Staff was very friendly, rooms were clean and I found it easy to navigate around the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. I like that there is an adult pool at the back of the ship and on the main deck there was always fun ... Read More
Staff was very friendly, rooms were clean and I found it easy to navigate around the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. I like that there is an adult pool at the back of the ship and on the main deck there was always fun activities going on. Inside cabin is actually not that bad and our room was pretty quiet. There was a duvet under the bed that I used and the room had tons of closet space. The food wasn't my favorite but the presentation and service was excellent. I liked how there was a selection of bars to go to each with different things going on and I liked that it had a night club. I got the drink package and like that the limit was 15 per day, it is expensive but overall worth it if you drink more than 6 drinks per day. I would definitely cruise with Princess again, so far it is my favorite cruise line. Read Less
This was my 5th cruise, but my first cruise with Princess. I have sailed with Disney and with Carnival for my other cruises. I absolutely love cruising and being out on the ocean, and try to look at the brighter side of things when things ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise, but my first cruise with Princess. I have sailed with Disney and with Carnival for my other cruises. I absolutely love cruising and being out on the ocean, and try to look at the brighter side of things when things happen because I believe it's what you make it. This cruise tested me and my attitude, that's for sure.
I took my niece for this cruise, this is her 3rd cruise, and it was quite the adventure we will never forget. She was turning 14 at the end of the cruise, so it was a celebration while on board, but I'll cover that in a bit.
We drove to Houston on Saturday, March 5th, and stayed at the Marriott by Courtyard at NASA. It was a nice hotel, and we enjoyed it. No complaints other than there was no "free" breakfast, but we knew that before we booked, and planned on eating lunch on the ship, so it wasn't a concern. Driving into the hotel was beautiful, there were structures of astronauts and planets and lovely palm trees. We stayed in an accessible room apparently, as we had a doorbell and none of our surrounding rooms did, but being a child of someone who requires accessible rooms, I wasn't impressed at anything else in that area, as the doorbell and light was the only thing I noticed that was really different than any other room. The room was clean and very spacious. There was a desk with a chair and also a sitting chair. There also was an iPod dock (something we read about in the advertisement when we booked the room), but it was for older apple devices, as the charging port was the larger style instead of the smaller newer ones. No biggie since we brought our own chargers for the cruise.
We got up and drove to the port, it was an easy drive, about 10 minutes away. We prepaid for parking and saved $5. We dropped off luggage with a porter first, then we had to drive all the way back around and check in with the ticket booth. We were directed where to park and the shuttle was right behind the car waiting to pick us up to take us back to the building. We had to stop at a table and fill out a health questionnaire and then proceeded into line and was quickly checked in. We were handed two ship maps/deck plans with our cabin number on it. We both traveled with our birth certificates, and nothing was ever said about her not being with another adult or not being my child, but I had a notarized statement ready just in case, as well as my marriage certificate, as we have been asked to provide both on previous cruises (but not every time).
Back to back boarded first, and then we were able to board. We went straight to our cabin, R407. It was an inside cabin that was sideways. Pictures I had previously found online led me to believe the cabin was much larger than it actually was. We have stayed in sideways cabins before (on DCL) and it was our favorite, but I was shocked at the size (or lack of) of this cabin. Our cabin steward came and introduced himself. We checked out the bathroom, and I'm still trying to get over how incredibly small the shower was. This was the smallest room, the smallest bathroom and the smallest safe I have ever had. I have a hipster Vera Bradley purse, and it wouldn't fit in the safe. So I tried putting my folder of documents in there, and it wouldn't fit either (it's a regular size folder). I also noticed there was no drain in the bathroom floor (other than the actual shower drain), like I'm used to on Carnival, and I did flood the bathroom several times (even the water didn't have enough room in that shower! Ha!)
We pre-ordered the Sodas and More package, and was expecting the cups to be in our stateroom, but they weren't. Once we unpacked (our luggage arrived while we were unpacking our carry on luggage), we decided to go explore and have lunch. I stopped at a table they had set up for the beverage packages and asked about the cups, and he stated if you pre-order the package, you no longer receive the cups. I stated that that was disappointing and ridiculous. We did receive the cups in our cabin on the 3rd night with a note saying we pre-ordered that, and that we prepaid our gratuities.
I also requested on the last night a cake be delivered for my niece's birthday, they also informed me the door would have some decorations. I brought some just in case, because I noticed every time I spoke with someone on the phone about anything, it was different every time, so I wanted to be prepared. Of course, there were not any decorations, so I hung my own, and the next night, we had the ship decorations added.
We went to lunch at one of the sit-down restaurants and met some really nice people. We had to share the table with 3 other couples. Lunch was good, service was quick, especially the drinks (Carnival I feel fails in this area).
After lunch I stopped by Guest Services to see if there is a limit I could put on my niece's card, and they informed me that isn't how it worked, but I could block some spending from bars, shops and casinos. I just left it alone, as I felt she was responsible enough and we had agreed on an amount. Turns out, there wasn't really anything either of us was interested in buying in the whole 7 days, so she didn't spend a single penny. We were both pretty disappointed with that.
The night before we left, we found out we weren't going to be visiting Princess Cays (VERY disappointing), so we went to the excursion desk to try to find something for Nassau (they replaced PC with Nassau), so we booked the Discover Atlantis tour.
Then it was time to go to the Muster Drill. We had to take our life jackets (you don't on CCL and DCL), but at least the drill was indoors. We also had to try on our life jackets which scared my niece because she already knew about the generator, and being that in depth of a drill, she wasn't used to, so she was nervous.
After that, we went to the "Sail Away Party", but left early because it wasn't much of a party at all, at least not to our standards. We made our last phone calls before putting our phones on airplane mode and got connected to the Princess @ Sea app. You have to find your account number to add people to your list, and you don't get notified of any new messages, so the only thing we wound up using the app for was checking our stateroom balance.
She was pre-registered for the youth club (the teen one, Remix). There were 70 total kids onboard. 70. Out of 3,000 + people, only 70 of them were children. It was spring break in Texas. I had heard that Princess is labeled as "Heaven's waiting room", and after this cruise, we believe it! There were scooters, canes & walkers EVERYWHERE. I have NOTHING against that, like I stated before, one of my parents is disabled, and uses a scooter, and a cane, and I am fully aware of the need for those things, and have respect and courtesy for those people, but I can't figure out how we didn't have power failure at night when all of those things had to recharge! I had never in my life seen so many. We finally made an ongoing joke the whole cruise to see how many groups we could find - knitters, readers, card players, and bar hoppers. (Every single time we went by this one bar, the same couple was there, and in the same seats.. seriously - every. single.time.) This cruise / cruise line / ship is not for young families or children. They seemed to have one CD that they played on repeat the entire 7 days in all of the public spaces, and about the "newest" pop song on it was "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift.
We went to dinner in the Island Dining Room (we had anytime dining) around 5:15 and had no wait. The service was good, the food was alright. We went to the 7:00 "Welcome Aboard" show. It was okay. The theater was small to have a ship occupancy of 3,000 + people. It wasn't like Carnival, but more like Disney. Arms on each seat instead of couches, and in one side of the arm, there is a table you can pull out- but if you have any size stomach at all, don't count on using that.
Around 10 we went to the room, basically for a lack of anything else to do. We figured maybe tomorrow would be better since it's a day at sea, usually there are lots of activities happening on those, so we were looking forward to it.
Turns out, every single day was a bore. I am one of those people who cringe when I hear someone say they are bored. I was raised not to say that, and that there is always something to do, but I was actually bored on this cruise.
They had a holiday sale, and the shirts were $10 each. We got excited and ran to the shirt table, to find that the shirts said Western Caribbean, Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. (NOTE - our ports were Eastern Caribbean, Key West, Freeport and Nassau)..... I still can't figure that out. Another day, they had a "special" sale - 2 shirts for $20. IT WAS THE SAME EXACT SHIRTS. And, it's the same exact price!! We are still laughing about that one.
On the "Fun Day At Sea", there were events like golf chipping in the pool, some movies, the shopping spotlight show (which we think should be renamed "The Diamonds International Show" - as that was 95% of what was discussed..... for nearly 2 hours.) The free gifts were some bamboo lei's, a Del-Sol tote bag, 1 shirt, 1 frisbee and a "diamond" necklace.
This night was formal night, and people do go formal pretty well on this ship (comparing to CCL). The lines were SO long for dinner, we decided to go back, get "normal", and head to the buffet. We didn't want to miss the show (that's about the only thing exciting we had been waiting for all day). The buffet was good, and actually, due to menus in the dining room, we ate the buffet nearly every night. One night they had fried chicken on the menu, so we went, and sat next to a lady who informed us fried chicken was one of the worst things you could put in your body, and we had to hear a health speech during the whole dinner. The fried chicken was gross, and we couldn't eat it. We hit the buffet after the show. Note - I normally NEVER miss dining in dining rooms for dinner. In fact, out of 5 cruises, this was the first time I had ever eaten in the dining room, so eating in there nearly every night really says something!! I normally love dressing up and going to the MDR and enjoying the atmosphere, but not here. Not this time.
We went to the comedian's show in the Explorer's Lounge. A lot of shows and games were hosted in this lounge, and if you want to go, get there AT LEAST 30 mins. early to get a good seat (We usually shot for an hour). The comedian was hilarious and the best part of the cruise! We were sad he didn't win Entertainer of the Year (that was happening during this sailing).
We hit the Captain's Welcome Aboard "Party", and saw the "champagne waterfall", and the line of people to take a picture of themselves supposedly pouring some champagne, but the captain actually did the pouring, and it really wasn't a waterfall. It took 12 bottles, so you can imagine how long that took, with people stepping up a small ladder, smiling, pour a few dashes, and then the next person came.
We went to a few game shows they had onboard, Majority Rules, Marriage Game Show, Liar's Club, Yes/No Game Show (our favorite), etc. You don't want to miss the Yes/No Game Show, it's pretty funny watching people try to avoid saying yes and no for 3 minutes, and most people can't make it.
The evening show in the theater was Born to Be Wild or something like that. We sat in the middle of the 2nd row. The rows are close together in that once your in, you don't leave until it's over if you are in the middle. We never sat in the middle again. This show was supposed to be about a road trip and had songs such as "Life is A Highway", "I've Been Everywhere", etc. I'm still trying to figure out why the female dancers dressed as night walkers (thong leotards, SUPER mini skirts, bras, etc.), and danced as if the only thing missing was a pole. My niece turned and looked at me when the thong lady came out during "Life is a Highway", and our jaws were both dropped. Now, the old man in front of us was clapping and cheering, and we thought he may have a heart attack he was so excited. I would have been REALLY upset if my child was younger. I just don't understand the need for that with those kinds of songs, and for a "family" friendly show.
After the show, we walked around the upper decks to see if anything was happening (we usually don't go to bed until around 3 am on CCL and DCL), and usually by 10:30 this ship was pretty well shut down other than the casino and the piano bar.
The next day was supposed to be Key West, but as we sailed right by it, it was decided that it was going to be cancelled. The captain came on the intercom system and said due to the wind we were not able to dock. Trust me, the ship's atmosphere REALLY sank after that!! We ran to the shore excursions desk to find something to do in Freeport now, as we were just going to "wing it" since we knew we would be having lots of fun in Key West and in Nassau, but now, I was determined the rest of this trip was not going to be ruined. Of course, like everyone else, the whole reason we picked this week was for KW and PC, and now that both were cancelled, I was rather irritated that I didn't just wait a week (the next week is my spring break and I was off). I do understand the weather is out of people's control, but I don't understand about Princess Cays. Supposedly the generator was not working correctly and we were informed we wouldn't be able to travel at full speeds, but we did. There was a lot of discussion about that among passengers.
Before the 1:00 port time, there wasn't much going on, Knitters & Knatters, Back Pain Relief, Jewelry sales, Art sales, etc. They announced they would be putting out a new Princess Patters that would start at 1:00 with new activities. Not much was offered different from before, with the exception of a few games (pictionary, etc.) Pretty disappointing day. I had been looking forward to the Stargazing that they have been advertising a lot, and I love stars, but it was too windy, so they cancelled that also. The employee stated they would try it again on our last night at sea, so I was hopeful (NOTE - the last night at sea was gorgeous, and I have never seen the moon shine on the sea quite like it did that night - and NO, they did not reschedule stargazing!!)
For Freeport, the Shore Excursion employee recommended we do the All-Inclusive Beach, and we did. There wasn't an option to not do all-inclusive, and most of the choices were garden tours, history tours, etc., so we jumped on this opportunity even though we don't drink. We met off the ship in the pier, and had an A/C bus ride to the beach (about 20 mins away), and it was only us cruise passengers. It was a BEAUTIFUL beach. They did serve alcohol to an underage kiddo - more than once actually - because he and my niece became friendly (I told her after watching him partake of the drinking games 3 times and downing shots like it was nothing - she is to no longer hang out with him!). His parents were busy doing their own thing - like they did the whole entire cruise. It was apparent this kid has his own room with his little brother and mom and dad didn't have any control or care what happened, as he even talked about the bar staff on board giving him drinks one night when we all had dinner together. (This was before the beach, and I thought he was just trying to be a big shot in front of my niece, I now realize he was probably serious, and he probably drank it!)
We tried to make it to the magic show for 2 of the shows, but couldn't find a seat for the one did in the Explorer's Lounge. Each contestant for Entertainer of the Year performed 2 shows - one in Explorer's Lounge (the place you need to get to 30-1 hr ahead of time), and one in the main theater. Each show was supposed to be different. My niece stood the whole time for this magic show in the back, but I went and sat in the Piazza area and people watched.
The night before the last night, at 4 something in the morning, we awoke to our drawers flying open, hangers banging, and some strange noises. Come to find out, we were in the middle of a pretty bad storm. Most all of us and our neighbors were out of the cabins (pj's and wild hair and all!) and several of us went to the top deck to see what was happening, and then down to deck 7. I have some video of the waves from deck 7, and it was really something! It was a LONG night that night, because by this time, we were so done with this cruise, and now the storm, and we were just ready to go home.
I also wanted to note, there were no towel animals in our cabin. To some, that's probably not a big deal at all, but it's pretty sad for us when it's something you look forward to. The service on this ship was great and overall speedy. I really enjoyed having the Sodas & More package, we enjoyed a total of 73 mocktails over 7 nights, so it was worth the price for us ($8.05 per person, per day). We went to one of the "Fun Deck Parties" one night, and it was literally just me and my niece, and one person walking by.. which I also have on video, because I knew my friends and family back home would find it hilarious, comparing to what we've done before.
Overall, if you are 70+, you will probably enjoy this ship. And I don't mean that to be rude, not by any means!!! If you are looking for nothing to do, you will enjoy this ship. But don't go expecting to have fun in the same sense you would on a CCL or DCL ship (Again - I don't drink alcohol, I'm not some party animal, and I don't go to night clubs... but I do enjoy people watching, getting something to eat, trivia's, games, comedy shows, and so on... not just knitting and origami....) Read Less
21-28 February 2016
We have cruised many times and had experiences ranging from outstanding to deplorable. On occasion we find ourselves blessed with all possible favorable outcomes on one trip. Such was the case ... Read More
21-28 February 2016
We have cruised many times and had experiences ranging from outstanding to deplorable. On occasion we find ourselves blessed with all possible favorable outcomes on one trip. Such was the case on our recent Key West and Bahamas voyage with Princess Cruise Lines on the Caribbean Princess.
We have just been aboard the Caribbean Princess in late November 2015. That voyage was not especially remarkable. In fact we considered it to be, on balance, slightly below par for Princess. Thus, our expectations may have been set lower on this trip. We arrived slightly early for prescribed our check in and boarding time but breezed through check in and went directly onboard and to our stateroom in about ten minutes time. The cabin was immaculate. We were greeted cheerfully by the attendant who, throughout the course of the journey, did an excellent job.
Virtually everyone we encountered was helpful and polite. No issues. Our dinner attendants were among the best we have had on any cruise line. Polite, helpful and engaging. I am generally critical of cruise ship meals, but on this voyage it was obvious that Princess had taken the quality of their cuisine up a notch. Certainly one could pick a nit or two if one wanted, but quality, selection, assortment, preparation, presentation and variety were all at a good standard.
The onboard entertainment was quite good. On this trip Princess had a “Voice of the Ocean” competition which we thought might be hokey but turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. We loved it. As far as the ports are concerned Key West is basically a box that we wanted to check off. Crowded, expensive, dirty and unappealing. The history is fascinating however, as is the Mel Fisher Museum which although pricey is a must. This was our first visit to Freeport and we were not impressed. Due to a diesel generator malfunction and choppy weather we diverted from Princess Key to Nassau. We had not been to that port in thirty years and found it to be crowded, unappealing and dirty. The brightly colored building we remembered were sporting the same coat of paint they had on thirty years earlier. We walked around the town for miles, down the crumbling roads and sidewalks and past derelict buildings. Surprisingly, however, everyone we met was pleasant, helpful and cheery. Our trek to the Bahamas National Art Museum was worth the walk. The docents were informative, pleasant and helpful. We highly recommend this stop.
The return voyage was uneventful as was our disembarkation experience. We did the “walk off,” and when our elevator doors opened on deck 7 we simply merged with the line of passengers already exiting and proceeded to customs. The entire experience, including our walk to the car, took about fifteen minutes.
Special acknowledgement is deserved by our Cruise Director, Lee Childress. Although a quick “Google” search might reveal some undeserved bashing of Lee, we feel he was a special gift. Choose ten people and one will get ten different opinions of a topic. We loved Lee. Thanks in part to Lee, Princess made time available each day for an interdenominational bible study hour. He also arranged, and led, a nondenominational worship service. Princess has a daily LGBT get together hour for those so inclined. They also have a Dr. Bob & Bill W. session every day. For those of us who are Christians it was a true blessing to have these few minutes set aside for worship.
Good job Princess! Read Less
This was our first Princess cruise. I have been on Norwegian, Royal, Carnival and Disney ones in the past. From start to finish the service on the ship was excellent. There was never a line at Guest Services. Our room steward was ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise. I have been on Norwegian, Royal, Carnival and Disney ones in the past. From start to finish the service on the ship was excellent. There was never a line at Guest Services. Our room steward was outstanding. We had drinks in the Wheelhouse Bar, Skywalkers Lounge and Crooners and the service and drinks at all of those were wonderful.
We did the late dining option. First thing was we had asked in our reservations to be put in with a party of 10 or 8 so we would have an opportunity to meet others on the cruise. When we went to dining on the first night we were at a table by ourselves. When the maitre d came by I asked him why we were by ourselves and his response was when they see families traveling together they like to put them by themselves even if we requested to be with others. Well out thought was we eat together all the time and sometimes the kids don't come to dinner so that was a bummer. His solution was we switch to anytime dining after 9:00 pm or before 6 pm and join another group that way. We just kept it the way it was and at one point had 3 of us at a table for 6. Our wait staff was very good and often joking around with the kids. The real issue was the food. It was dull. We tried the specials and everything and the food didn't have any flavor. I understand that you are catering to an older crowd and are staying away from sodium but trying adding some herbs or something. Even my youngest had chicken tenders with zero flavor.
The food in the Horizon Court wasn't any better. The breakfast buffet had undercooked eggs and bacon that was limp and rubbery. The hash brown potato had no flavor as well. We found that the best place for breakfast was the DaVinci Room with the sit down or something from the International Cafe. Lunch wasn't any better. On the sushi day it was tough for the kids to find something to eat. Eating burgers and pizza does get old but they were your best options. Again wasn't horrid but every other cruise we were on had better food. We weren't going to have to worry about gaining weight on this cruise.
The entertainment was fair. I think so many other cruise lines are upping their game in the entertainment sector that Princess is going to have to revamp in order to keep up. We went to the comedian and the Boogie show. It left a lot to be desired. Again I use the word lackluster.
The kids clubs were neat and clean however during a holiday week we were surprised to learn they only had 1 staff member in with each of the older two groups. The kids said they were rather boring and often chose to hang with us rather then go to the kids clubs. Also if doing the late dinner those in the 8-12 year old group don't really get to go back to the club after the 5 pm close.
We had rough weather and a medical emergency on board that included the USCG doing a helicopter evacuation at night. The Captain, officers and staff did an amazing job with that. It did cause several events to be moved or cancelled but everyone handled it well. Kudos to them for that.
Again nothing horrid but nothing special. It caters to an older crowd and we knew that. However if they want to "Come Back New" as their slogan says they need to up their game in the food and entertainment. Especially with multi-generational cruising on the rise. Read Less
I've read many good and bad reviews...here is my review!
Me: Single guy, 49, 16th cruise I think....sailed and taught ballroom on individual cruises on HAL, NCL, RCL and recently just been sailing solo adding Carnival and Princess to ... Read More
I've read many good and bad reviews...here is my review!
Me: Single guy, 49, 16th cruise I think....sailed and taught ballroom on individual cruises on HAL, NCL, RCL and recently just been sailing solo adding Carnival and Princess to the mix.
Cruise Check In: I arrived at the Port Everglades Pier #2 quickly from the airport at 12:15 pm using GoShuttle. Yes: the busiest time! I got through the security scanning line quickly then into the check in line, but the line came immediately to a complete stop: they stopped boarding the ship. No one knows why. After 15 minutes they resume boarding and the line starts up and I quickly get to the desk...very friendly...very quick. Then to a holding room...they stop boarding again...we sit. Look! They’re boarding again! Sections are called to board, then up an escalator to another line...picture time...to another line! Hmmm... Finally on board 1:20. But still one hour and 5 minutes is not a terrible thing…it’s just gone more smoothly at other ports. I think the terminal just isn’t big enough to handle a ship with so many guests.
Once on board rooms were ready and we were actually guided to the proper elevator and guided into said elevator in an orderly fashion. Room was ready...but the bathroom had a sour smell. I called House Keeping and they were at my door immediately. [Seriously! I hung up the phone and they knocked on the door! It was kinda weird] The shower curtain was changed within 10 minutes and all smelled good! The steward said he had meant to do it earlier, but they were overly busy that morning. Points awarded!
The room was a wee smaller than expected, but the obstructed balcony in E629 is only about 1/4 blocked by machinery. Will this be a problem? Hmmm...we'll see! [It was! If you sleep in on a tendering day. The machinery outside the window is the tender winch!]
My door is also surrounded by blue quilted cloth as I am opposite a service door/elevator [not shown on deck plans] and this door/elevator is used for room service breakfasts. Will this be a problem? Hmmm...we'll see! [It was! Though only on the first morning after I was woken up by the winch and then heard the room service carts. Oh well. The following mornings I slept thru it]
The free Princess app is very cool! My ship board account and activities all listed. [But weirdly not on the TV?]
Muster was well presented and very detailed. Though I was a little disturbed when they demonstrated how to hold your nose and brace oneself when jumping off the ship into the water if required! Moving on…
I met my steward...but aside from changing the shower curtain he has not taken the luggage mat off the bed or brought the requested ice. No biggie...yet. Again, he did say that they were behind as many passengers stayed on the ship later than usual.
Now it's just pre-dinner time and the room has been turned down...chocolates on the pillow and ice in the bucket! All Good! The blue quilted material is down....I surmise luggage delivery is done. The rest of the sailing the room was impeccable! Great job Martin!
The line for anytime dinning at 7:15 pm is as expected for Prime Time: Very Long! We opt for Alfredos tonight where we are seated immediately and well taken care of. Food arrives deliciously hot out of the oven and surprisingly quickly. [We chose our anytime dining times better the rest of the cruise and had only short waits for the MDR]
The Captain made an announcement tonight describing the anchoring process since we tender at Princess Cays and apologized for the loud sound it will make at 8 am. He humorously added there's no way to avoid the noise: "It's a very big piece of metal!”
Tendering at Princess Cays: Heeding the cruise director's advice I waited until about 10:30 am to get a tender ticket and avoid the crowds. I got a ticket and within 5 minutes the numbers were called and we were on our way. I was impressed that the crew was very specific about where to go and where to sit when they loaded 180 people onto a tender; not the "free for all" to find seats like on any other cruise line I've tendered on. There was no signing out for towels or haranguing to buy water. Points awarded!
Back on the ship…it’s Tea Time in the Concerto dining room. Excellent! No huge tables of 12. Individual for two [or one in my case] or joining others at a 6 top. Service was white glove and perfect and the large selection of tea sandwiches and pastries and warm scones with cream and jam was totally different than that served in the buffet. Quite special. I went again on the second sea day and it was just as good! Points awarded!
Entertainment: The comedians were humorous…though restrained. None were hysterically funny…but enjoyable. The Magician, Michael Barron, was great! He was smooth [and very handsome] and took sleight of hand magic [that usually belongs in a smaller theatre] to the main stage and made it work! [I was sitting only a few rows from the BACK and you could see very well]
We saw two production shows. Fiera was wonderfully produced with more scenery, costumes, lighting and effects than many a Broadway show. [I’m from New York…I work in the theatre] Performances were fantastic, shinning more in the dancing than the singing. HOWEVER…who writes these things? The selection of material seems so random when trying to piece together a story through song. Makes you wonder!
The second show was all song and dance and again, visually and vocally very good. The sound for both shows however, as people have previously reviewed…was too loud! Requiring them to “over mike” the singers to be heard over the music. Why do they do that? Oh well.
Food: Other people have remarked that the food in the buffet wasn’t too good. Some offerings were GREAT….some "eh"…some bad. But with all the choices I always filled my plate with a selection of very tasty stuff. You need to be creative! People want examples so: I got the soy glazed chicken, but put the peanut sauce from the beef satay on it. YUM! I got the peach cobbler in the pastry shop, but instead of the vanilla sauce that was offered, I went to Swirls and got soft serve vanilla ice cream that they happily put on top!
Cabin: E629 was in a perfect location near the aft stairs. It was one flight down to the top floor of the three main decks of activity. After so many bad reviews about the elevators…I had no trouble. Though I can see if you were in the center of the ship it might be more annoying. Yes it’s a big ship. If you don’t like big ships then go on a small one…don’t write a bad review. You choose the ship! You choose your cabin!
Our sailing was FULL! Sold out a couple weeks before sailing. Some reviews said the ship felt crowded. I never found that so. I always found a place to sit in the buffet, occasionally had to search out a deck chair, but always found one.
I just realized! On only one night did we have to dodge backdrops and photographers and that was formal night. And even then it was nothing like on other lines where there is one after the other, after the other, blocking hallways, stairs and the atrium…every night! More points awarded!
Disembarkation eluded me: I chose Express Walk Off and I quote page two of the pamphlet:
"For Passengers capable of handling their own luggage across the gangway and into the terminal, you have chosen for a "walk off" disembarkation. Those participating should NOT leave out any luggage for collection. Kindly note that passengers choosing "walk off" disembarkation are responsible for carrying all of their own luggage".
That's all it says! Then on page four of said pamphlet Express walk off is listed with groups A - E and times of 6:10 am to 6:30 am. WHAT????? I had no intention of disembarking at 6:30 am...nor did it say how you would know what group you would be in! A - E? The luggage tags that I did not use were Gold. I was ready to disembark at 9:15ish…but was told I had to wait until 10:20 am[Gold Time} even though I had put out no luggage. What did I miss? Oh well. They lost a few points for that one.
It was a really nice cruise. I'd do it again! Read Less
This was my first cruise in a while. I have previously sailed RCCL and Celebrity. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale a day before the cruise and took a shuttle to the port. Our boarding time was at noon and embarkment was smooth. Our rooms ... Read More
This was my first cruise in a while. I have previously sailed RCCL and Celebrity. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale a day before the cruise and took a shuttle to the port. Our boarding time was at noon and embarkment was smooth. Our rooms were not ready so we went to the lido deck to wait. There was video of a concert playing but nothing very festive going on. It was all very low key. No welcome aboard excitement happening.
At 4:00 we proceeded to the room to get ready for the muster drill at 4:15. I was travelling with three friends and two of our bags were outside of the cabin. A staff member was delivering another bag which one of my friend's identified as belonging to her> The staff member then just turn and walked away leaving the bag sitting in the middle of the hallway not even close to our cabin for my friend to come and retrieve on her own. I found this just a little strange.
Our muster station was a good distance from our room and after being directed to the wrong one we finally ended our at the right station. We had to bring our life jackets from the cabin and were instructed to put them on although staff never checked to see if we had them on correctly. After the drill it took forever to get an elevator back up to our floor or find the correct stairs to take. There was no staff member in sight to direct us to our room it seemed like after the drill staff magically disappeared. After aimlessly wandering for about 20 minutes we finally made our way back to the cabin to drop off the life jackets. (Disappointment number 2)
When we finally made it back to the lido deck the ship had already begun to sail and all the good viewing areas around the deck were already taken as the ship was sold out. However, it was really festive on deck at this time as a band was playing.
We had dinner each night in the MDR. The food was good and the servers were friendly. I have food allergies and felt very well taken care of.
I purchased the soda package, however, it only included fountain drinks and hot chocolate. It did not include specialty coffees. I will not purchase this package again.
Our only port was Princess Cays. We rented a floating chair and I did enjoy just lounging in the ocean all day. There are a lot of rocks in the water on Princess Cays so please be aware of that. The lunch was really nothing special but the fresh fruit was really good and cooling on a hot day.
Entertainment on board was good. We played several trivia games that were fun. The show was spectacular (amazing singers) and the comedian was very funny.
The ship is beautiful. It was sold out, however, it never seemed overly crowded. The bathrooms were always immaculate. We were in a stateroom with a partially blocked balcony (E402). However, although lifeboat storage prevented us from looking straight down into the ocean we had a wonderful views left, right and straight ahead. The balcony was tiny however, we enjoyed standing out on it from time to time and we always slept with the door open.
Hand sanitizer was readily available and you had to wash your hands prior to entering the buffet line. Food in the buffet was good.
We enjoyed movies under the stars. However, again staff was missing in action. No pop corn was ever offered. Although the promotional video for the ship shows staff walking around with popcorn. On the last night we discovered there was even movie candy available. They must have been saving it for a later cruise because we never offered any the first or second night of our cruise.
We really enjoyed the adults only pool area. Although there were towels on a lot of deck chairs you could always find one available.
I really wanted to have an amazing experience because this was my first cruise after a long illness. However to me something was missing. It was just the little things that add up to special: towels folded into little animals, cruise staff remembering your name, an atmosphere of excitement when you first board. I feel like Princess missed the opportunity to make this something special. Read Less
We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Norwegian, and wanted to try out Princess with this 3-day cruise. My review will mostly compare this ship to others we have been on.
Embarkation was not pleasant. I'm not sure whether ... Read More
We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Norwegian, and wanted to try out Princess with this 3-day cruise. My review will mostly compare this ship to others we have been on.
Embarkation was not pleasant. I'm not sure whether this relates more to the port or the cruise line. We took a taxi directly from the airport to the port. It was a little early; we arrived around 10am. Did not board the ship until around noon. Once they opened the doors, there were several bottleneck areas that were poorly managed by port workers shouting out what to do next. Lots of "hurry up and wait."
I like that you can bring a bottle of wine onboard without a corkage fee. This is a unique benefit that we've only encountered before on Celebrity.
Once on board, we explored. The ship is clearly new and well maintained. Common areas seemed plainly decorated compared with other cruise lines. Our balcony room felt spacious, and I liked the clear separation between bathroom and sleeping area. The balcony was smaller than other ships, but I'm not sure why you would need more space unless you had loungers. Large flat-screen TV in the room had a nice selection of free movies from which to choose.
We enjoyed the layout and feel of the adult Retreat pool area. However, this area was very crowded on the at-sea day and it was not as quiet when there was a band playing at the main pool. It is hard to find loungers in the shade at either the main pool or adult pool.
The food was good, but not great. The buffet area is very spread out, and the choices are not as varied as I have seen on other ships, especially at dinner. Breakfast had some unique selections like Nutella-stuffed French toast. (Still haven't come across Greek yogurt on any ship I've sailed.) We ate at the buffet one night (which you will have pretty much to yourself at dinnertime). We ate in the main dining room one night and at the pizza restaurant another night. Both were very good, especially the seafood in the main dining room. But not as good as Celebrity and Norwegian.
The entertainment was also mixed. The headliner comedian and illusionist were fantastic! However, we went to a couple smaller game shows at the Live theater, and they were sparsely attended and lacking in excitement. We avoided the casino, which was smoky, typical of most ship casinos. Overall, we felt the ship had less energy than some other ships we've been on. We're early birds, so this wasn't a terrible let-down for us.
The tendering process to Princess Cays also seemed poorly managed. More "hurry up and wait," even for those who said they had priority tendering tickets. We enjoyed a relaxing day at Princess Cays, which is pretty and well maintained though rocky as others have mentioned. Easy to find shaded loungers if you exited to the right. Of note, the outlying bar that we were near closed down early.
Overall, we didn't love the layout of this ship compared with others. It seemed there were hidden areas on the 5th-7th floors that we missed until the last night. (We should have consulted our map.) Also found it strange that there was not a sports bar on board with TVs. Since sailaway was on Masters Sunday, I had to watch the tournament from our stateroom (and the broadcast only started after we were out of port).
The gym was clean, but small for the size of the ship. I did not have to wait to use the equipment on our at-sea day, however. The spa was one of the nicest I've seen on a ship, although we did not use it during our short cruise.
The room steward kept our room clean, but this is the least interaction I've had with a steward on any ship.
Disembarkation was a breeze. We chose express walk-off, which we feared would be more "hurry up and wait." But we were able to walk off immediately.
Compared with the other ships we've sailed, we would probably choose Celebrity or Norwegian for our next cruise. Read Less
My Wife and I loved the Caribbean Princess and her crew. Our room steward was awesome and took great care of us. Bartenders were very nice and it was easy to get a drink. We could always find someplace out of the way on the ship where ... Read More
My Wife and I loved the Caribbean Princess and her crew. Our room steward was awesome and took great care of us. Bartenders were very nice and it was easy to get a drink. We could always find someplace out of the way on the ship where it wasn't crowded. The food was amazing in the sit down dining and out of this world in the Crown Grill and Sabatini's. The meal we ate at the crown grill was one of the best we have ever had.
The Snorkeling on St Thomas was fantastic and the airport beach was fun on St Martin. The Balmoral Beach excursion at Nassau was horrible. The beach was tiny and full of seaweed and no fish to be found. Then the prices at the bar are outrageous. 4 beers is 34 dollars and a hotdog was 13 dollars. There is nothing anyone could do to a hotdog to make it worth 13 dollars LOL.... But the cruise itself was awesome and we will cruise with Princess again.
The Caribbean Princess is an older ship and this is precisely why she is so amazing. I've never cruised before and one of the most important factors is finding one's way around a large floating city. From what I understand, newer ships ... Read More
The Caribbean Princess is an older ship and this is precisely why she is so amazing. I've never cruised before and one of the most important factors is finding one's way around a large floating city. From what I understand, newer ships are not as well appointed or marked. This ship is very well marked and we rarely got lost after the first day- the carpet on the port side of the ship (our side) had a red border (Starboard was blue) which really helped us find our way home. The staff was sincere and friendly, the activities and entertainment fun and thank goodness because we had horrible weather and rough seas. This is a really good ship for newbies. The spa is relaxing and offers many services, they are polite and capable, the food was great no matter where we ate (except on Princess Cays- the food was similar to wedding reception food.) Wine selection at the Vine bar excellent. Ask for Tatiana and Raoul! I wish we could have used our little balcony more, but the weather did not permit. I felt like the staff is all settled in and everything was easy and comfortable I loved it. I never felt like I had to "sit up too straight," although in the formal dining room, our waiter did put a napkin on my daughter's lap because she forgot. The maître de sang for us and it was all so crazy and wonderful. I wish our cruise was longer.
My wife and I are seasoned cruisers, platinum on Carnival several on Royal Caribbean. We are both over 50, but we still know how to have fun....was not to be had on this unimpressive ship. Oldest group of fellow passengers I have ever ... Read More
My wife and I are seasoned cruisers, platinum on Carnival several on Royal Caribbean. We are both over 50, but we still know how to have fun....was not to be had on this unimpressive ship. Oldest group of fellow passengers I have ever seen....most looking like they were hating life. Ship was boring, boring, boring. I felt bad for the handful of young people on the ship. Thank God we were with another fun loving couple who came with us on this cruise, so we still made our own fun and laughs....got plenty of dirty looks from the geezers because of it. I have long hair, got the evil eye from a lot of the oldsters.
Food was mediocre in the buffet, have come to expect that on any ship anymore....dining room was better. Our balcony cabin had a storage closet that, I kid you not, reeked of urine, as if someone in the night missed the bathroom and just headed for the closet.....smell was never addressed by the cabin steward. We were near the back of the ship on Aloha deck, was quiet, little foot traffic, quite a bit of ship movement though. Entertainers tried to drum up some energy, but you could see by the look on their faces that it was futile. The only music poolside was an occasional DJ, who looked like he wanted to hang himself when he went on break.
Embarkation was sloooooow. We had to sit in a large lobby until 12 noon. Getting off was WORSE! We were stuck sitting in the closed casino from 8 a.m. until almost NOON! Worst, most disorganized disembark I have ever witnessed. Even after exiting the ship, we got stuck in another long, winding line to exit customs. ALL my other cruises we have just walked off the boat, showed our passports, and done. This was a certified mess....the port of Fort Lauderdale in and of itself is awful. Chaos. By the time we found the shuttle to get back to the car, it was after 2 pm when we got out of there.....then had to drive 4 hours home. Sucked.
We got a very good deal on the price of this cruise, the only saving grace. Going back to Royal Caribbean....sorry we strayed!
Welcome to Cruise Critic; we’re happy you decided to register to become a Cruise Critic Member.
Important: Do Not Use Your REAL NAME as your USER NAME
Important: Please disable your email verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Please add @cruisecritic.com to your email safelist.
Please respect that this is a MODERATED community for people who absolutely LOVE cruise travel or want to learn about cruise travel.
Registration to Cruise Critic’s Cruise Community is free! We require that you use a valid e-mail address. You will receive an e-mail asking you to verify your e-mail address before you are allowed to login and post on the boards. Again, please disable your spamblocking or verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Also, as a member of Cruise Critic you will receive copies of our weekly newsletter plus our "Cruise Sails" and one "Member Offer" mailing. Should you not want to continue to receive these e-mailings, simply unsubscribe by following the directions in the newsletter. By agreeing to become a member, you are agreeing to receipt of our newsletters.
Additionally, we do insist that you abide by the rules and policies detailed at this link: Community Guidelines.
This is a moderated Community. If you do not agree with the terms and conditions of this Web site and do not wish to be bound by them, please do not use this Web site or continue the registration process. Cruise Critic reserves the right to remove any content in its sole discretion. Additionally, if you violate our Community Guidelines you may lose your posting privileges — permanently — without warning. By continuing the registration you are agreeing to the terms.
These are moderated message boards. What this means is that we do our best to remove all objectionable messages from the boards. It also means that you cannot say whatever you’d like on the forums. If you are looking for an "anything goes" setting, Cruise Critic might not be the place for you. Understand, too, that our community is comprised of folks who LOVE to cruise. It therefore stands to reason that they will have a favorite cruise line or port of call — in other words, they are "fans" and will sometimes take offense when a brand new member has arrived on the scene to bash a cruise line.
Keep in mind that we do not prescreen posts so there may be a period of time when an inappropriate post is visible. Please use the Report A Post icon located in the UPPER right hand corner of each posting if you wish to report a violation of our Community Guidelines. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of Cruise Critic Message Board Forums, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.
By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, are in violation of our Community Guidelines or otherwise violative of any laws.
Cruise Critic reserves to right to remove, edit, move or close any thread (discussion) for any reason from the forums without warning. or notification to the Community. Additionally, we also reserve the right to deny posting privileges to any member at our sole discretion.
You hereby grant Cruise Critic the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display any message posted in our message board community (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.
Our mission is to provide a haven on the Internet free of harassment and advertising for our community members’ enjoyment. Any company or person(s) that interfere with that mission risk losing their posting privileges.
If you have any questions about how our community is moderated, please address them to our Community Manager via e-mail at email@example.com. Please do not post on the boards.
LauraS Community Manager
Become a cruise insider
Get the best cruise deals, along with the latest news and insider tips, right to your inbox
Thank you for Signing Up
Now help us get to know you better to enhance your experience.