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We chose this cruise because of the Panama Canal itinerary. We were part of a big group of friends/family. I believe most if not all of us were first timers on Princess. We thought Princess was supposed to be a step up from Carnival or Norwegian, but we failed to see why Princess is supposed to be better. We had heard of the big 2017 refurishment. The ship was beautiful and the staff couldn't have been nicer from the cabin stewards, to waiters, to bar tenders. However, it did seem the refurbishment of the buffet was a huge failure. There were several stations, but that just seemed to block the flow of people. There was lots of back tracking and the food wasn't that great most of the time. Breakfast is always good, but its hard to mess that up. The nighttime choices were not that great. The dining room seemed to have much better food. We were notified prior to sailing about a mechanical issue and some time changes for the ports. We were given $50 credit per person for the inconvenience. However it wasn't enough for the issues we had. When you are on a ship for 10 days and already have 4 at sea, some shore time is important and we certainly got shortchanged in that department. They could have skipped Princess Cays (no reduction in time there). It is just a beach and some cheesy shops. Next we had two days at sea that we were all looking forward to. We spent most of the days near the pool, but were sadly disappointed that there was no entertainment poolside. For about an hour a day(not every day) , there was a band playing or a DJ. That hour was good. They played 'elevator' music sometimes, and sometimes nothing at all around the pool. Some good music would have been great. It seemed the pool areas were left out of any planned entertainment. Most of our group is in their early 60s and we were definitely the young crowd. This was a cruise of mostly older people. I don't think we saw more than a dozen or so kids. Thank goodness, because kids would have been totally bored on this ship. The 60 year olds were somewhat bored. It was a good thing we had our friends with us, we were our own entertainment. Our first stop was Cartagena. We had booked a Hop on Hop off tour. It took forever to get going once we got on the bus and then we were told we couldn't get off the bus because there wasn't time. Our port time had been cut by 2 hours. We rode around the city a little then were dumped off in the shop and had to be back on the bus in about 20 minutes. If there wasn't time for this excursion, they shouldn't offer it or at least shouldn't call in Hop On Hop Off. Very disappointing. Going thru the Panama Canal was awesome. We took an excursion that took us through all the locks to the Pacific Ocean. That is what we came for and we weren't disappointed. The next stop was supposed to be Limon, Costa Rica, but the water was very choppy and we didn't get into port there. This also was very disappointing as this was one of the stops we wanted to see. . This meant we would have 3 days in a row at sea. There was no compensation for missing this port except a refund of $3.59 in taxes. We expected some added activities to pass the time, but that didn't happen either. The ship just didn't seem to be interested in pleasing the passengers at all. In fact we barely saw the cruise director at all. On other cruises we've experienced, he/she was all over the ship everyday. Due to a medical emergency, we made our way to Grand Cayman early, arriving in the middle of the night. The passenger was taken off, but even thought we were there, no time was added to our stop. It seemed strange that some stops got cut short due the ship not being about to go any faster, but when an emergency arose, we could go faster. We just weren't sure we could believe everything we were told. Our last stop was Grand Cayman. We were also rushed at this port missing a couple hours. We went to see he Stingrays and would have liked at least an hour to do a little shopping but instead we were herded back on the ship and before our tender even got there, they were raising the anchor. Most of the passengers felt cheated on these stops. As I said, we thought it would have been better to cut time off their island and add it to the other stops. This shipload of passengers didn't have time to spend leisurely seeing the ports or shopping. I can't imagine the ports would be very happy about that either. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the evening shows, even though we had to get there quite early to get seats. Everything considered, it was a good cruise, but we sure didn't see much for a 10 day cruise. If we had to rate Princess, it would definitely be below both Carnival and Norwegian. If Carnival is the 'party' ship, then I guess we are 'party' people. We like being entertained even if it is something goofy like a hairy chest contest. Maybe we just are old enough for Princess. The only way we would choose Princess again is if it were the only line that had the itinerary we wanted. Just not impressed.

Not Impressed

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by Midwest IL cruisers

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise because of the Panama Canal itinerary. We were part of a big group of friends/family. I believe most if not all of us were first timers on Princess. We thought Princess was supposed to be a step up from Carnival or Norwegian, but we failed to see why Princess is supposed to be better.

We had heard of the big 2017 refurishment. The ship was beautiful and the staff couldn't have been nicer from the cabin stewards, to waiters, to bar tenders. However, it did seem the refurbishment of the buffet was a huge failure. There were several stations, but that just seemed to block the flow of people. There was lots of back tracking and the food wasn't that great most of the time. Breakfast is always good, but its hard to mess that up. The nighttime choices were not that great. The dining room seemed to have much better food.

We were notified prior to sailing about a mechanical issue and some time changes for the ports. We were given $50 credit per person for the inconvenience. However it wasn't enough for the issues we had. When you are on a ship for 10 days and already have 4 at sea, some shore time is important and we certainly got shortchanged in that department. They could have skipped Princess Cays (no reduction in time there). It is just a beach and some cheesy shops. Next we had two days at sea that we were all looking forward to. We spent most of the days near the pool, but were sadly disappointed that there was no entertainment poolside. For about an hour a day(not every day) , there was a band playing or a DJ. That hour was good. They played 'elevator' music sometimes, and sometimes nothing at all around the pool. Some good music would have been great. It seemed the pool areas were left out of any planned entertainment. Most of our group is in their early 60s and we were definitely the young crowd. This was a cruise of mostly older people. I don't think we saw more than a dozen or so kids. Thank goodness, because kids would have been totally bored on this ship. The 60 year olds were somewhat bored. It was a good thing we had our friends with us, we were our own entertainment.

Our first stop was Cartagena. We had booked a Hop on Hop off tour. It took forever to get going once we got on the bus and then we were told we couldn't get off the bus because there wasn't time. Our port time had been cut by 2 hours. We rode around the city a little then were dumped off in the shop and had to be back on the bus in about 20 minutes. If there wasn't time for this excursion, they shouldn't offer it or at least shouldn't call in Hop On Hop Off. Very disappointing.

Going thru the Panama Canal was awesome. We took an excursion that took us through all the locks to the Pacific Ocean. That is what we came for and we weren't disappointed.

The next stop was supposed to be Limon, Costa Rica, but the water was very choppy and we didn't get into port there. This also was very disappointing as this was one of the stops we wanted to see. . This meant we would have 3 days in a row at sea. There was no compensation for missing this port except a refund of $3.59 in taxes. We expected some added activities to pass the time, but that didn't happen either. The ship just didn't seem to be interested in pleasing the passengers at all. In fact we barely saw the cruise director at all. On other cruises we've experienced, he/she was all over the ship everyday.

Due to a medical emergency, we made our way to Grand Cayman early, arriving in the middle of the night. The passenger was taken off, but even thought we were there, no time was added to our stop. It seemed strange that some stops got cut short due the ship not being about to go any faster, but when an emergency arose, we could go faster. We just weren't sure we could believe everything we were told.

Our last stop was Grand Cayman. We were also rushed at this port missing a couple hours. We went to see he Stingrays and would have liked at least an hour to do a little shopping but instead we were herded back on the ship and before our tender even got there, they were raising the anchor. Most of the passengers felt cheated on these stops. As I said, we thought it would have been better to cut time off their island and add it to the other stops. This shipload of passengers didn't have time to spend leisurely seeing the ports or shopping. I can't imagine the ports would be very happy about that either.

We thoroughly enjoyed all of the evening shows, even though we had to get there quite early to get seats.

Everything considered, it was a good cruise, but we sure didn't see much for a 10 day cruise. If we had to rate Princess, it would definitely be below both Carnival and Norwegian. If Carnival is the 'party' ship, then I guess we are 'party' people. We like being entertained even if it is something goofy like a hairy chest contest. Maybe we just are old enough for Princess. The only way we would choose Princess again is if it were the only line that had the itinerary we wanted. Just not impressed.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BD A636
We had balcony rooms and our balconies all opened to the other cabins, which was great. This ship has the smallest bathrooms and showers of any ship we've been on. We have previously been on many Carnival and several Norwegian all with somewhat larger bathrooms. The showers were very small, even the comedian made a joke about the size of the shower! On the plus side, the closet area was the biggest and had the easiest access. The cabin itself was good and no problems there. The beds were quite comfortable, but the bedding was too thick and too warm. We had the A/C as low as it would go. But all that is minor.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews