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Only sailed twice before on P&O so experience is limited with other cruise lines However, overall I must say that in comparison with Caribbean Princess, P&O have the edge and we probably wouldn’t sail with Caribbean again We chose Caribbean as they were sailing around Britain and going to places we hadn’t visited before in Britain and the itinerary looked good for us. This was an American ship and everything was in dollars. The ship only had US electrics - be warned if you want to take you UK appliances with you. Some things work with a travel adapter some do not. All our phone/tablet charges worked fine. I pre-purchased a travel adapter – US plug one end, 3 UK sockets the other on a short 12” extension lead. This worked fine. There is no space on the 3 sockets (on the cabin wall) to get 3 items side-by-side. You will need an extension lead no matter what you use. There are no other sockets in the room. Boarding and the room was fine – same experience as P&O. In fact, this ship was almost exactly the same as P&O’s Ventura and Azura in terms of layout (with the odd tweak) The beds and pillows were very comfortable and the balcony fine – although on this trip the port side was the wrong choice if you wanted the sun in the afternoon. The aircon in the room worked flawlessly both cooling and heating. Much to my surprise, there was no tea and coffee making facilities in the room! We had a mini fridge which worked well. Bottled water was provided, but this was charged for if used – ours remained unused for the trip. The bathroom/shower cubicle was what was expected. On the small size but fully useable. Tile grouting on the floor was stained but ok with no cracked tiles. Plenty of clothes hanging space and suitcase storage Our cabin steward was friendly and worked very hard with the number of cabins he had to attend to. The theatre shows were very good and most nights we were in the audience. All the dancers and performers worked really hard to put on flawless shows There was a good choice of food in the market place where we eat for all but 3 meals. We just preferred the variety and the “pick and choose” of the items we liked. There was a carvery every day and roast pork was my favourite. Fillet Mignon was also available one evening and was very good – have as much as you like. All the food was American styled. We tried the grill for one lunchtime, and had a burger each (with fries). This was good and eating out on the deck made it different You can get a free ice-cream cone or tub anytime during the day. Milk shakes and coffee (lattes etc) have a charge of $2.25 (I think) plus the usual 15% “for our convenience”. Movies under the stars was also enjoyable and there was a good variety of films for all the family to enjoy – including for the late evening show with free popcorn (which was a nice touch). Curtesy coaches were provided for some of the ports. Other ports had coaches laid on but had a cost if you wanted to use them. Interestingly, we had to use Euros in Southern Ireland, and in Le Harvre where they use Euros, the laid on coaches only took dollars which we didn’t have any of. We didn’t do any excursions with Caribbean as we felt they were far too expensive and managed well on our own using local hopon hopoff busses or simply walking. Disembarkation was also no problem and very well organised. That’s was the positives, now the negatives None of the food we ate was hot. At best it was warm and by the time you got to your seat (if using the Market) your food was tepid. Strange as the tongs to get the food from the dishes, were sometimes too hot to touch, yet the food only warm. Even in the restaurant, the food was not hot but warm. We asked on one occasion to have our food microwaved and the very helpful chef helped us out. Why not turn up the heaters or hotplates? This was a big disappointment for us and certainly marred the cruise. Gratuities. This was set at $13.50 per person per day and was automatically deducted from our room account “for our convenience” – this phrase appeared in so many places. Any drinks purchased from the bar (even if collected personally) had a 15% gratuity automatically added and deducted from our room account “for our convenience”. P&O gratuities are only $6 approx per person and are not added to drinks. The booking information says you can approach the front desk and simply have the gratuity removed or reduced. We tried this and met with resistance. Let me say, that the staff are very friendly and helpful and we did want to tip them for their service, however $13.50 per person per day is too steep in my opinion. The front desk member of staff we approached on the first day, said that gratuities could not be reduced or cancelled on the first day (the day we went), come back half way through the cruise and then they would not cancel, but find out why we wanted to reduce and work out a resolution so the standard of service could improve – this all said within ear shot of other guests queuing. This is different to the information provided. We didn’t go back as we didn’t want to argue or justify our reasons – we just wouldn’t use Caribbean again. Price of alcohol seemed to be very steeply marked up. A small bottle of beer was $7 (plus the 15% “for our convenience”). A larger beer was $10 plus the 15%. There seemed to be no provision to purchase bottles of wine or spirits for use in the room. We were allowed to bring one bottle of wine each on board. Anything else purchased in any port would be taken from you and returned as you disembarked at the end of the voyage. On the P&O cruises we did, I could purchase a bottle of Southern Comfort at duty free prices via the room steward and drink in the room. Room service. Unfortunately, the room service was nothing special. The steward was very nice himself and made up the room every day and turned down the room in the evening. However it was nothing special. The beds were made, room hoovered, towels tided etc, but nothing more than I would expect from a budget hotel. The evening turndown was just making the bed, drawing the curtains, and leaving 2 chocolates. Again, I only have P&O to compare this to, but then the beds were actually turned down in the evening with the corners folded back, chocolates placed, plus towel animals left on the bed to surprise us. It might sound a small thing, but this took it from just normal service to something special which is what a cruise is all about in my opinion – something special. With no tea and coffee making facilities in the room, the only option is to use room service for a morning cup of tea – fortunately no charge. What can I say, it was not hot but warm again. No food or drink on this ship was hot. Movies under the stars. As you would expect in going around Britain, the weather can be cool/cold in the evening. Blankets are provided but these ran out very quickly with only about 5-10 people having blankets. We then had to use towels to keep the chill off. Not enough blankets at all – bring a coat you’ll need it. All in all, in my opinion, the overriding feeling about the cruise, with its good points and its negatives, was that this was an average cruise - but not “special” - and average value for our money. We probably wouldn’t sail with Caribbean again.

Nothing special

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by GarfieldCat

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Only sailed twice before on P&O so experience is limited with other cruise lines

However, overall I must say that in comparison with Caribbean Princess, P&O have the edge and we probably wouldn’t sail with Caribbean again

We chose Caribbean as they were sailing around Britain and going to places we hadn’t visited before in Britain and the itinerary looked good for us.

This was an American ship and everything was in dollars.

The ship only had US electrics - be warned if you want to take you UK appliances with you. Some things work with a travel adapter some do not. All our phone/tablet charges worked fine. I pre-purchased a travel adapter – US plug one end, 3 UK sockets the other on a short 12” extension lead. This worked fine. There is no space on the 3 sockets (on the cabin wall) to get 3 items side-by-side. You will need an extension lead no matter what you use. There are no other sockets in the room.

Boarding and the room was fine – same experience as P&O. In fact, this ship was almost exactly the same as P&O’s Ventura and Azura in terms of layout (with the odd tweak)

The beds and pillows were very comfortable and the balcony fine – although on this trip the port side was the wrong choice if you wanted the sun in the afternoon.

The aircon in the room worked flawlessly both cooling and heating.

Much to my surprise, there was no tea and coffee making facilities in the room! We had a mini fridge which worked well. Bottled water was provided, but this was charged for if used – ours remained unused for the trip.

The bathroom/shower cubicle was what was expected. On the small size but fully useable. Tile grouting on the floor was stained but ok with no cracked tiles.

Plenty of clothes hanging space and suitcase storage

Our cabin steward was friendly and worked very hard with the number of cabins he had to attend to.

The theatre shows were very good and most nights we were in the audience. All the dancers and performers worked really hard to put on flawless shows

There was a good choice of food in the market place where we eat for all but 3 meals. We just preferred the variety and the “pick and choose” of the items we liked. There was a carvery every day and roast pork was my favourite. Fillet Mignon was also available one evening and was very good – have as much as you like. All the food was American styled.

We tried the grill for one lunchtime, and had a burger each (with fries). This was good and eating out on the deck made it different

You can get a free ice-cream cone or tub anytime during the day. Milk shakes and coffee (lattes etc) have a charge of $2.25 (I think) plus the usual 15% “for our convenience”.

Movies under the stars was also enjoyable and there was a good variety of films for all the family to enjoy – including for the late evening show with free popcorn (which was a nice touch).

Curtesy coaches were provided for some of the ports. Other ports had coaches laid on but had a cost if you wanted to use them. Interestingly, we had to use Euros in Southern Ireland, and in Le Harvre where they use Euros, the laid on coaches only took dollars which we didn’t have any of.

We didn’t do any excursions with Caribbean as we felt they were far too expensive and managed well on our own using local hopon hopoff busses or simply walking.

Disembarkation was also no problem and very well organised.

That’s was the positives, now the negatives

None of the food we ate was hot. At best it was warm and by the time you got to your seat (if using the Market) your food was tepid. Strange as the tongs to get the food from the dishes, were sometimes too hot to touch, yet the food only warm. Even in the restaurant, the food was not hot but warm.

We asked on one occasion to have our food microwaved and the very helpful chef helped us out. Why not turn up the heaters or hotplates? This was a big disappointment for us and certainly marred the cruise.

Gratuities. This was set at $13.50 per person per day and was automatically deducted from our room account “for our convenience” – this phrase appeared in so many places. Any drinks purchased from the bar (even if collected personally) had a 15% gratuity automatically added and deducted from our room account “for our convenience”. P&O gratuities are only $6 approx per person and are not added to drinks. The booking information says you can approach the front desk and simply have the gratuity removed or reduced. We tried this and met with resistance. Let me say, that the staff are very friendly and helpful and we did want to tip them for their service, however $13.50 per person per day is too steep in my opinion. The front desk member of staff we approached on the first day, said that gratuities could not be reduced or cancelled on the first day (the day we went), come back half way through the cruise and then they would not cancel, but find out why we wanted to reduce and work out a resolution so the standard of service could improve – this all said within ear shot of other guests queuing. This is different to the information provided. We didn’t go back as we didn’t want to argue or justify our reasons – we just wouldn’t use Caribbean again.

Price of alcohol seemed to be very steeply marked up. A small bottle of beer was $7 (plus the 15% “for our convenience”). A larger beer was $10 plus the 15%. There seemed to be no provision to purchase bottles of wine or spirits for use in the room. We were allowed to bring one bottle of wine each on board. Anything else purchased in any port would be taken from you and returned as you disembarked at the end of the voyage. On the P&O cruises we did, I could purchase a bottle of Southern Comfort at duty free prices via the room steward and drink in the room.

Room service. Unfortunately, the room service was nothing special. The steward was very nice himself and made up the room every day and turned down the room in the evening. However it was nothing special. The beds were made, room hoovered, towels tided etc, but nothing more than I would expect from a budget hotel. The evening turndown was just making the bed, drawing the curtains, and leaving 2 chocolates. Again, I only have P&O to compare this to, but then the beds were actually turned down in the evening with the corners folded back, chocolates placed, plus towel animals left on the bed to surprise us. It might sound a small thing, but this took it from just normal service to something special which is what a cruise is all about in my opinion – something special.

With no tea and coffee making facilities in the room, the only option is to use room service for a morning cup of tea – fortunately no charge. What can I say, it was not hot but warm again. No food or drink on this ship was hot.

Movies under the stars. As you would expect in going around Britain, the weather can be cool/cold in the evening. Blankets are provided but these ran out very quickly with only about 5-10 people having blankets. We then had to use towels to keep the chill off. Not enough blankets at all – bring a coat you’ll need it.

All in all, in my opinion, the overriding feeling about the cruise, with its good points and its negatives, was that this was an average cruise - but not “special” - and average value for our money. We probably wouldn’t sail with Caribbean again.
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