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Although this was my 9th cruise it was my first time on Princess. Having sailed previously on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian I wanted to see if what I'd heard/read about Princess being "a step above" those listed was really in fact true. My husband and I were on the September 5th sailing. We drove to the pier (about 3 hrs from MA) and parked in the long term lot. ($142 for the week) Embarkation: Arrived in the terminal at about 11:15...check-in was a breeze and they began boarding the ship at 12 noon. We were on by 12:30. Cabin: We had an inside cabin on the Lido deck (deck 15). The cabin was about the same size as any other interior cabin that we've had on other lines. There is a good sized closet with plenty of hangers. The bathroom is your typical small cruise ship bathroom. As noted in other reviews here they don't put a "top" sheet on the bed, just the comforter. We asked our steward for a top sheet and he quickly obliged. Ship: The Caribbean Princess is a beautiful spectacular vessel....she was definitely the prettiest ship in any of the ports we visited. Having read some negative reviews about the condition of this vessel I went aboard with a very critical eye. I didn't see any of the "wear and tear" that some folks complained about. I think they do a fantastic job with the upkeep....whenever we were in port the maintenance crew was always busy painting or varnishing something. The Caribbean Princess *sparkled* in my opinion. The only public room that I didn't care for was the Princess Theater. It's the main large theater on the ship and the layout is quite awkward. They outfitted the theater with individual "movie theater" style seats, so if there are empty seats in the middle of a row, everyone needs to stand to allow people to have access to those empty seats. There were always plenty of deck chairs available and the swimming pools were the largest I've seen on any other ship. The lounges and other public spaces on board were all very tastefully decorated and comfortable. Even though there were 3500 passengers on our sold out voyage, the ship never felt too small for all of us. Food: Lido deck buffets are pretty typical of the other cruise lines we've frequented. Cafeteria style food, pretty good selection, mediocre quality. The waitstaff at these buffets were very attentive and tried their best to keep the tables clean so that we could always find a place to sit. The staff really works very hard and my hat is off to them that they do it always with a smile....even when some of the passengers are less then cordial to them. I'll touch on that later. Main dining rooms: We had "Anytime" seating even though I booked 6 months in advance and requested "Formal" dining we were placed on the "waitlist". If we arrived early (before 6)our request for a table for 2 was almost always met. Between 7 and 8:30 there seemed to be a wait time for small tables. We like to dine early so it was not an issue for us and we actually enjoyed dining with other passengers a few times. The food in this dining room "Island" was just fair to good. This was the area that I had hoped would be "superior" to the other lines that we've cruised with and I was disappointed that they didn't deliver. I'd say I enjoyed 2 meals out of the 5 that I had there. One night I ordered the "veal scallopini" and it was tasteless, dry and tough. I was somewhat disappointed in the dessert selection although it probably was a good thing that I didn't over indulge in this area. Specialty restaurants: Sabatini's was very good. It is an Italian themed restaurant and they basically serve you a 17 course meal. Every appetizer that is on the menu ends up on your plate...then a pasta course and the main entree followed by dessert. We could hardly walk out of there when all was said and done. The service was EXCELLENT and I highly recommend this as an alternative to the main dining room. ($20 surcharge per person) Crowne Grille: also very good. We had fantastic service here. You pay $25 per person and can basically eat as much as you'd like. The strip steak was very well prepared as were the lobster tails....I enjoyed the "Black and Blue" soup although I wasn't as "awestruck" with it as some of the other reviewers were....it's basically French Onion Soup. I highly recommend this restaurant as well. Entertainment: The production shows are headlined with 4 singers which was a first for us (only ever seen 2 on other lines). After going on 8 previous cruises these shows get a little stale. I'm not trying to take anything away from the performers...they were all great...it's just again "typical" cruise ship entertainment. I saw 2 different comedians and 1 comedian/hypnotist. The first comedian (Roland) was fair with a lot of old jokes that we've all heard before. The female comedian/hypnotist was very enjoyable and engaged the audience throughout her performance. The last comedian (James Michael) was the "bad boy" of comedy and his show was funny and entertaining. The live music throughout the ship was all very good although I'm not getting the "hypnotizing amazement" of the crowd listening to that Bernie guy. Every time we walked past his lounge area there were passengers lined up along the walls with this hypnotic look on their face and my husband and I tried to listen to his *corny uninspiring* act and just couldn't get into it. Oh well, different strokes....... I would like to touch on the age of the passengers on this particular cruise. We are in our early 40's and if I had to take a guess I'd say that about 85% of the passengers were over 80 years old. We were most definitely in the minority as far as age goes. There were 11 kids on our voyage and the cruise director stated that the week before there were 600 kids. Of course since it was Labor Day week many schools were starting and that may explain the small number of little ones. So for those "younger" folks looking for a party type crowd I wouldn't recommend this particular itinerary. It didn't bother us much and the one positive about sailing with a much older crowd was that we never had to search for a deck chair and the pools were fairly empty most of the time. I was quite disappointed though in the way some of these *senior* passengers treated the crew. I witnessed quite a few people being outwardly rude for no good reason to this hard working staff. I only wish that people would remember that they should treat others as they themselves wish to be treated. I realize this is a very long winded review and I hope for those of you that are still reading that it was helpful in some way. I really wanted to touch on some of the negative things that I had read before I left, and to hopefully set your minds at ease. To those of you sailing on this magnificent vessel in the near future I'd like to wish you as wonderful a vacation as we experienced. It's what you make of it and if you go with a negative attitude then chances are you won't have a positive experience. Did I come away thinking that Princess is a "step above" the others I've sailed with? No I didn't....but that doesn't mean I didn't love our cruising experience with them. We had a very good time and yes I would recommend this ship to my family and friends, but we really couldn't see any discernible difference between them and the others (Carnival, RCCL, and NCL). Bon Voyage everyone!

Enjoyable Canada/New England cruise vacation!

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by styles27

Trip Details
Although this was my 9th cruise it was my first time on Princess. Having sailed previously on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian I wanted to see if what I'd heard/read about Princess being "a step above" those listed was really in fact true.
My husband and I were on the September 5th sailing. We drove to the pier (about 3 hrs from MA) and parked in the long term lot. ($142 for the week) Embarkation: Arrived in the terminal at about 11:15...check-in was a breeze and they began boarding the ship at 12 noon. We were on by 12:30.
Cabin: We had an inside cabin on the Lido deck (deck 15). The cabin was about the same size as any other interior cabin that we've had on other lines. There is a good sized closet with plenty of hangers. The bathroom is your typical small cruise ship bathroom. As noted in other reviews here they don't put a "top" sheet on the bed, just the comforter. We asked our steward for a top sheet and he quickly obliged.
Ship: The Caribbean Princess is a beautiful spectacular vessel....she was definitely the prettiest ship in any of the ports we visited. Having read some negative reviews about the condition of this vessel I went aboard with a very critical eye. I didn't see any of the "wear and tear" that some folks complained about. I think they do a fantastic job with the upkeep....whenever we were in port the maintenance crew was always busy painting or varnishing something. The Caribbean Princess *sparkled* in my opinion.
The only public room that I didn't care for was the Princess Theater. It's the main large theater on the ship and the layout is quite awkward. They outfitted the theater with individual "movie theater" style seats, so if there are empty seats in the middle of a row, everyone needs to stand to allow people to have access to those empty seats.
There were always plenty of deck chairs available and the swimming pools were the largest I've seen on any other ship.
The lounges and other public spaces on board were all very tastefully decorated and comfortable. Even though there were 3500 passengers on our sold out voyage, the ship never felt too small for all of us.
Food: Lido deck buffets are pretty typical of the other cruise lines we've frequented. Cafeteria style food, pretty good selection, mediocre quality. The waitstaff at these buffets were very attentive and tried their best to keep the tables clean so that we could always find a place to sit. The staff really works very hard and my hat is off to them that they do it always with a smile....even when some of the passengers are less then cordial to them. I'll touch on that later.
Main dining rooms: We had "Anytime" seating even though I booked 6 months in advance and requested "Formal" dining we were placed on the "waitlist". If we arrived early (before 6)our request for a table for 2 was almost always met. Between 7 and 8:30 there seemed to be a wait time for small tables.
We like to dine early so it was not an issue for us and we actually enjoyed dining with other passengers a few times. The food in this dining room "Island" was just fair to good. This was the area that I had hoped would be "superior" to the other lines that we've cruised with and I was disappointed that they didn't deliver. I'd say I enjoyed 2 meals out of the 5 that I had there. One night I ordered the "veal scallopini" and it was tasteless, dry and tough. I was somewhat disappointed in the dessert selection although it probably was a good thing that I didn't over indulge in this area.
Specialty restaurants: Sabatini's was very good. It is an Italian themed restaurant and they basically serve you a 17 course meal. Every appetizer that is on the menu ends up on your plate...then a pasta course and the main entree followed by dessert. We could hardly walk out of there when all was said and done. The service was EXCELLENT and I highly recommend this as an alternative to the main dining room. ($20 surcharge per person)
Crowne Grille: also very good. We had fantastic service here. You pay $25 per person and can basically eat as much as you'd like. The strip steak was very well prepared as were the lobster tails....I enjoyed the "Black and Blue" soup although I wasn't as "awestruck" with it as some of the other reviewers were....it's basically French Onion Soup. I highly recommend this restaurant as well.
Entertainment: The production shows are headlined with 4 singers which was a first for us (only ever seen 2 on other lines). After going on 8 previous cruises these shows get a little stale. I'm not trying to take anything away from the performers...they were all great...it's just again "typical" cruise ship entertainment.
I saw 2 different comedians and 1 comedian/hypnotist. The first comedian (Roland) was fair with a lot of old jokes that we've all heard before. The female comedian/hypnotist was very enjoyable and engaged the audience throughout her performance. The last comedian (James Michael) was the "bad boy" of comedy and his show was funny and entertaining.
The live music throughout the ship was all very good although I'm not getting the "hypnotizing amazement" of the crowd listening to that Bernie guy. Every time we walked past his lounge area there were passengers lined up along the walls with this hypnotic look on their face and my husband and I tried to listen to his *corny uninspiring* act and just couldn't get into it. Oh well, different strokes.......
I would like to touch on the age of the passengers on this particular cruise. We are in our early 40's and if I had to take a guess I'd say that about 85% of the passengers were over 80 years old. We were most definitely in the minority as far as age goes.
There were 11 kids on our voyage and the cruise director stated that the week before there were 600 kids. Of course since it was Labor Day week many schools were starting and that may explain the small number of little ones.
So for those "younger" folks looking for a party type crowd I wouldn't recommend this particular itinerary. It didn't bother us much and the one positive about sailing with a much older crowd was that we never had to search for a deck chair and the pools were fairly empty most of the time.
I was quite disappointed though in the way some of these *senior* passengers treated the crew. I witnessed quite a few people being outwardly rude for no good reason to this hard working staff. I only wish that people would remember that they should treat others as they themselves wish to be treated.
I realize this is a very long winded review and I hope for those of you that are still reading that it was helpful in some way.
I really wanted to touch on some of the negative things that I had read before I left, and to hopefully set your minds at ease.
To those of you sailing on this magnificent vessel in the near future I'd like to wish you as wonderful a vacation as we experienced. It's what you make of it and if you go with a negative attitude then chances are you won't have a positive experience.
Did I come away thinking that Princess is a "step above" the others I've sailed with? No I didn't....but that doesn't mean I didn't love our cruising experience with them.
We had a very good time and yes I would recommend this ship to my family and friends, but we really couldn't see any discernible difference between them and the others (Carnival, RCCL, and NCL).
Bon Voyage everyone!
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