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Caribbean Princess Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,698 Reviews

Fall Cruising - the good, the bad and the cold

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by Babs25

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2019
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Interior

We chose a fall cruise to celebrate my landmark birthday and to see the fall colors. We spent two nights in NYC (Columbus Day weekend) before getting on the ship. We were fine our first two ports, but then a Nor'Easter storm landed us in Boston and lost us two ports by the time the weather cleared. You really did not want to leave the ship and explore as they kept changing the time we would depart. Bar Harbor and Saint John were casualties, and we were most disappointed to miss Acadia National Park. I understand it was for our safety and they did give us a little discount on a future cruise, but I had read on the boards they miss Bar Harbor about 50% of the time. Our tour company (not Princess) told us they canceled our tour long before Princess admitted we were not going there, our guide knew they had closed the port. The other ports were fine, really liked Newport Beach. Quebec City was lovely, very glad we added two days on after the cruise. Halifax was also nice, as was Charlottetown. Sydney was just okay.

The outer decks were cold and windy, I missed not being able to utilize the outside of the ship. I don't think I'd cruise this late in the year again. The colors were also muted this year and the further north we went the colder it got. This was the last sailing before they left Quebec and headed down toward the Florida/Caribbean runs.

We were on Deck 10 and it was fine, see cabin review. There is only one laundromat per floor, two washers and two dryers, and it was competitive! Would be nice to have more than that for all those cabins.

Food was okay, good not great. Some things were very well done, and some were just mass prepared and mundane. We found the martini bar where they knew how to mix a drink, and got our cocktails from them each evening (Crooners Bar).

We splurged on the Crown Grill one night. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!! It was one of our worst meals. They tried to sit us near the host stand/kitchen, and when we asked to be moved, the host muttered a comment which was very unprofessional. They messed up my husband's drink, and his meal as well. The waiter was very kind, but forgot the mint jelly for my lamb chops, I did not realize it until I saw someone else served and by then it was too late. We come from a town with great steakhouses and this was nowhere near the quality. My lamb chops were small, not a nice chop, and my husband's steak was tough and poor quality.

We chose a regular seating for our other meals, and the waiters grew to know us and it was a pleasure to dine each evening. We ate breakfast and lunch in the restaurants most of the time, not buffet lovers. There had been a norovirus on the cruise before us, so they were very careful with hygiene on this cruise, the first few days in you could not even salt your own food and they served you from the buffet.

The entertainment was mostly lame, one magician was wonderful, and one night we could not get in to see a different show (piano-comedy I think) because it was too full. They still offer Zumba, which was fun, I also used the fitness center one morning. I was given a $50 spa credit, so it made my service affordable. Otherwise the prices they charge are outrageous, $138 for a manicure/pedicure as an example.(Plus tip.)

We took one tour with Princess to see Peggy's Cove and the Titanic graves, and it was well done. The rest of the time we did our own thing, as we prefer to explore on our own.

This was a somewhat older crowd, we were amazed at the scooters parked under the stairs one night, but people were mostly friendly and we did see a few younger people and even a few children, but not the norm.

There was a bar at the top of the ship in the back, Skywalkers. They seemed to use this for Elite functions a few times, they also had a special line in the dining room for club class. We were asked to leave Skywalkers early one evening as they had to ready it for a function. The whole ship should be accessible for all. Met the captain, very nice and approachable, a few stiffs at the front desk but overall the staff goes out of their way and works very hard. Our steward was a doll, as were our dining waiters. Would I cruise Princess again? Possibly. We're taking our first Viking ocean cruise next year so it will be interesting to see the difference.


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Cabin Review

Interior

This was our first experience with an inside cabin. We picked toward the front of the ship at the end of the hall, so we were near a service door but did not her any extra noise. You do hear the the anchor drop in a tendered port, but that only happened once. Plenty of room, we also brought magnetic hook for the walls (genius who invented those) and a night light per the suggestion of a cruise critic member. Pleased with the room overall, plenty of storage, but I missed natural light. My husband would do it again, I'm on the fence. We did spend more time in the room than I thought, as the outside space was no fun with the cold, and the common areas were crowded with constant piped in music, so it was hard to find a quiet place other than our cabin. There is a nice big flat screen, and enough movies where we were not bored. I purchased the wifi and had no problem with email and Netflix, but to stream anything was painfully slow, so I gave up. Bed and pillows very comfy but a lighted makeup mirror would have been nice.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

New York (Manhattan)

We flew in two days early to enjoy NYC. It's hard to review, you either love it there or hate it as it's a big gritty city with areas of beauty and also homeless sleeping on the streets. We saw/walked up the new Hudson Yard Vessel sculpture, Neue Gallery, Central Park, public Library, Fearless Girl and Ralph Kramden's statues, Empire State Building, NYSE, the 9-11 Memorial, and rode the subways/walked to all of our destinations. Getting to the ship a cab driver was intent on cheating us, tried to charge us $60 when it only should have been $35-40 from our hotel. I had to bring up GoogleMaps to show him it would only take 20 minutes, not the hour and a half he told us. So be informed if you taxi to the pier.

Newport

Took the #67 bus from the Visitor Center and toured Rough Point, Doris Duke's mansion. Walked back down the streets and then over to the Cliff Walk to get back to the pier. Had time to peek at the church where JFK/Jackie were married, then headed back to ship. No time to enjoy lunch at restaurants had wait times.

Boston

Been to Boston several times, so we just took the subway out to Cambridge/Harvard, spent the afternoon and came back to the ship. If you've never been, make sure you walk the Freedom Trail.

Bar Harbor

Due to a Nor'Easter storm we missed this port. I guess this port is a tender and does not always get included on the cruise. Very disappointed as we really wanted to see Acadia National Park, off ship tour had to be canceled as well.

Saint John (New Brunswick)

Lost this port to a storm as well, two ports missed on our October 14, 2019 cruise due to weather.

Bus Tour

Nicely done and narrated.

View All 56 Bus Tour Reviews
Peggy's Cove

Very much enjoyed Halifax. Walked to the Citadel/Clock Tower in the morning, and took the bus tour to Peggy's Cove/Titanic gravesite in the afternoon.

View All 245 Peggy's Cove Reviews

Moving and interesting. This was part of our bus tour that included Peggy's Cove.

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Sydney (Nova Scotia)

Cold, rainy day. Walked around a bit and had a very good bowl of seafood chowder upstairs at Flavor restaurant where all the cruise shops are.

Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

Lovely little town, we just walked and walked. Many of the attractions had closed for the season, so we did not take an excursion.

City Tour

City tour gave us an overview and kept us out of the cold rain. Great way to get your bearings.

View All 56 City Tour Reviews
Montmorency Falls

Part of countryside tour, saw falls, Ste Anne basilica, chocolate shop on a little island (island cool, shop a waste of time) and a coppersmith shop that ties into the church.

View All 45 Montmorency Falls Reviews

Saw Ste Anne de Beaupre as part of a countryside tour that included Montmorency Falls, a chocolate shop (lame), a coppersmith shop (excellent) and the basilica which was stunning.

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Babs25
2 Reviews Written
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