Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by kimlovesfl
- Sail Date: January 2015
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Overall, we really enjoyed this cruise, although it wasn't as dead-on perfect as our first cruise, but enjoyable none the less.
The weather was a little cool for me, and our first day was very windy, so much so that you could have almost surfed on the swimming pools.
Embarkation went quickly, although when I saw the line, I thought it would take longer, but we were on board within 15 minutes, and our cabin was ready immediately, and this was around 1:00. We proceeded to our cabin, and...
Wow, small! And the tiniest bathroom and shower I have ever seen, kind of like an airplane bathroom but with a shower. I joked that the designer must have won a "design the world's smallest shower stall" contest. Seriously, my elbows hit the walls while shampooing my hair! If one was a person of larger dimensions, this would be a really tight fit. The amenities are just so-so; the shampoo/conditioner combo was awful, but the shower gel was nice. The only other amenity in our balcony cabin bathroom was hand lotion. I had read many reviews stating that the beds were lumpy or too soft, but our bed was fine, and quite comfy, and we loved the big, puffy pillows. The closet is quite large, and despite the small room, there is decent storage. This was the first time we booked a balcony, and loved it! The balconies on deck 12 (Aloha) are covered, unlike some of the larger balconies below us. There is nothing like watching your ship pull in and out of port from your own private balcony. The room was clean and well-maintained.
This is an older ship, and previous reviews had me concerned that she was in poor condition, but I think she looked fine. Sure, there were some worn spots, and some deck chairs needed new pads, but overall, I was impressed. The decor was a bit tacky in places, and one of my biggest pet peeves was the fact that the windows in the MDRs had heavy curtains on them, and were often closed. If I am on the ocean, I want to see it as often as possible. A lot of the interior spaces felt closed off to the beautiful views outside.
The food was decent, but there could certainly be some improvements in the buffet lines! On embarkation day, we could not find a place to sit indoors, so we sat outside by the pool, and it was cool and very windy, windy enough that our napkins blew away. The buffet lines don't seem to be arranged to avoid crowding, and all of the buffet lines have the same food. The food was ok, but I would have liked more variety. Service was spotty when trying to get drinks, and spoons are not included in your place settings. They wrap up a knife and fork in the napkins, but why not spoons? Every meal I had there, I had to go on a quest for spoons.
We did not eat in any specialty dining, or poolside venues, only buffet or MDR. The MDR was fine, we had anytime dining, and found that if you tried to eat around 7-7:30. you had quite the wait. But, if you were willing to share a table, your wait was lessened. We met some really interesting people by doing this, and it made the cruise more fun. And this is coming from someone who doesn't always socialize well. The butter was frequently ice cold, and service often felt rushed. Desserts were usually wonderful, and my husband is a pastry chef.
The biggest disaster was the afternoon tea. We decided to have tea after we returned from Cozumel. Very poorly organized. Tea has a particular order-scones, finger sandwiches, desserts. Desserts were brought to our table first, then scones, and we had to flag someone down for sandwiches and clotted cream and jam for the scones. Our table kept being skipped. All servers should be bringing out all of the same things at the same time, and make sure all tables are served. One server had scones, another had the toppings, and they did not travel together. More than one choice of tea would be nice. There is no additional charge for tea, which is a good thing, but I would have demanded a refund. Not something I'll do again.
The shows in the Princess theater were ok, seemed to be standard cruise ship fare (I assume), and the shows were really short, like, 30 minutes short. However, I loved loved loved MUTS, can't rave about this enough. What a romantic setting for a film-under the stars, by the pool on a ship, surrounded by ocean. Most days more than one movie was shown, and R-rated films (we saw Gone Girl) are shown in the Princess theater.
Future cruise sales office is run by one poor overworked women, and she is busy. Get her some help, please.
Service was, how should I describe it? Aloof? I felt welcome for sure, but not like I did on Celebrity. The officers are never seen nor heard, except for the cooking demonstration in the theater our last sea day. We never once saw the captain or heard him on the announcements.
Disembarkation went pretty smoothly, although our section was running about 15-20 minutes behind. Although the line for customs seemed intimidating, it moved very quickly. Don't even get me started on what happens once you leave the terminal. Not the cruise ship's fault.
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