Compared to our first sailing with Princess, this ship did a fine job with service. The Caribbean Princess was also in better condition. On the Grand Princess (sailed 2011), the stewards and dining room staff were so overworked they appeared feverish with exhaustion. While the crew certainly had to work hard on this sailing, they appeared to have been allowed time to sleep. Special kudos to Stefano at customer service, Maria at shore excursions, and our steward, Romy. Even more so for a waiter in the Lido Buffet, Andriy, who noticed I appeared dehydrated after a hot day in Grand Cayman and kept refilling my water and lemonade glasses. That may be part of his job, but I felt cared for, which isn't common.
Highlights included embarkation - the smoothest we've ever experienced. Princess hit a home run with their show, Bravo, and several other shows were popular with passengers, too. With one exception, the food on the Caribbean Princess varied from not bad to pretty darn good and their chocolate specialty desserts were a big success. They had yet another home run with their coffee.
Who might particularly like this ship? For cruisers who appreciate large ships with plenty to explore, the Caribbean Princess is a good choice as it rarely felt overcrowded. There are signs about not saving seats in the theater or on deck and passengers were good-natured about following the rules. If you enjoy art auctions, the Caribbean Princess is a champion. I checked with the gallery staff, and as I suspected, this vessel has more sales and a larger art gallery than other liners, even other Princess ships in the same class. According to the manager of their Effy store, the Caribbean Princess gets special consideration and greater jewelry selections as well, but that brings me to the next topic.
Liked the cabin, mostly quiet (some brief noise when they cleaned upstairs), good use of mirrors to make the room feel spacious, enough storage for two people. Lighting adequate, shower fine but would be too small for someone over 6'1 and probably too small for someone much over 275 lbs. Convenient to gangway, the theater, elevators/stairs, deck 5 shopping, cafe/bars, the library, and the Coral Dining Room. Far from Club Fusion (some trivia events there) and, of course, the Lido and upper outdoor decks are 10 to 12 decks away. Ventilation seemed good enough, but I had some trouble breathing . We were offered a similar cabin up on the Caribe deck for one night, and I felt better there.
Great embarkation. I understand this cruise port is closing, however. The amount of cargo traffic seemed to slow down our departure from the Houston area, and there's nothing of interest near the terminal. Wish it wouldn't close, but we did hear some complaints.
Pretty enough but not a lot of options for excursions from this port. A lot of shopping at the dock (though nothing special) and practically enough amenities for a whole spa day, so I suspect merchants know this is a stop where people are likely not to do an excursion.