Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by Essayan
- Sail Date: December 2012
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
My sister, a doctor who was on call the week prior, missed her morning-of-the-cruise flight due to a patient complication that kept her. And, as a result, she missed the cruise. Ugh, not a great way to start.
Not surprisingly, there is no refund for missed cruises. What WAS surprising is that Princess customer service said that my sister's stateroom reverted to them. So, in spite of no refund and even though my father had paid for the room and was on board with the rest of the family, we could not use the empty stateroom. I was shocked. How could they not refund anything and yet not let her family use the room? I appealed to customer service several times. We had a family member with IBS with us, who had a migraine one day, and it would have been a godsend for him to have a quiet place to retreat to. But no, customer service (Stephanie) simply repeated the party line that the room had reverted to the Princess, and that they would keep it for an emergency. (Interesting -- do they not otherwise make provision for emergencies?) In fact, the room remained empty for the duration, except for one early day when staff were in there painting it. (I guess that modest refurbishment qualified as an emergency? We in the next door staterooms didn't love the paint smell... Seems possible it might have contributed to the migraine, in fact.)
I waited in line several times to review this situation. Stephanie offered to set me up for a call with her boss, but was inaccessible in person and didn't return phone calls, and I didn't want to ruin the whole cruise by waiting in line beyond the first two days.
In addition, one of our pieces of luggage was not delivered the first day. Kind of stressful - imagining a week without anything for one of our party. We went and found it eventually, but courtesy of another long wait in line at customer service. UGH. Between the crazy lines to board and then the lines to try to get use of my sister's room, and then the line to try to recover our luggage and then the lines to fix mistakes on excursion vouchers, the first two days were NOT good.
We were lucky that we had great weather.
I thought the food was good. We loved our two waiters. (Thanks again Rei and Carlos!) Our room steward did a great job, and was really friendly when we bumped into him from time to time. The Zumba classes were really fun. My son enjoyed some time in ShockWaves, the kids' room, and the staff there were friendly and nice. We particularly liked our Cozumel snorkeling experience -- really fun and friendly staff (Latino dancing on deck was a hoot);saw a baby shark, baby turtle, the expectable fish. Really mediocre lunches on the excursions, though. The Belize river trip excursion included an un-advertised hour and half in a bus, which I wouldn't have chosen had I known about.
I thought the entertainment was generally pathetic, with the notable exception of fiddler David Klinkenberg.
The pool area was so loud -- with bands, piped in music, TV, amplification of inane poolside games -- it was close to unbearable. I guess the presumption is that there should be no poolside conversation?! Of course I would have gone to the quiet pool, but I had my 9 yr-old with me, so couldn't.
We got on-board a week after the Princess had had an outbreak of virus. My son got sick and was vomiting for one day after we got off the ship.
In short, we had a mixed experience, but generally enjoyed the cruise EXCEPT that the decision to deny us my sister's room created a huge amount of frustration and ill-will. Needlessly, it strikes me.
I don't believe anyone in my family will be on any future Princess cruise. And we are spreading the word of our disappointing and unfair-feeling experience to anyone who asks about our holiday...
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Belize CityRiver tour by boat, of nature and Mayan ruins. VERY large volume of people on this tour, so we were herded around... ie. line up by two's to use the bathroom kind of thing. Thankfully broke into smaller groups to get on smaller boats for the river tour. Enjoyed that - we spotted fair number of animals and interesting vegetation. Slightly too long. Really lame lunch at tourist trap that was over-crowded because of many large tours converging there. Long lines for bathrooms (no facility on boats or buses), lines for lunch. Then into a bus -- which hadn't been advertised, I had thought we'd see the ruins from the boat -- for 1/2 hour. Interesting ruins. Would have been nice to hear more of the history. Because we were such a large group, much of the focus was on making the logistics work smoothly. Glad we got to climb the ruins. Then an hour in the bus back to port. Wouldn't have picked this one if I'd known how crowded it would be or if I'd known it would include 1.5 hours on a bus.View All 2,217 Belize City Cruise Port Reviews
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SnorkelingView All 313 Snorkeling Reviews
Great excursion. Really fun guides - open bar and Latino dancing on the boat commute, for those interested -- and then fun snorkeling. Would have been nice if we hadn't been so far above the reef, but we saw lots of fish, a baby shark and a baby turtle. Good for beginners. Nice beach as part II, with fun sea toys for kids - ie. water trampoline. Pretty bad lunch. Highly recommend for children.
RoatanWe enjoyed the animals at the rescue center - got to hold and feed some. Howler monkeys adorable -- we held them and fed them a bowl of lettuce. Apparently very picky, as they threw out everything and finally ate the lettuce leaf at the very bottom ;) Interesting collection of animals. Nice (easy) guided nature walk. Very pretty beach, and very nice pool also. Slightly better lunch.View All 2,534 Roatan Cruise Port Reviews
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