summarize my experience with the Ocean Medallion in no more than ten words. Please also note that while I will endeavor to follow the Cruise Critic review format my text will likely contain asides regarding the Medallion and my being an Elite Captains Circle member that germinated in various threads on the Princess Cruises boards, which for reasons undisclosed I will no longer contribute to. Departure City/Embarkation: As a South Florida local I jumped on a late deal for this Ft Lauderdale to Quebec repo cruise as a pre-vacation to my visiting relatives in Western New York. I didn’t arrive at Port Everglades until after 1;30 and was asked repeatedly if I was a B2B returning from my day in Ft Lauderdale. No, sorry, I need to check in. Obviously no wait required--but they needed to re-take my security photo, which I anticipated as I had loaded a fairly poor scan of my passport pic into the Medallion. But it had to be done not once but twice--at the check-in desk and on the gangway. So immediately strike one of the repetitive redundancies that the Medallion was supposed to eliminate. Ship: Caribbean Princess has never had the rep of being one of Princess’ preferred ships but having recently spent a month out of service for propulsion repairs it was obvious that cosmetic improvements were made as well. The public restrooms were still immaculately shiny from their deep clean. No signs of age or disrepair on any hard or soft furnishings in the public rooms. The main complaint about her has always been congestion due to having the same amount of passenger space as the earlier Grand-class builds but an additional deck of cabins. More on that later… Cabin: Having booked an inside to get the lowest possible price (as I was paying double as a solo) I was subsequently offered an upsell to an oceanview cabin for a mere pittance more. Yes it was obstructed but very near the aft elevator bank, which to me is the most convenient location to base from on Princess ships. First thought: no complaints at all about the air conditioning; in fact I raised the control up a good five or six notches and was still comfortably cool. Bed was perpendicular to side wall rather than under the window (as some OV cabins on Princess are) and barrel chair was still inside. As far as I can tell all my Elite tchotchkes were furnished--and I discovered a new trick: the refrigerator door handle makes a good bottle opener for the beers in the mini-bar (Dos Equis does not twist off). And while the much-praised (by others) Princess Luxury Bed was perfectly fine, now that upgraded mattresses have gone fleetwide can Princess please get to work on the pillows; mine were absolute mush. Oh, and regarding the Medaillon as your room key: worked fine when buried deep in my shorts pockets, but not when I tucked the lanyard it hung from under my shirt. Quirky indeed. Dining: I chose Anytime Dining due to (1) plans to spring for Specialty Dining five or six of the 13 nights; and (2) the new dining times of 5:00 and 7:15 are frightfully inconvenient. Night one in the MDR service was abominable; was more than a half hour after the table was fully seated before our orders were taken. One night I turned up around 8 PM and found myself escorted to the Traditional Dining Room you must zigzag up and down to reach, where I was seated alone. Turns out that adjusting the dining times forward may allow more of those who prefer to dine quite early to do so without a long wait--but the corollary is that those who prefer to dine later than 7:15 (say, want to go to the early show then have dinner) are finding worse crowding at that hour than the earlybirds previously did. A compromise by definition satisfies no one--and look no further for proof than the MDR clusterflop that has resulted here. So twice when I saw something on the MDR menu I preferred, I just went shortly after the 5:00 ATD opening and called it a late lunch. Beyond that the saving grace on this ship is the upcharge options: Planks and Steamers were both surprisingly good. But the actual menu at Steamers varies a bit from the online menu--which the supervisor was mortified to learn when I showed her (she then happily offered to construct a meal from any combination of available dishes). Planks actually almost tastes like real BBQ, and while the menu states you can choose up to four of the six meats, they will happily bring you all six for no extra charge. I went to Sabatini’s twice as well. Third different menu in little more than a year and a half. But excellent preparation and impossible to not leave oversated. Even though I was solo they brought a full complement of the three different types of breads--enough for six people. Just be careful not to spoil the rest of your meal. And the massive chocolate dessert defies description. Entertainment and Activities: And back to the congestion issue. I saw only four shows--none of the production shows--in the Princess Theater as it was necessary most nights to arrive more than 30 minutes early to obtain a seat. Not something that should have to fit into anyone’s vacation days. And what I managed to see could have easily been skipped: a self-proclaimed Liberace protege whose target audience is obviously a full length mirror, and a comedian from a recent sitcom telling the same old cruise ship jokes about the first time you ever flushed the toilet et al that my parents wouldn’t even find funny anymore. Plus a solo show from the guest soprano featured in some of the production shows: she told us her story of growing up in a tiny one-traffic-light town in the deep south--then sang a number from ‘Porgy and Bess’. M’kaaay... I did not avail myself of the various cruise ship passenger participation activities. And given there were only three sea days there were no port talks or enrichment lectures at all. I did wander in to the Voice of the Ocean finals on the last sea day, as it was raining outside and I had an hour to kill before the wine tasting (which is free for Elite members, but barely worth the time even then). Turns out there were seven surprisingly good singers among my fellow passengers; was the most entertaining event I attended. Service: Clearly Princess’ intent is to transfer some service requests from human contact to your smartphone via the Medallion. The problem I repeatedly saw was at the receiving end of the request the crew lacked a sufficient number of functioning Medallion readers. And without a cruise card to flash in lieu of making an electronic transaction, the bar waiters et al required you to say your cabin number aloud, a security issue previously long eliminated. Wheelhouse Bar appeared to be completely offline from the Medallion system, and I’m sure it wasn’t the only venue. And which beverages were available for Medallion ordering varied widely by location. Some bars showed the option to request a refill of fountain soda for those with the Soda or PBP packages; some showed the ability to purchase a can of soda. But I saw none with both of those on the Medallion menu. Absolutely mind boggling. Not for a second do I wish to imply that face-to-face service was anything but the usual excellent. Despite many who had just started their contracts with this repo cruise, all were motivated and polite--and as organized as a newbie could be. Front desk fine as well, though the separate Elite/Suite line sure helps. And when I finally found the shop with the item I was looking for--personal sundries had been moved to the former Vines Shop on Deck 5 where you now also order your duty free liquor and smokes--the Medallion did work to check out. Ports and Excursions: Lots and lots of ports on this repo cruise. So a quick bullet point on each… Charleston: sure would have rather had an additional Canadian port rather than calling here mid-summer. Took the free city mini-bus to catch the ferry to Fort Sumter. Debated visiting the aquarium but it appeared overrun with summer campers. Went to Museum of Charleston right next to tourist info center instead. New York City: if you only pick up one tidbit from this tome of a review, make it this one--download the app for the ferry from Red Hook to Manhattan. Will save you from queueing up for the one ticket machine at the pier. I got to tick off one more item from my domestic (gawd I hate this term) bucket list: Ellis Island. Only issue was getting drenched walking in the rain from Battery Park to the terminal for the ferry back to the ship--but again, just flashing the app lets you walk right on. Newport: was planning to go to Tennis Hall of Fame, the only attraction of interest I had missed on previous visits. Chose to stay on the ship rather than deal with the unholy mess the tender service turned out to be. Lots of talk onboard of extreme verbal abuse of the staff from those waiting--hopefully exaggerated. Boston: ship’s tour to John Adams house and JFK Museum. The former truly a hidden gem, the latter a bit cold and static but deserved far more time than the barely an hour we had to walk through after the orientation film (which viewed the Kennedy family through rose-colored glasses IMHO). Bar Harbor: ship’s tour to the “other” side of Mount Desert island, Boothbay and Southwest Harbor. Scenic and relaxing, adequately killing two hours. Of course had some blueberry pie waiting for return tender. Saint John: walked to Jewish Museum of Saint John on my own. Interesting talk on the experiences of one mostly immigrant community (both then and now); artefacts familiar but in an interesting context. Well worth a CA$5 donation. Many shops and restaurants were closed for holiday weekend, though what was open looked inviting. But Princess is calling here next year same weekend…. Halifax: ship’s tour to Peggy’s Cove. Wanted to finally see what the fuss is all about. Big. Waste. Of. Time. Again mistake to call here holiday weekend, this time due to crowding. But nothing to write home about anyway. Thankfully guide gave excellent talk about what we were seeing on the drive back. Sydney: had prebooked ship’s tour to Fortress of Louisbourg but cancelled by the deadline due to being all walked out. Hung around the dock area for an hour or so. Food and souvenirs for sale there a bit much even taking exchange rate into consideration. Sure wish the cruise was still going to Saguenay rather than Sydney as it was when first open for booking. Quebec City: again cancelled whatever was the ship’s tour I had prebooked. Enjoyed hanging around the old city despite the rain, had a ham and cheese sandwich (on open faced French bread) and a glass of exceptionally dry red wine at a cave-like bistro. Disembarkation: we filled out Canadian Customs Declarations early in the cruise to be turned in at their first port. So no formalities at all in Quebec City. I was picking up a rental car at the airport and assigned (as requested) the first color tag of the second wave of airport transfers. A looong walk down the gangway and two escalators (an even longer walk to find the elevators if you need to) until reaching your bags on ground level. But as soon as you get out the door you are ushered onto the next departing bus. I was in my rental and on the road from YQB at 10:20 (thank you friend with Enterprise corporate account for sharing your codes, as the two people in line ahead of me were told their cars weren’t ready but I was immediately handed the keys). The GPS lady in the phone pegged it an 8.5 hour drive; turn out nearly two hours longer thanks to construction in Montreal. Would I go again? Princess Cruises has always fit me like a well broken in pair of sneakers (I’m from South Florida so ‘fits me like a glove’ does not compute). But I am pretty sure my next Princess cruise will be one last trip on Golden Princess or Star Princess. Because as they are leaving the fleet in 2020 and 2021 respectively they are not scheduled to be fitted with all the Medallion gobbledygook. My lack of preference for I have only scratched the surface with in this review (believe it or not). I consider myself still too young(-ish) to be called ‘Old Fashioned’ but in the case of Medallion Class Cruising, the old format is fine with me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My spouse and I had wanted to do a New England / Canada Cruise for sometime. We were fortunate enough to have benefited from a last minute sale from Princess Cruises that allowed us to experience this wonderful itinerary. Our experience ... Read More
My spouse and I had wanted to do a New England / Canada Cruise for sometime. We were fortunate enough to have benefited from a last minute sale from Princess Cruises that allowed us to experience this wonderful itinerary. Our experience aboard the Caribbean Princess was generally very good but there are some minor issues that should be reviewed by Princess in order to improve their service onboard this ship. We booked an Oceanview Cabin that was partially obstructed but were pleasantly impressed with the size of he cabin and the storage space that was available for us during this cruise. The bathroom on the other hand was quite small that lacked storage space for toiletries and one needed the skills of a contortionist to benefit from the space provided in the shower. Our Stateroom attendant was excellent and our cabin was kept in immaculate condition. We participated in the Anytime Dinning and our overall experience was varied depending in which dinning room we were assigned for that evening. In the evening some of the Dinning Rooms were at capacity when we arrived and the Maitre D would often assign us to another Dinning Room in order for us not to have to wait for a long time for a table. This resulted in mixed results in regards to the service we were provided by the staff, Generally the service was very good but on occasion the server would get the order wrong and the wait times for service would vary from a few minutes to one one occasion twenty minutes. The quality of the food in the Dinning rooms also varied from being very good to poor, Over the years we have observed, as well as other long time Princess Passengers, that the quality of food in the Dinning Room has somewhat deteriorated although it"s still better than many other Cruise Lines. On the other hand the food in the Buffett was surprisingly very good and the selection of food was impressive. We attended two speciality restaurants onboard the ship including the Italian and the BBQ Restaurants and found the service and food to be excellent. The entertainment onboard the ship was very good. The production shows were off a very good quality although one of the production shows experienced some technical problems and it was cancelled half way through the performance. The Princess Band, performers and cast members of the production shows were of a very high calibre. Outside of the never ending Art Auction so called Enrichment Programs there was nothing in regards to guest speakers to discuss the Historical significance of the ports we were visiting. Outside of Halifax we booked our excursions through the Princess and we enjoyed all of them. Most of our excursions were of walking variety and did require a certain level of fitness. Clearly these excursions should not be booked for people with any mobility issues. The only issue regarding excursions was what occurred during this cruise was in the Port of Newport. This Port required tendering in order to get ashore and the process that took place regarding this experience can only described as a fiasco! It took up to two hours for some passengers to get ashore through the tendering process from the ship. Needless to say there were a number of unhappy passengers on that day. Overall we did enjoy this cruise and we definitely would book another cruise with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Coming from Florida, this cruise was a good choice for us. We have easy access to Port Everglades and had the opportunity to enjoy cooler summer weather in New England and Canada. We have sailed with Princess many times and are Platinum. ... Read More
Coming from Florida, this cruise was a good choice for us. We have easy access to Port Everglades and had the opportunity to enjoy cooler summer weather in New England and Canada. We have sailed with Princess many times and are Platinum. The ship is pretty, the food is good, and the ports enjoyable. A downfall for some might be the entertainment. The peculiarly designed showroom fills up fast, and one needs to claim a seat almost an hour before a performance. We didn't bother going. Too much trouble. Because this was a new itinerary for employees in the excursion department, they were inexperienced and caused some chaos with crowds leaving the ship at various ports. At some of the ports, the walkways from the ship to the terminals were very long...one example was Charleston which was 5 stories down..and then up. Our balcony cabin was attractive with new carpeting. However there was some mold in the bathroom and a dirty bed skirt which was quickly replaced. We did have a wonderful 13 days on the Caribbean Princess. Vacations are what you make of them. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Overall: Good itinerary and good cruise… Overall staff was very polite and helpful. The ship was in good shape, looked nice and there were many places to relax on deck and inside. We often relaxed in the Skywalker Lounge which was ... Read More
Overall: Good itinerary and good cruise… Overall staff was very polite and helpful. The ship was in good shape, looked nice and there were many places to relax on deck and inside. We often relaxed in the Skywalker Lounge which was never crowded, comfortable, quite and has great views. It was a very busy port cruise so not much deck time and evenings were often occupied preparing for the next days port activity. But; overall - the Medallion process sucked. I got to a point that I realized I was waisting too much vacation time trying to figure out how to use the Medallion and the numerous icons. In the end, it was simply a glorified room key. Despite hype that the Medallion would speed up embarkation, the Medallion was ignored and not requested at embarkation. Luckily, I printed our boarding passes and had passports handy. Also, if there was a priority boarding line for Elite or Suites passengers, I missed it and was directed to a single long weaving line for embarkation processing. Onboard; Internet staff was pissy and provided poor service. They were obviously frustrated and overwhelmed by the number of people needing help to configure their phones and iPads for Medallion and internet service... “it’s not a simple process.” There are “several” icons necessary to use the Medallion network and VERY IMPORTANTLY, once you have the sign on page on your screen... send it to your home screen so you can access it independently because once you sign on, it often disappears and there is no way to sign off the internet. A big complaint among those that had complimentary minutes is that they lost all there minutes because they closed the program and assumed they were signed off, nope, you have to specifically sign off. I was one of those confused soles and lost 250 minutes within the first few days. The internet guy reinstated the minutes but found it necessary to scolded me and said he wouldn’t do it again. There was a Medallion orientation offered in the Princess Lounge which I attended, however; it was a general video overview and provided no instructional advice. Unfortunately, there was no general or specific educational information offered to help configure devices. Personally, I found the Medallion cruse concept disappointing, distracting and unfriendly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Good, but not stellar for our first large ship cruise. While we were impressed with friendliness of the staff, general professionalism it had shortcomings in terms of a party boat and lacking the expected amenities and relaxing ambience ... Read More
Good, but not stellar for our first large ship cruise. While we were impressed with friendliness of the staff, general professionalism it had shortcomings in terms of a party boat and lacking the expected amenities and relaxing ambience for adults. Also a number of experienced cruisers commented that this did not rank highly in the Princess ship lineup or comparing to some of the other lines. But we now have a baseline for future comparison. The pool seen was generally way too crowded that generated into a party atmosphere some evenings. Lounge chairs were occasionally hard to find especially in a shady area as baking in the sun was not possible. Food service and quality was sometimes inconsistent in quality, although the presentations were very nice and attractive. The ships organization of activities overlapped not giving the opportunity to attend more than one. The desk services was sometime undermanned causing queues where we did not want to wait. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We overall enjoyed our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Our two interior cabins were clean and well kept. (It would have been nice for Princess to choose a floorplan that sacrificed a bit of closet space in order to expand the size of the ... Read More
We overall enjoyed our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Our two interior cabins were clean and well kept. (It would have been nice for Princess to choose a floorplan that sacrificed a bit of closet space in order to expand the size of the shower, though. At 6'1", my "wingspan" in the shower was much more important than having six superfluous feet of closet space in which to hang a handful of dressy clothes.) The food was amazing and we very much enjoyed the shows and activities offered on the ship. Our excursions were top notch. Our girls spent most of their onboard time in the teen room, and had a blast with the planned activities. However, we had major problems with the Medallion system from the moment of embarkation. For some reason, my daughters and I were issued Medallions, but my husband was issued a key card. I still have no idea why ... I did nothing unusual with his booking process. We were told at embarkation that his Medallion would be ready by dinnertime. At dinnertime, no Medallion. Then we were told that it would be ready first thing in the morning. In the morning, no Medallion. We grew increasingly frustrated as we fell into a pattern of checking in at the service desk every 6-8 hours to be repeatedly told that his Medallion was still being processed. At one point, he asked what would happen if one of our girls lost her Medallion; he was told that a new one would be issued immediately. When he asked why such service couldn't be granted for him, we discovered that the key-card and Medallion databases were entirely separate entities, and he would have to be "created" as a new passenger in order to receive a Medallion. This finally did occur; he received his Medallion ... halfway through the cruise. Once his Medallion was activated, both he and our older daughter were able to track all of us, but my younger daughter and I could not track him. Ever. In addition, for a period of 36 hours, our younger daughter's Medallion dropped off the system and she was un-trackable as she moved about the ship. She was unable to do anything without being accompanied by her sister, with a properly working Medallion, as that was the only way we could ensure that we were able to keep tabs on where she was. When we raised this issue at the service desk, the clerk logged in to his iPad and showed us where she was at that moment. "See? She's perfectly safe!" he told us. We walked him over to the nearest public kiosk and showed him that his information was useless to us, as we couldn't see it ourselves. We felt like we weren't being heard. Not being able to verify her safety was only part of the problem; the larger issue was a faulty tracking system, completely out of our control. I had a scary moment, once both girls' Medallions were back online, when I went to track them and discovered that they were on different floors. The younger one was on a floor which contained only private cabins. She had no business being on such a floor. I raced down to her tracking location to discover that she wasn't there. I climbed six flights of stairs in a panic to find my older daughter in the teen room and ask where her sister was; I found both of them sitting together. I walked to the closest kiosk and logged in; my younger girl, sitting 15 feet away from me, was still registering as being on a cabin-only floor six levels below. Her Medallion location only reset when she logged herself into the kiosk. The Medallion system definitely gives great benefits ... when it works. Obviously the system has a lot of kinks to be worked out. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We live in Florida and Port Lauderdale in convenient for a quick getaway. We chose Princess because we have always had overall positive experiences on Princess Ships and this cruise was no exception. Because we have cruised the Caribbean ... Read More
We live in Florida and Port Lauderdale in convenient for a quick getaway. We chose Princess because we have always had overall positive experiences on Princess Ships and this cruise was no exception. Because we have cruised the Caribbean on numerous previous occassions we booked this crusie primarily for the on board experience so shore excursions and ports of call did not have much enfluence on our choice of cruises. We picked this sailing because it met our schedule and was convenient in that it sailed form Lauderdale. On our last several crusies we have opted for the Suite level cabins and in all honesty have become spoiled. The additional ammenities while costly make for a much more enjoyable experience. The suite (L106) was pretty spacious but a little dated in decor especially in the bathroom. The balcony was especially specious and included 2 chaise lounge chairs which allowed us to escape the crowds on the pool deck and have some real solitude. The food on the cruise was very good with the exception of the World Market Buffet. We noticed that the quality of the buffet offerings was significantly reduced from our experiences on previous Princess cruises. We ate there for lunch on 4 occassions but only because it was convenient to the pool deck and allowed us to dine without changing out of our swim wear. Noticibly from the buffet absent was the steam ship round (roast beef) sea food i.e., boiled shrimp, oysters, clams, and other upgraded fare we have enjoyed from the buffet on other Princess cruises. With the exception of the buffet the food was very very good boardering on excellent the other exception being the Crown Grill again the quality of the food there was not nearly as good as we've had from the Grown Grill on other Princess ships. The service was outstanding across the board especially in the Club Class dining venues. Over all we enjoyed the cruise a great deal and would describe it as better that what we experiened on other cruise lines but a little short of what we have come to expect from Princess. If you visit Princess Cay don't waste your money on the $225 bungalow we made that mistake while there in January 2019 and felt ripped off even at a lower cost of $199. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We spent 3 nights in Fort Lauderdale at a beach hotel prior to the cruise, and on the morning of departure we took a quick taxi to Port Everglades. The terminal was very busy but the lineups moved quickly and check in was fast and ... Read More
We spent 3 nights in Fort Lauderdale at a beach hotel prior to the cruise, and on the morning of departure we took a quick taxi to Port Everglades. The terminal was very busy but the lineups moved quickly and check in was fast and efficient. Our room was ready when we boarded the ship around 1:00 PM. The Caribbean Princess has been modernized, and we noticed the newer rugs, new pictures in our stateroom, and newer look to the ship in general. There is a new splash pad zone on the upper deck for kids, with several lounge chairs (some with clamshell type covers) nearby. We went ashore in Princess Cays, Bahamas, which is a busy beach with lots of room to spread out. We booked a cabana for the day, and it was nice to have a spot to regroup, cool down, or just take a break either indoor with the ac or outside on the shaded lounge chairs. We also went ashore in St. Thomas and took a bus tour & beach break. In St. Maarten we took a similar tour but spent more time on a beach with an included lunch. The weather cooperated the entire week and it was sunny and hot each and every day. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise very much. Our room steward did a good job, the wait staff in the restaurant (Club Class Dining) were very attentive, the front desk and shop staff were also very friendly and helpful. The ship is easy to navigate, and we found using the aft elevators very handy because they were less busy as compared to the midship elevators. The pool areas were a bit crowded on sea days but there was often a few chairs available in which to sit. We didn’t eat in the Marketplace cafeteria more than a few times; the sit down dining rooms provided a table, wait service, and less of a rush so it was more relaxing for us to eat in those venues when we could. For breakfast we generally ordered room service - one of our favourite ways to start the day! Our room was well laid out and spacious, with two windows & close to the water with very little noise or movement from the ship. The location couldn’t be beat: close to the Piazza, front desk, shops, and Coral Dining Room. Overall, a great week on the Caribbean Princess! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was not the first time on the ship. No children. "Almost 50 couple" Highest level of Princess Cruiser, Elite. Don't like structure. Never do excursions. Don't do traditional dining. Yes, that type of couple. ... Read More
This was not the first time on the ship. No children. "Almost 50 couple" Highest level of Princess Cruiser, Elite. Don't like structure. Never do excursions. Don't do traditional dining. Yes, that type of couple. Dual Income, No Kids (DINK) First, Fort Lauderdale with embarkation and disembarkation is just flawless. We know what to do as experienced cruisers, and they are just structured, easy to deal with, and very efficient. This cruise was HOT HOT HOT ... no, I mean temperature it was scorching! The cold water pool was even warm and the cold water in the shower was warm. So know, this cruise was not weather perfect, but it is July in the Carribean! The medallion process forward on the ship has gotten much better, but they are still inconsistent. The worse is when someone has to exchange their rooms. The last two times, including this one, the people could get into the rooms they were supposed to be one but retained their ability in getting into the old rooms too. So know, this is a major issue for them to resolve, but I don't think it affects many on the cruise thankfully. Overall, the medallion experience DOES make cruising easier as a whole, and I think Princess has something going on correct here. The games on the boards, etc., are really great for adults as well as the kids. In addition not having to unlock your room with a card is great especially when you have to go to the bathroom. The door is just open .... saying GO GO GO! That is service! Overall, the Caribbean Princess ship was well maintained and definitely has a great captain with details and order. I usually look at the flooring on the stairs for dust, and there was none. Where I also look was the air intake duct in the back of the ship and was dirty. I would think if there was more of a demand for the cleaning of these outside air ducts as routine the air quality would increase. To me, that is the biggest part that is missed on ANY CRUISE LINE. We did the Princess's ULTIMATE SHIP'S TOUR, and it was great. The captain was very attentive, talkative, and well "a great host" in the final part of the tour. It is a 3-hour tour (no jokes please), but you get to see the entire ship from the galley, dry cleaning, washing, printing, etc., usually on the last day. It is $150, but what you get 1 robe, 3 photos or more, frame or display casing, apron, name printed stationary, and more ... it is well worth the $150. However, there is only 1 tour per cruise and I have seen only 15 people at most. So, if you are going to get this tour, as soon as you get on the ship, RUN TO CUSTOMER SERVICE and get on the list. If you forget, check later and get on the waiting list, but you are likely not to get called. The new kids' areas and adult seating areas on the 17th floor is a great addition onto the ship. The add ons for the kids and the adults are just top notch. As a DINK, would like to see more adult seating and spacing like overhang, etc. Would like to see more adult fun nights in comedy, games (like drag queen BINGO), etc. to add something from the same old same old. We are adults. It is ok. Let the kids say on Deck 17. The food has gotten so much better with the variety and "mixing it up" so you don't feel you are not getting the same old same old in the buffet. But the buffet they have down. The traditional dining areas are always great but it is the service, and the service was spot on for this cruise. Buffet Secrets: Make your omelet first on the back of the buffet. Ask someone to help you the first day, then you can do it thereafter. Also, ask for REAL EGGS otherwise, you get the ones that are out of the box. We enjoyed the Go-Pro seminars and would go back for more advanced. FOR ALL CRUISE PEOPLE THAT EFFECT CHANGE: You sell Go Pros on board. It would be great if you could have an excursion that shows us the practical application of the Go-Pro in a variety of ways like running off a wharf into the water ... swimming underwater ... photographing a sunset. Then after all that is over, have a post-seminar in how to download it to a computer, the cloud, Instagram, etc. Team up with Go-Pro / whomever and show us how to use it more effectively. The sales will go up and satisfaction will go up. Maybe charge something but give it back to us in unique Go-Pro specific items. That is an excursion an elite person would enroll in! I missed the "animals" education seminar on board part of the cruise and wish that was still on board this cruise. From parrots, Husky puppies, and more this is an opportunity for those that did not grow up around animals (and maybe don't want the responsibility of an animal) to see and appreciate animals more. The parrot show in the Carribean was always a great winner. I hope to see it later in the year. With the specialty restaurants, they changed the menu with less risky and more for those whose pallets are not adventurous. There should be a couple of "adventurous" dishes so that those who enjoyed some of the old menus could maybe get that back. Just do it as first come first serve limited selection and do a small preparation. We Americans are used of that kind of eating out scenarios. By the way, if you are a suite taker with any of the Princess ships, MAKE SURE you get the breakfast in Sabatini's. Just one of the best perks on the ship. Skip the buffet. Go enjoy your spouse/kids for breakfast. Eating breakfast (and coffee) will make it easier to live with the spouse/family the rest of the day. Service was great. Seems the selection of crew overall was great. Spot on this cruise. The quality of onboard souvenier items seems to be taking a little dip down. If I wanted cheap, I could get off the ship. Don't compete with off ship items, you will lose. Do a more quality motto from a better class of nicer cards (people play cards a lot on a cruise ship) to shirts that don't scratch your skin (or burn) when you put it on like off ship. Entertainment was really good. I think sometimes people think they should get Broadway, but the acts are great. The magician was great. The comedy has been consistently great. Just I wish there was more of an ADULT night on a 7-day cruise. The kids don't have to see everything, and the fuddy-duddies can go to the earlier show. Anyway, great above average experience. Looking forward to setting sailing with Princess Cruises again. And glad to see the effort they are putting into trying to update the expectations with the implementation of new things on their cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I wanted to go bak to St. Thomas cause it's my home. We were celebrating our 28th anniversary so wanted to try a new cruise line. Well, we were very pleased. The check in was speedy thx to the medallion class ship. The staff, the ... Read More
I wanted to go bak to St. Thomas cause it's my home. We were celebrating our 28th anniversary so wanted to try a new cruise line. Well, we were very pleased. The check in was speedy thx to the medallion class ship. The staff, the food and the entertainment was wonderful. I truly enjoyed myself. Plus princess were so nice to us giving us freebies to make our celebration more special. I'll b bac(in the terminator voice) lol. The ocean now app didn't work for me, idk if it's bcause I didn't have internet but they said u didn't need it. It would have been great if it worked. The shore excursions were great, we bought them at the port cause the price was pretty darn good. One thing I didn't like at Princess Cays was that they had us pay for the clam shells bomber, jus plain wrong yep. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Really 3.5 Stars but 4 is good.This was our first cruise and we always wanted to go to the West Caribbean and it was good. The biggest problem that we saw, was the lack of communication between the crew and the patrons. One crew member ... Read More
Really 3.5 Stars but 4 is good.This was our first cruise and we always wanted to go to the West Caribbean and it was good. The biggest problem that we saw, was the lack of communication between the crew and the patrons. One crew member would tell you to go one place then you find out you are supposed to be somewhere else. The food was just average, even the Upper Restaurants food was so so. Movie under stars was really nice and entertainment was pretty good. The biggest complaint is the ports and the way the embarkation is handled. Talking with other people that have taken other cruises agreed with us, that they have never seen this handled this way before. All and all the cruise was pretty good, but prepare yourself before you go. Also, don't forget to take binoculars cause the stars are fantastic. The sky is so clear you won't believe what you can see at night. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Positively surprised to travel again on Caribbean Princess on its 15th year, 12 years after we last travelled on it. The ship was in dry dock for an extensive refurbishment and they did a very good job. The new buffet (marketplace I ... Read More
Positively surprised to travel again on Caribbean Princess on its 15th year, 12 years after we last travelled on it. The ship was in dry dock for an extensive refurbishment and they did a very good job. The new buffet (marketplace I think they call it) is very good, looks fresh and inviting. Had a bad experience being served a lousy steak (or stakes, a porterhouse and an sterling I believe they call it) during our visit to Crown Grill. We find the service there to be slow and the steaks unfortunately were of very bad quality. Likely they were huge, so we could navigate the fat and veins to get a decent amount of ok meat out of them. Did not want to reorder as we did not want to wait another 30 plus minutes for it. Another bad experience we had was with the soda package, which includes juices, alcohol free cocktails and now they say SMOOTHIES. The price was changed from $7 to $10 a day (plus 15% taxes) to “accommodate the changes”, however in no place in the ship you can get a smoothie. Nowhere. The bars will send you to the new “cone and coffee place”, and there they will send you back to the bars, and then repeat. Other than these mentioned negatives, we had a very nice cruise. Staff was great, the food was good, and the ship is very nice. We actually like this older ship better than the newer ones (have been on the Royal and on the Regal). Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We just finished sailing on the Caribbean Princess and were pleasantly surprised! We have cruised on Disney and RCC previously and we decided to give Princess a try. This was a family vacation with my side and there was 11 of us ... Read More
We just finished sailing on the Caribbean Princess and were pleasantly surprised! We have cruised on Disney and RCC previously and we decided to give Princess a try. This was a family vacation with my side and there was 11 of us traveling all together. My parents are platinum members with Princess and with the dates we had and the price point of summer cruising we chose Princess. Unfortunately, DCL has just priced themselves out for us for summer cruising. Caribbean Princess is an older boat, so keep that in mind. There were only 2 usable outlets in our room (B233 & B237) and they were next to each other, so technically I could only use one at a time. There was no outlet for my flat iron in the bathroom and the hair dryer was in the bedroom. It was an odd layout. I wish there was a usb or outlet next to the bed. The A/C was not as cold as we would like. Now we like to be cold and I would wake up in the middle of the night sweating! We read that if we took the diffuser (the cover) to the air return it would help, and it did. We also had the Ocean Medallion on this cruise (it reminds me of the Disney magic bands). They gave us a lanyard on checking in, but we purchased the wristbands the first day. Highly recommend for kids, but I purchased them as well. It made it so much easier to keep track and the lanyard can get sweaty and hard to keep up with on sea days. It was a bit confusing and hard to get connected to the Ocean Compass app (the app where you could locate others in your party and do onboard texting - no charge). It took us having to go to the internet cafe to get help from the IT personnel. Now my DH, Brother and dad are all in the IT, computer industry and we consider ourselves tech savvy. Apparently, the software/app that Princess uses is not apple friendly and they make it very difficult to use and setup. Princess knows this is a problem and I was told they are working to fix it. There were times I could not find my DH or my SIL while on board. It was nice to be able to text each other without having to pay for the internet/wifi. The one complaint I had was when we had to take a tender to and from Belize City. We boarded a large catamaran to get back on the cruise boat and from the time we hooked up to the cruise boat and the time I got off, it took an hour! That was ridiculous. They only had one line for security and I couldn't believe how slow it was going. It was a bit frustrating, and I felt bad for all the people who had the first seating for dining. And it was a formal night! We had a great cruise! Our stops were Cozumel, Roatan, Belize City and Grand Cayman. We really enjoyed the stops and excursions we took (we did not do Princess excursions). We picked this cruise soley on its dates. Disney will also be my number once choice for cruising, but they are getting to be so expensive that if I want to cruise I just need to look elsewhere. Its hard to compare a Disney cruise with any other cruise line, because they know how to do the shows and kids club like no other! Princess had a great service and overall provided a great experience. 2017 we cruised on Oasis of the Seas with RCL and it was just too many people and too big for me. My kids preferred their "extra stuff" on RCL more, but they will enjoyed their time on Princess. I also appreciated that they didn't try to upsell me on anything during my cruise. On RCL, there was always someone walking around the buffet and ship trying to sell me something or anything, and I did not appreciate that. This cruise did none of that. In fact, I had to ask someone how much the photo package was. No one was walking around trying to constantly sell me something and I really appreciated it. Overall, I would sail Princess again and try out one of its other ships. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are experienced cruisers, particularly on Princess as this was our 47th Princess cruise. We've been on the Caribbean Princess a number of times and thoroughly enjoyed each one. The ship is well maintained, the crew very friendly ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers, particularly on Princess as this was our 47th Princess cruise. We've been on the Caribbean Princess a number of times and thoroughly enjoyed each one. The ship is well maintained, the crew very friendly and helpful, the food high quality. We were really pleased that a carving station was available in the buffet for lunch every day. When the ship came out of drydock several years ago, there wasn't any carving station at the buffet. That's a big plus for those (like my wife) that are allergic to gluten and dairy. The chef's and headwaiters really go all out in the dining rooms to provide great food for those with different food allergies. Especially the desserts! Since one of our neighbors told us they had a super great time on a cruise with a cabin facing aft, we decided to try it. The noise and vibrations were minor and really not bothersome. It was nice to stand on the balcony and watch the ship's wake. But we missed the views when approaching and when in port, so our experiment will not be repeated. We look forward to the production shows and other entertainment in the theater. We've seen each of the production shows several time but still love to go see them. They never become stale. One of our favorites is Bravo....I'd watch it more than once on a cruise if were available. We were VERY disappointed on the 6th and 7th evenings. The sixth evening we were in Cozumel (10 am-10pm)...with the evening show being one Mexican Folkloric Show. The seventh evening was the final of The Voice of the Ocean. Both evenings ..amateurs putting on a show in the theater...and not even close to being entertaining. We do not pay thousands of dollars to see amateurs at one or two nights of "prime" entertainment. We've been on other cruises where the Voice of the Ocean Final was late afternoon on the last sea day. That's fine, but to have it as the main entertainment for the evening? No Thanks. Our second disappointment had to do with the shops and casino while in Cozumel On a previous cruise with 10am to 10pm, the shops and casino opened at either 6 or 7. Not on this cruise. The other activities available til we sailed were minimal. We have already booked another 3 Princess Cruises and hope that we don't have any amateur nights. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Sailed with friends, some of whom had not been to the ports of call. The Ocean Medallion worked exactly as promised and made sailing a breeze. Embarkation, once you get past the TSA, was the easiest I have every experienced and debarkation ... Read More
Sailed with friends, some of whom had not been to the ports of call. The Ocean Medallion worked exactly as promised and made sailing a breeze. Embarkation, once you get past the TSA, was the easiest I have every experienced and debarkation was just as easy. Be careful, the medallion makes it very easy to spend your money! Our only complaint was the excursion in Roatan to visit the Garifuna village was a waste of time. A100 minute round trip ride to see a 10 minute dancing exhibition and taste local bread was not worth the time nor the cost. The dining room was very good with excellent wait staff. The Crown Grill never fails to meet my expectation and well worth the additional cost. All in my party enjoyed the meal and service. If you decide to go to Planks B-B-Q for dinner, go hungry. The portions are enormous and the chocolate cake is one of the best I have ever had. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Princess provides just a little more sophistication than some other cruise in today's more mixed cruise passenger clientele. By that I mean there is a more diversified passenger which require different styles on many lines. Tank top ... Read More
Princess provides just a little more sophistication than some other cruise in today's more mixed cruise passenger clientele. By that I mean there is a more diversified passenger which require different styles on many lines. Tank top versus suit jacket simply. We prefer the latter when possible so Princess offers a better possibility of having that on a particular cruise. We have sailed Caribbean Princess before, last being 2014. We were sailing with friends that we have cruised with since 1992 when we met and stood up for them marrying on St Thomas. They wanted to re-visit Paradise Point, the location of the ceremony 27 years ago. We took Jr. Suites we were in D614. Found the location and condition of the cabin good. Bed extremely comfortable. We had been put off the Medallion program simply because of the incessant harassment of Princess to pre-participate in in it. Worse than robo calling. Emails, phone calls, texts, by time we got to pier we all hated the word Medallions. Medallion class more a market tool than a real boon to the world of cruising. Basically it is a half dollar size Medallian that houses an RFD chip. Chip readers everywhere including in your cabin. A gps locater and grocery store type tracking system, door key and pay for it card. No magic there but it worked well and we actually liked it in many ways. Opening cabin door via electronic lock, using it on slot machines instead of having to put a card in. We had traditional dining, staff were excellent, food, soso. They, like most lines still call medium shrimp Jumbo, large shrimp prawns, total bs. Lobster really no more, they are really prawns or rock lobster. Steak okay nothing to brag about. Of course continue to have option of BUYING better food even at main dining. We had complimentary dining evening at extra pay steak house. The ribeye was excellent, everything else run of the mill. Service staff masquerading as high end wait staff, basically NOT! I would equate main dining to high end diner, extra pay, to decent small restaurant in moderate sized community. Example in extra pay restaurant. Replacement silverware for main course placed, one fork dirty. Asked fancy waitress to replace since was dirty, answer " are you sure ? " Of course I am sure, matters not should be simply replaced. Steals came cooked perfectly no complaint but no one ever asked as served for us to check. A good restaurant would do that, a high end restaurant would never fail to check with you if our steak was properly cooked. Plus, you must be kidding me, extra charges if you want lobster in an already up charge restaurant? What a joke, if this had not been complimentary I wouldn't have even bothered going there. The buffet area same as always they simply changed decor and added cutesy signs. Food as good as any cafeteria I have been in. As with most lines now and Princess no exception, marketing gimmicks is where the money goes not food and service. Pool area, Pizza and outstanding Stromboli. Hamburgers, hotdogs and fries etc good. BUT GEEZ even there they have an up sale hamburger for $5. No I didn't try it nor did I see anyone else order one. Entertainment, was good mix comedy and show, magician was good but close hand magic hard sell in a large theatre. Moved slow and far from exciting though appreciated at least different. The comedy was excellent! Overall a very good cruise made so more by great initial deal, onboard credits etc. My wife spent several hundreds in spa and raved about the two head to toe whatever's she got and raved about their spa staff, excellent! Also excellent weather and smooth sialing never hurts. Ports we stayed on ship except for short trip to Paradise Point. Sadly yet another crazy place now, expanded, $21 pp to go up tram, 2 beers 2 Bushwackers, $36 a round. But still has great picture view of harbor. Internet, fastest I have ever seen on sea. Just as fast as my home network. I took unlimited 1 device, on first day with discount $56 for the week. Works for us, you can use different devices but only one at a time can be signed in. Families I could see this getting $$$ for needing multiple devices and unlimited. We did have interesting call for blood donors midway through the cruise for a sick or injured patient. The need was quickly filled. Never saw that before in almost 80 cruises. Also on way home we were advised we were going top speed for yet another patient to get back to Fort Lauderdale. However we slowed and arrived normal time, hopefully because they got better and refrigerated. BEST system on Princess out of Fort Lauderdale. For $25 a bag, they will take your bag last night and you don't see it again until final destination. They also get your airline boarding pass. Love that, no getting bags at pier and taking them through customs and bringing them to cab etc. There are restrictions, airline and flight times. One caveat this cruise, ship seemed to have some problems balancing air conditioning through out the ship. Both in cabin area and public area. The Explorer lounge area was always pretty warm section of ship. Wife really enjoyed the Parrots demo brought onboard in St Thomas. Used to be on Paradise point and she was disappointed not to see them there anymore. We had friends cabin decorated for anniversary. Good thing it's the thought that counts because for $49 the decorations were worth about three bucks. Some card on strings and a paper congrats sign on door, what a rip off. George in NY Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to go on a 7 night cruise and try another Princess cruise. We had gone on a 7 night Princess cruise in December and it was wonderful and wanted to see if all of the ships were great. Embarkation was great and went smoothly. We ... Read More
We wanted to go on a 7 night cruise and try another Princess cruise. We had gone on a 7 night Princess cruise in December and it was wonderful and wanted to see if all of the ships were great. Embarkation was great and went smoothly. We always get there before they say you are supposed to and they were ready for us! The ship is clean, nice and had plenty of places to sit and relax. There are also many pools and hot tubs around the ship that are great. There is a children's water play area with a pool and hot tub (and bar for adults) in addition to the regular pool. There is also an exclusive adult pool near the gym and that was in addition to the Sanctuary (additional cost per day). We had an interior cabin and it was fine for 2 people! A very soft bed and comfortable pillows. Our steward was wonderful, helpful and kind. The evening dining was delicious! This was one area that was better than on the Royal Princess! The food was hot when it arrived. Our serving staff was excellent and always had the best recommendations. They were very accommodating even when we asked for a few little extras. The comedian on board was fantastic. I would like to hear him again! The gym was well equipped and the equipment was in good order. While on board we only had problems the first day or two. When we went to the Customer service area the staff who tried to help us were arrogant and not helpful. We went back later that day to ask for help (on the same matter) and that staff member sent us somewhere else. When that was not resolved I went back to tell them it was still a problem they shrugged and apologized and went to another customer. The general attitude of the staff on board seemed to be "do your job" not "take care of the customer while doing your job." I say that but then there are exceptions: the dining staff, our steward and the hospital staff! The first morning of our cruise I fell and hit my spine. I didn't think it was an issue until Wednesday evening when I began to have back spasms. By Friday morning I was in extreme pain and went to see the ship doctor. All of the staff of the hospital were wonderful. The front desk was fantastic. The nurse was excellent. The doctor was fantastic. The price was not exorbitant and then our ship insurance will take care of that! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports that were on it & heard that Princess was a nice company to work with. First, the medallion system was great for quick entries & exits on the ship, finding out how to get where we wanted to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports that were on it & heard that Princess was a nice company to work with. First, the medallion system was great for quick entries & exits on the ship, finding out how to get where we wanted to go and where things were located. Loved this system & wish other lines would follow along. The cabin itself could use an updating but was clean & the service was great. I especially liked the huge closet area that separated the bed from the bathroom. Loved the balcony. We liked the food in general and ate one night at Steamers/Planks, we were able to order from both at the same time, which was a nice feature. We tried to do a bit of everything Re: entertainment, some trivia games, casino. The seats in the theater seemed to be one size fits all and seemed to be a bit cramped. We took 2 shore excursions through Princess, A tour in Roatan with gardens & a butterfly garden and a stop at an animal place, stops at a restaurant for drinks & a stop at a cameo factory. In Cozumel we chose a sunset catamaran cruise which was just beautiful with perfect weather. In Grand Caymen, we were the only ship docked, so we just walked to the pier area and picked a tour of the area which was very nice. The only small problems were not enough clocks around the ship and the lack of a food area for midnight snacks. This was a great cruise and I can see us going on Princess again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took this cruise to celebrate our anniversary and this was the only ship doing the eastern caribbean itinerary at this time. We’ve been on the Caribbean Princess 4 times previously were curious to see the changes after the wet dock. ... Read More
We took this cruise to celebrate our anniversary and this was the only ship doing the eastern caribbean itinerary at this time. We’ve been on the Caribbean Princess 4 times previously were curious to see the changes after the wet dock. We felt that this experience was more of a 3.5 - 4 rating. What we liked/loved: Service everywhere was very good, and the staff seemed happy and friendly. We were approached immediately in the buffet sometimes by multiple people to ask if we wanted drinks. Club Class waitstaff was attentive and excellent, but we only ate there 3 nights because some night the menu options didn’t appeal to us. Our room steward Renante was efficient and friendly. All of our needs were met and our special requests were handled quickly. Our aft suite views were breathtaking, we felt like we were the only people on the ship when we were out on our balcony. The sound of the wake is almost hypnotic. The cruise director and staff seemed fun, energetic and personable. Breakfast for suite guests in Sabatini’s was delicious with lots of food options and again, attentive service. Really enjoyed the Salty Dog Grill, the pizza, and Coffee and Cones on the Lido deck. Never had a problem finding lounge chairs at one of the pools. And we liked that towels didn’t have to be checked in or out. Loved the salad bar area in the World Fresh Market, and the desserts were plentiful. Thought the Fantastic Journey show was contemporary and fun. Loved the aerialists and the singing and dancing were great. Comedian Troy Thirdgill was so funny, a little edgy and not the typical cruise ship humor so many if them repeat over and over. What we feel could be improved: Started off really liking World Fresh Market until we realized half way through the cruise that food choices were very redundant. For lunch and dinner, we found It was a good thing that we like salads, lol! Lounge chairs on our Vista suite balcony would have been perfect if they reclined all the way (or at all for that matter). Table was too short and not dining height. We would have ordered the ultimate balcony dinner, but didn’t want to eat hunched over. Suite bathroom had no shelving over the sink which was inconvenient and our shower water was cool/luke warm all week. Someone came to fix it, but whatever they did didn’t help. The shelf in the refrigerator door was too short and anything in there fell out every time we opened it. Princess, do you have any women ship designers? And if so, don’t any of them shave their legs? A little shelf or foot rest in the showers would be so convenient. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Caribbean Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.2

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