Enjoyable Cruise, But Prepare to Wait in Line: Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by RyKahn

Caribbean Princess 4
Member Since 2009
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Enjoyable Cruise, But Prepare to Wait in Line

Sail Date: July 2009
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
My last cruise before this was on the Norwegian Dawn from New York.  I won't get started on a rant about that ship, but needless to say the Caribbean Princess was a welcome change of environment and quality.  Kids and the young at heart, do not be afraid of Princess's reputation.  On our cruise, there were 300 teenagers (ages 13-17) and the ship was not stuck up or full of old people at all.  In my opinion, Princess combined the fun and friendliness of Carnival with the cleanliness and elegance of Holland-America or Cunard.  The Caribbean Princess (and its sister ships) are very big and very nice.

Our inside cabin was actually a pretty good size compared to some other inside cabins that I've been in.  The only problem was the bathroom.  As I said, this was my 8th cruise and the shower was probably the smallest I've seen on a cruise ship yet.  The good part, however, was that the shower More allowed you to adjust the water pressure from light to blast-your-skin-off and several levels of intensity in between.  Our cabin steward Arnel was excellent!  (Deck 12 Forward, Port side).  

The food was excellent.  I gained 10 pounds on a 9-night cruise!  I was up until almost 3 AM many nights and even then there was still food in Cafe Caribe (Deck 15 Aft).  The pizza was good and was readily available most of the day (sometimes we would have to wait a few minutes for our after-midnight snack).  I was traveling with a group of 10 people and we like to sit at one table, but we were separated the first night in the Palm Dining Room.  I'm not sure if this was the cruise line's fault or the fault of the Travel Agent, but the Maitre d' sent us a notification the next afternoon that he could accommodate all of us at one table in the Coral Dining Room at almost the same time as our original seating.  The food choice was excellent in the dining room.  And if you're not into eating duck and unidentifiable types of fish (I am not), then there's always caesar salad, chicken and other daily alternatives that were just as tasty and well-prepared as a featured dish.  The service in the dining room was also very good.  However, the upstairs eating areas on the Lido Deck (Deck 15) were often crowded (see below).

The entertainment on this ship was good, but I've seen better.  There were two different comedians during the cruise, both were hilarious in my opinion.  There was also a hypnotist.  He was good in his hypnosis show, but he did another show later in the cruise that, I thought, had a lot of phony bologna in it (to put it in laymen's terms).  There was a "bad boy of magician" who was juts plain weird and not that funny, or a good magician for that matter.  While the shows were good, they were repeated.  The hypnotist did a total of 5 performances of the same exact show over the course of 3 days.  The so-so magician performed two nights in a row.  The singing-and-dancing show was apparently good.  I didn't go, but I heard it was decent.  However, it too was repeated a second night during the cruise.  This meant that there wasn't always a show to go see after dinner.

Teen Group (REMIX)
The Teen Group is very strict.  In order to register a teen, a parent needs to sit through a safety briefing session, and the teen's card needs to be cut, and I quote "with the special scissors that nobody else has."  If your card wasn't cut, you couldn't enter because there was a teen group moderator carding everybody at almost all times.  It was good that there weren't older people in the teen group (my last cruise had 20-somethings with alcohol in hand in the teen group and the moderators didn't care.)  However, the moderators treated us like children by forcing us to participate in games and such, so I spent more time elsewhere with friends I made there.  I still had fun of course, but not because of Remix.

It's Too Crowded!
As I mentioned before, the Caribbean Princess was the biggest and newest ship I have been on as of yet.  One of the problems with this ship is its size.  The Caribbean Princess has extra cabin space as compared to its sister ships, which means it can accommodate 500 more passengers than its sister ships (the Crown, Emerald and Ruby Princess).  However, the public spaces were not updated to reflect this change.  Everything was crowded.  I could never find an empty table near the Pizza and Hot Dog/Hamburger Grill (I forget the name).  The Buffet Line at Breakfast was often very long, especially after 10:30 AM when some stations began closing down for workers to begin preparing lunch.  The Princess Theatre was always packed.  There were also decent shows in the Explorer's Lounge.  Most began at 8:30 but we had to arrive by 8:00 to get a seat.  Even though I wasn't allowed, members of my family who attended the Adult Comedian Show in Club Fusion also reported that there was no room for them to sit, even though they arrived 45 minutes before the show's start time.  (Later in the cruise for the "London Calling" show they found a Scrabble board and got seats almost 2 hours before start time and just played Scrabble until then).  

Nice ship.  Very clean.  Very friendly staff.  Very good food.  Very crowded in public places like lounges and cafes.  Itinerary was only so-so.  Entertainment was hit-and-miss, and repeated too often.

Published 08/04/09

Cabin review:

Small shower, but lot's of closet and drawer space.

Port and Shore Excursions

There's not much to do here. We were in port with the Carnival Liberty, so 7,000 people flooded the relatively limited beach (since there's nothing else to do here). When walking on the pier, the beach on the right is full of coral and basically unusable. The beach on the left also has a lot of coral, but was swimmable. You have to go through the shops to get onto the island. Nothing more than a sand and shopping port and not really worth stopping here.
Read 1707 Grand Turk Reviews

Bermuda is Bermuda. We were in port at west End with another ship so the tram was usually full before it reached our ship. Debarkation/embarkation was uneventful.

We docked at a different place than my last 3 cruises that stopped in St. Thomas. The Caribbean Princess doesn't dock at the Havensight Mall like most other ships do, but its only a 5-minute, $4 cab ride over there so no big deal.
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