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Before I start it’s maybe good to know that this was my first cruise ever. So I don’t know if my expectations are maybe too high. For me I compare this 5* ship with an at least 4* hotel. I travelled together with my brother who was cruising years ago with Costa. The embarkation was very smoothly. On-board they told us that the rooms were not ready yet, but if we wanted to lunch we may use the buffet restaurant. This, I found very kind of them. For me the interior of ship was good enough, although it certainly can use some refreshments. On the eye it was clean. I found the ship itself very stable and sailed very comfortable. I was very afraid to become sea sick (as I become already sick from a canal boat), but thankfully no sick at all. The tour which we made was very wonderful. We were blessed with very good weather. All ports were very nice. And at all ports there was good transportation options for to go to the main city (hop on/off bus, shuttle bus etc.). Everywhere we met very nice and interesting people. We only booked for St. Petersburg a 2 days excursion, what was very nice and good. As most of the excursions by Princess cruises are very expensive, I found the price of those two very reasonable. The service on board was very poor. Staff was not always well willing and the security staff was very unfriendly and even sometimes rude. Customer service is a laugh, they don’t solve any problems. When you lay on the sundeck it takes a while before a waiter is coming. Even sometimes (after waiting for over more than an hour) you go by yourself. Used glasses/plates etc. stay laying there. In the buffet restaurants it also take a while before somebody came for to pick up the orders for drinks and to take the plates from the table. The buffet restaurants on the ship looks indeed like a canteen (incl. plastic plates). The diversity of food was very simple, cheap and not prepared well. Although in the evening it was much better than in afternoon. Even the canteen at my work offered much better meals than on the Caribbean Princess (they also have to prepare meals for over more than 3000 people). For us the breakfast buffet was very disappointing. If you like sausages and eggs, you will be satisfied. Positive aspect to mention: they bake the bread daily fresh and the croissants are excellent! For us it was also frustrating that you always have to walk with your food, as there was most of the time no free seats in the horizon court, from one to the other buffet. This because the assortments on both buffets was not the same. We had traditional dinning (2nd seat), the food was not always prepared well and taste was very flat. We missed the love of the Cook (finesse in the dishes). All food on board was ok but certainly not excellent (and this we expect on a 5* ship) The only menu which was excellent, was the 50th anniversary menu. Entertainment on board was to us good enough (some performing’s are wonderful and some not), but this is very personal. Pools and Fitness area are very good and in good/clean conditions. The prices of the internet on board is way too high and should be even offered for free (as extra service on a 5* ship). We had the whole time the feeling that Princess more care about making as much as possible profit from the guest on board than about giving services. To find out if my expectations are indeed too high, my next trips will be 1x by a 4* ship and 1x again on a 5* ship. My next trip will be with my 2 teens daughters, so any suggestion are welcome. For me I will definitely not going anymore with Princess cruises as they don’t care about good quality and good services.

What to expect on a 5* ship?

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by EB71

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2015
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Interior
Before I start it’s maybe good to know that this was my first cruise ever. So I don’t know if my expectations are maybe too high. For me I compare this 5* ship with an at least 4* hotel. I travelled together with my brother who was cruising years ago with Costa. The embarkation was very smoothly. On-board they told us that the rooms were not ready yet, but if we wanted to lunch we may use the buffet restaurant. This, I found very kind of them. For me the interior of ship was good enough, although it certainly can use some refreshments. On the eye it was clean. I found the ship itself very stable and sailed very comfortable. I was very afraid to become sea sick (as I become already sick from a canal boat), but thankfully no sick at all. The tour which we made was very wonderful. We were blessed with very good weather. All ports were very nice. And at all ports there was good transportation options for to go to the main city (hop on/off bus, shuttle bus etc.). Everywhere we met very nice and interesting people. We only booked for St. Petersburg a 2 days excursion, what was very nice and good. As most of the excursions by Princess cruises are very expensive, I found the price of those two very reasonable. The service on board was very poor. Staff was not always well willing and the security staff was very unfriendly and even sometimes rude. Customer service is a laugh, they don’t solve any problems. When you lay on the sundeck it takes a while before a waiter is coming. Even sometimes (after waiting for over more than an hour) you go by yourself. Used glasses/plates etc. stay laying there. In the buffet restaurants it also take a while before somebody came for to pick up the orders for drinks and to take the plates from the table. The buffet restaurants on the ship looks indeed like a canteen (incl. plastic plates). The diversity of food was very simple, cheap and not prepared well. Although in the evening it was much better than in afternoon. Even the canteen at my work offered much better meals than on the Caribbean Princess (they also have to prepare meals for over more than 3000 people). For us the breakfast buffet was very disappointing. If you like sausages and eggs, you will be satisfied. Positive aspect to mention: they bake the bread daily fresh and the croissants are excellent! For us it was also frustrating that you always have to walk with your food, as there was most of the time no free seats in the horizon court, from one to the other buffet. This because the assortments on both buffets was not the same. We had traditional dinning (2nd seat), the food was not always prepared well and taste was very flat. We missed the love of the Cook (finesse in the dishes). All food on board was ok but certainly not excellent (and this we expect on a 5* ship) The only menu which was excellent, was the 50th anniversary menu. Entertainment on board was to us good enough (some performing’s are wonderful and some not), but this is very personal. Pools and Fitness area are very good and in good/clean conditions. The prices of the internet on board is way too high and should be even offered for free (as extra service on a 5* ship). We had the whole time the feeling that Princess more care about making as much as possible profit from the guest on board than about giving services. To find out if my expectations are indeed too high, my next trips will be 1x by a 4* ship and 1x again on a 5* ship. My next trip will be with my 2 teens daughters, so any suggestion are welcome. For me I will definitely not going anymore with Princess cruises as they don’t care about good quality and good services.
EB71’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IE R244
The interior of the Cabin was very good, altough it can use some refreshement. Room was clean and we had a very nice cabin steward who keeps it very clean. Altough we had several times some stains on the sheets. As I knew the sheets were washed we didn't make a hassle of it, but I can imagine if people do (it should not happen). For us we had enough space in the room. Because of the mirror, by the head of the bed, you don't get a claustrophobic feeling. Very handy is the hanging system between the bathroom and the bedroom. Here is enough space to put your suitcases away and it gives space to get dressed. Plenty of space for to put your clothes away. Enough space in the bathroom.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    We took the shuttle bus from the boat (USD 16), who dropped us in the center of the city. Very Nice with wonderfull shops, architect buildings, statues etc..
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  • Helsinki
    Helsinki, was to me the city which was a littlebit disapointing. We took shuttle from the boat to the center of the city (didn't cost so much). From there we took a bus excursion which brought us the main sightseeings from Helsinky (whole time free WiFi). Market was also very nice. If you like beer (and excellent simpel food) you really have to make a visit to Bryggeri, Sofiankatu 2 Helsinki. They brew the beer by them selfs.
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  • Easy St. Petersberg
    Easy St. Petersberg, was a relief after a whole day of walking. This was an about 3,5 hour bus trip to the main highlights of St. Petersberg. You get enough time, by each highlight, to make pictures and have a quick time to have a look.
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  • Hermitage Museum
    First day it was a combination of Hermitage + St.Petersberg On your Own. We were Lucky that we went early to the Hermitages as at the end it becomes very crowded. If you think you will have time to really see the paintings. You will finish very disappointed. As it's a very quick walk through the Hermitage. This also because it's really huge. Tourguide was very nice and good, Spoke very well English and had a lots of background information to tell. To me, if you really want to have a good look at the paintings, this is not the right spot.The light insight isn't good enough to see all details. You rather must see it as a whole picture very nice/special architected palace with a wonderful art collection. Insight it's really impressive. St. Petersberg on your own was really GREAT. So much to see and so very nice people. We had plenty of time to see all important highlights. Nice Shops, parks etc. Tickets for visitors are really cheap.
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  • Stockholm
    We took also again the shuttle bus from the boat (USD16) who brought us to the center of Stockholm. A lot to see. Very nice palace, nice shops. We booked there a canal tour.
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  • Tallinn
    From the port it was easily walking (not more than 10 min) to the old part of Tallin. We also walked to the new part, but this wasn't very interesting). Old part was really Marvelous. Nice buildings, churches, park. If you really want to have a nice excellent meal (which even cost not much), you really have to bring a visit to Rataskaevu16.
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