Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by breezypalm
- Sail Date: March 2019
- Destination: Caribbean
First, the embarkation and disembarkation process went very smoothly. We took the Princess transfer from the airport to the cruise ship terminal - 19$ per person. Next time, we will probably take a taxi (15$): you have to wait for everyone to show up (not a tremendous amount of time though) and we had some bad luck - our bus got hit by another one (took our mirror off) therefore we had to wait for a new one. Not the end of the world I suppose! We were supposed to disembark at 8:00 am, but as we were staying in Florida for one night, there was no problem leaving later.
Second, the ship decor is a little dated: carpets, walls, etc. Our cabin for instance had the flat screen tv, but it was on a shelf that probably held the big square tvs... It would make more sense to mount it to the wall and get rid of that shelf. The bathroom is also the smallest I've experienced on a cruise ship. The bed was ok, but the pillows were very uncomfortable. The closet however was a very good size. On sea days, it is obviously more crowded, but very manageable.
Third, the dining. The breakfast buffet was fine - what you expect at any buffet. We never went there for lunch nor for dinner. We enjoyed Slice Pizzeria and The Salty Dog by the main pool. Also, The International Cafe has a great selection of sandwiches! We ate at Planks one evening (12$ per person) - good food but HUGE servings! The main dining room was disappointing compared to other cruise lines. We were not very impressed with the food selection. One good thing is that we had selected the My time dining and never had to wait for more that 10-15 minutes for a table of 6. The service was mostly good. However, on our last formal night the waiter dropped some red wine on my dress and my husband's shirt (black so not really a big deal). They took my information down in order to clean my dress, but the service was never rendered. Pretty disappointing. The bar service is fantastic! The tastiest pina colada is by The International Cafe!!
Fourth, the ports and shore excursions. Our first stop was at Princess Cays, Bahamas. You need to tender out (it went smoothly) for about 10 minutes. We reserved a clam shell (29$), but the day was a little cloudy and there are quite a few trees for shade. However, if you're planning on getting one, you need to do it on the ship. Once on land, we went to our left, would go to the right - it seemed to be less crowded. If you purchase a beverage package, it works on the island. The Bar-B-Q lunch was good: burgers, hotdogs, chicken, ribs, salads.
Our second stop was in Puerto Rico. We decided to do a walking tour on our own. Take a left when you get off the pier! It is a beautiful city. We saw a lot of statues and fountains. The men visited El Morro fort (7$) and enjoyed it. If you plan on going to the Barrachina (first pina colada), try to make reservations; it is very busy.
Our third stop was at Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. DO NOT take the Puerto Plata and Cabarete Beach tour. When we got to the beach, we were whisked to the bathroom (by the way ladies, there is only one for us - I ended up going into the men's where there are two...(sorry guys)), then we were seated at a table at the restaurant (Tuva). There was a bit of a language barrier (my sister ordered whiskey and we're not sure what she got - stick to beer!!), the debit/credit machine was down, it lacked organisation. The beach was fun though! The waves are big, which is fun to jump, but be careful! We then went on the city "tour". Our guide (Eladio) took us to a souvenir shop - that he called the market - (Island Treasures) and made a 5 minute speech about the stones found on the island and this is the place to buy it and you won't find better, blah, blah, blah. I bought a mask - which was 2$ cheaper at the port shop of the same name. It didn't break the bank, but I am a little disgusted by this. We then visited a church where a service was in progress - WHAT? Not one person on the tour was impressed. When we finally got back to the pier, we had very little time to shop.
Our fourth and final stop was in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. We have been to many islands in the Caribbean, this is the clearest water I've seen! We booked a White Sand Snorkel tour on our own. Zero regrets: great service, great snorkeling, rum punch!, FRESH conch salad and a beautiful sting ray encounter! If you're planning on doing a beach day, the clam shells, chairs and umbrellas are free!! Very nice touch!
Overall, I got some much needed sun and a lot of fun! But for the amount of money you put towards a cruise? I just wouldn't book with Princess again.
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