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Yes, our ship The Caribbean Princess actually stopped, came about, and rescued a raft containing a dozen Cuban refugees who had been drifting in the Gulf of Mexico for almost a month! It was a heartening experience and one we will never forget. The captain and crew did an excellent job of providing medical attention, food and water to the refuges. Our vessel contacted the Mexican Coastguard who responded promptly and plucked the poor folks from their derelict craft and took them to safety. Just to add a bit of added drama to the already touching scene a rainbow appeared over the refugees craft as they were being taken onboard the Mexican vessel. Amazing! That was a tough act to follow. The remainder of the cruise was an interesting experience for us. A voyage of discovery. In total this was the 5th time we have taken the same cruise to Honduras, Belize and Cozumel…once on Carnival, three times on Royal Caribbean and once on Princess. After taking the Carnival trip five years ago we concluded that Carnival caters to a much younger crowd of heavy drinkers and partiers. After three trips on Royal Caribbean it seemed that they were picking up the overflow of ne’re-do-wells from Carnival. Much to our shock and disappointment we learned that there are apparently too many idle, self indulgent merrymakers sailing this route fro Carnival and Royal Caribbean to handle. A well represented overflow seemed to have turned up on our Caribbean Princess voyage. That was a shock. On all previous Princess cruises we were pleasantly surprised by the civility, politeness and maturity of the passengers. Typically an older crowd, but we are older ourselves. This particular sailing seemed to be about 50/50 so far as being a mix of partiers and “seniors.” Also, there were a lot of children for a Princess cruise. Not a happy surprise. The ship was in excellent condition and our stateroom appeared to be in “like new” condition. Our stateroom attendant was the best we have ever had. Our cabin as well as the passageway on deck 12 and other areas of the ship had a strong odor of sewage. We reported this twice and it was never fixed. We also had an issue with intermittent AC performance that, after reporting it three times, was never really fixed. The food was remarkably average, with not one single meal that we can point to that was noteworthy. On the other hand none were really awful either. The selection seemed limited based on our experience. Our dining room service was intolerably slow and at a low standard in general, but I think we drew the “black bean” so to speak. It appeared as though others were well served and satisfied. Entertainment was OK, not great. The general level of service throughout the ship was slightly short of typical Princess standard, driven mostly by the heavy contingent of Eastern European crew who always seem to be so sullen, morose, unhappy, and depressed. When they wait on you they make you feel as though you have inconvenienced they greatly, and that they have only done so in great pain and under duress. Embarkation was a dream. Sorry to hear that the Houston terminal will be shutting down in April 2016. Cruise customers are not well served by that decision and we pray it will be reversed. Disembarkation was a nightmare. The ship was over an hour late in arriving, but that was not the problem. The crew did a poor job of communicating and managing the situation. The “Walk Off” passengers’ area was a mob scene. Passengers with mobility issues were overlooked. It was the worst example of a disembarkation I have seen on Princess. Not their finest hour. One can draw two conclusions from our experience(s). First, it seems that “all” cruises to the western Caribbean from Texas must draw an ample representation of more “common” clientele, regardless of the cruise line. Second, the western Caribbean cruises on Princess are not typical of their normal level of service, quality and professionalism.

Rescue At Sea………………

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by crc78028@gmail.com

Trip Details
Yes, our ship The Caribbean Princess actually stopped, came about, and rescued a raft containing a dozen Cuban refugees who had been drifting in the Gulf of Mexico for almost a month! It was a heartening experience and one we will never forget. The captain and crew did an excellent job of providing medical attention, food and water to the refuges. Our vessel contacted the Mexican Coastguard who responded promptly and plucked the poor folks from their derelict craft and took them to safety. Just to add a bit of added drama to the already touching scene a rainbow appeared over the refugees craft as they were being taken onboard the Mexican vessel. Amazing!

That was a tough act to follow. The remainder of the cruise was an interesting experience for us. A voyage of discovery. In total this was the 5th time we have taken the same cruise to Honduras, Belize and Cozumel…once on Carnival, three times on Royal Caribbean and once on Princess. After taking the Carnival trip five years ago we concluded that Carnival caters to a much younger crowd of heavy drinkers and partiers. After three trips on Royal Caribbean it seemed that they were picking up the overflow of ne’re-do-wells from Carnival. Much to our shock and disappointment we learned that there are apparently too many idle, self indulgent merrymakers sailing this route fro Carnival and Royal Caribbean to handle. A well represented overflow seemed to have turned up on our Caribbean Princess voyage. That was a shock. On all previous Princess cruises we were pleasantly surprised by the civility, politeness and maturity of the passengers. Typically an older crowd, but we are older ourselves. This particular sailing seemed to be about 50/50 so far as being a mix of partiers and “seniors.” Also, there were a lot of children for a Princess cruise. Not a happy surprise.

The ship was in excellent condition and our stateroom appeared to be in “like new” condition. Our stateroom attendant was the best we have ever had. Our cabin as well as the passageway on deck 12 and other areas of the ship had a strong odor of sewage. We reported this twice and it was never fixed. We also had an issue with intermittent AC performance that, after reporting it three times, was never really fixed. The food was remarkably average, with not one single meal that we can point to that was noteworthy. On the other hand none were really awful either. The selection seemed limited based on our experience. Our dining room service was intolerably slow and at a low standard in general, but I think we drew the “black bean” so to speak. It appeared as though others were well served and satisfied. Entertainment was OK, not great. The general level of service throughout the ship was slightly short of typical Princess standard, driven mostly by the heavy contingent of Eastern European crew who always seem to be so sullen, morose, unhappy, and depressed. When they wait on you they make you feel as though you have inconvenienced they greatly, and that they have only done so in great pain and under duress.

Embarkation was a dream. Sorry to hear that the Houston terminal will be shutting down in April 2016. Cruise customers are not well served by that decision and we pray it will be reversed. Disembarkation was a nightmare. The ship was over an hour late in arriving, but that was not the problem. The crew did a poor job of communicating and managing the situation. The “Walk Off” passengers’ area was a mob scene. Passengers with mobility issues were overlooked. It was the worst example of a disembarkation I have seen on Princess. Not their finest hour.

One can draw two conclusions from our experience(s). First, it seems that “all” cruises to the western Caribbean from Texas must draw an ample representation of more “common” clientele, regardless of the cruise line. Second, the western Caribbean cruises on Princess are not typical of their normal level of service, quality and professionalism.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC A638
Cabin was in great condition. Appeared almost new. It was a little cramped at times. We would recommend an upgrade to the level of balcony suite with a sofa. AC was intermittent. Strong odor of sewage in the room and adjacent passageway.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins