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 ... 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 ... 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 it ... 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. Read Less
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 ... 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. Read Less
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!
This cruise ship, as reported here, is truly for the elderly and they cater to that crowd. We are older, but we are not dead. We decided to go because of the price of the balcony $199.00 and the $250. OBC. We have been on nearly 20 cruises ... Read More
This cruise ship, as reported here, is truly for the elderly and they cater to that crowd. We are older, but we are not dead. We decided to go because of the price of the balcony $199.00 and the $250. OBC. We have been on nearly 20 cruises and this was an opportunity to try another cruise line so we did. YYAAAWWWNN. The crew tried to do activities, but no one wanted to play the poolside games so most were cancelled. The passengers are elderly and RUDE, disorderly and cantankerous. and YES, they acted very entitled as stated. We were on THEIR ship and they would let you know...lol. there was one very loud couple on the ship which I gravitated towards because they had signs of life and I wanted to suck it out of them...lol. But, the prudes on the ship looked at these people like they were trash, where I just saw a couple trying to have a good time. FUN NOT PERMITTED on the caribbean princess..lol!!!
The staff is very indifferent. That Natasha in the dining room is a real treat....NOT!!! She should not be anywhere near passengers. Fernando from mexico in the buffet and Paul from romania in the Crown Grill were really nice. The food was so bad at dining I wish we had used all of our ship credit and just eaten at the crown. The food was a little better but Paul made up for all the days and nights of bad indifferent staff. The little latin guy at the front desk was so nasty and a sarcastic POS. The staff only spoke to who they wanted to speak to. once they spoke to the people in front of us and behind us, but not to us even though I gave eye contact and smiled. she just looked on past and said hi to the people in line next....wow!
Before each show in the theater the CD would take the time to sell something and take up more time than was necessary after ALL the shows started late in the first place. It's like now that we have you trapped let us sell you something. The shows were a comedian who was bad the first night and not as bad the second night, but bad all the same...lol. The magic show.....well. There was only one dance and singing show on the last night. we skipped it and went to bed because we were just ready to get the cruise over with and go home already...lol. Don't get me wrong the ship is GREAT for senior citizens. This cruise product is truly for them and we can't complain about that. But, the staff could change their attitudes, but old people are old people. what can you do about that?
They had the sanctuary for an upcharge that no one used to relax in....why? the whole ship is a sanctuary...zzzzzz...lol. This ship was so dull, even the souvenirs were boring. We had a hell of a time spending that 250 OBC...lol nothing to buy and the store was waaayyy over priced. The alcohol was priced right, but how much of that do you need?
Princess Cay had nice band, but once again no one danced or paid attention to them. The DJ in the skywalker was really bad. He had the nerve to play that same boring playlist poolside...why? If we scattered off the floor in the disco, what made him think we wanted to hear it poolside. The main band seemed like they had a lot in them, but had to hold back on account of the crowd they had to cater to...too bad I think they had a lot to offer.
We made the mistake of buying buckets of beer the first two days. Don't do that, just go to the wheelhouse (3pm) and skywalkers(11pm) everyday and partake in the 2-for 1 deals and you'll come out waaayy better.
we had a balcony on the aloha. rooms was small. I asked for a robe at time of booking and got it essentially on the 3rd day. room service was stale if you could get through on the phone. when I got through, they acted like I had just disturbed them. The bartenders are the same way. I think they are rude because they know they will get tipped either way. Even if no one was in line they still would not acknowledge you same at the crown grill when I went to make reservations, they did not look up. same in the shops. the international cafe was terrible with bad service. they never spoke one word you just say what you want they get it and look over your head to the next person as they serve you. If I had been paying gratuity with anything other than the ship credit I definitely would have been in line with the elderly changing my gratuity rates...lol.
over all, it was worth seeing that I don't EVER want to cruise Princess again. I'm glad I saw it at this rate. Any other rate would have irked me. Read Less
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: I am a “mature”, adventurous solo traveler. I’ve cruised 43 times on many different cruise lines, but the majority of my cruise experiences have been on Princess. I saw a bargain for the four-night ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: I am a “mature”, adventurous solo traveler. I’ve cruised 43 times on many different cruise lines, but the majority of my cruise experiences have been on Princess. I saw a bargain for the four-night “getaway” cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Princess’ private island in the Bahamas and booked the cruise. January in New England deserves a “getaway” when possible.
TRAVEL TO EMBARKATION: I used Amtrak in the Northeast for half the trip, and flew to Ft. Lauderdale for the southern half of the trip. Both experiences were excellent. Local friends provided cheerful transportation to the cruise pier for me
HOTEL: I stayed at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, very close to the cruise terminal, airport, and Amtrak station. Outstanding, incredible service and suite. Warm, friendly staff, good food, probably better than the cruise at times.
SHIP INFORMATION: The “Caribbean Princess” is a large multi-deck cruise ship which has been in service for quite some time now, and unfortunately looks it as far as the interior of the ship. It badly needs an update to refresh dated color schemes, replace tired soft goods, clean or replace bathroom floors, fix nicked and chipped furniture. The crew apparently loves it, however, as I saw many familiar faces at all levels of the crew staffing from other cruises, and they recognized me as well. There is a huge representation of many nations among the crew, and I envy their multilingual ability. Many are quite young, and some could use a bit of extra polish when it comes to dealing with older experienced cruise guests. Outwardly, the ship appeared to be in good repair – paint was fresh, decks in great shape and clean, and no signs of rust or wear and tear visible.
ACTIVITIES: Onboard activities featured the usual mix of “infomercial” sessions selling everything from tooth whitening to acupuncture – anything to make more money for the cruise line – and on to the art auctions, another money-making attempt. In keeping with the warm-water itinerary cruise, there were the usual pool and outdoor deck activities day and night – some sinking to the level of the Carnival party-animal cruisers. All the fitness activities, such as walking, yoga, workouts, seemed to be far too early in the morning. Princess seems to equate physical fitness with getting up at dawn – totally ridiculous when one considers the available evening and late-night activities most people enjoy on cruises. Zumba was offered on the two sea days, to the delight of a huge crowd of enthusiastic dancers – far too many for the small lounge area we were crammed into. The second session was held on the open deck area near the main pool, again a huge crowd, and those in the shade were fine – but those of us in the front in the sun really got an extra workout. The “audience” around the pool loved the show, and it was great fun in the fresh salt air – just a bit warm and humid. I did not go on the cruise for the activities, other than being a Zumba fan, but honestly did not see much that would enrich people or create much interest unless one enjoys hearing about what the ship has for sale. The main “activities” seemed to truly be sitting in the sun, enjoying the tropical sunshine and pools, walking around the outer decks in the fresh air, gambling, drinking, and eating. There were some group dance classes as well.
Princess is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and there was quite a party in the Piazza one night at sea. The very amiable and well-spoken captain made a speech, and there was a balloon drop, followed by some wonderful lively dance music – the smallish Piazza floor space was packed, with people dancing everywhere, and observers lining the staircases and railings from decks above.
A live orchestra played some marvelous Big Band style music in the evenings, and many couples enjoyed dancing to this. Unfortunately for solo women travelers, there are no “gentlemen hosts” aboard to dance with.
There are several shops on board, with the typical assortment of cruise clothing, souvenirs, sundries, duty-free goods. A new jewelry store has opened, and there were also other luxury goods for sale, such as watches and more jewelry, in other small shops. A large shop sold perfume and cosmetics, and just walking through the shop was wonderful for the delicate fragrance. I have often wished somebody would create a perfume and name it “Cruise Ship”, as the perfume shop is divine in that aspect, as is the overall aroma found on ships at sea.
Social groups also had their meetings scheduled daily, and bridge players found their cards and tables easily. In this current age of technology, a huge number of people seemed engrossed in their cell phones, IPads, laptops, and provided their own activity and entertainment the entire cruise in this manner.
I especially enjoyed the backstage tour, offered on a sea day afternoon, hosted by some of the dancers and entertainment staff. The tour included being on the stage, seeing the sets, how the lighting worked, what the dancers see from the stage, and backstage in the dressing rooms with their intricate costume storage system.
Overall, there was something for everybody – you could participate nearly 24 hours a day in some type of activity, or just enjoy the cruise at your own pace and relax with a good book, conversation, balcony wave-watching, or book a future cruise. This was an unexpected social activity, as many people enjoy getting the on-board booking discounts and “deals”. There is a small waiting area for the future cruise consultant, with brochures and videos about the cruises – but most people seemed to enjoy comparing notes about their travels, talking about cruising, and having some great social interactions while waiting. The average wait time, I’ve noticed, was at least 30 minutes for the very competent and friendly agent, but nobody cared about the time since we could all visit to pass the time.
For those belonging to the repeat-cruiser’s Captain’s Circle program, there were special cocktail parties and gatherings as well, depending on the level held within the program – something every night.
If all this wasn’t enough, there was a lecture about the ports. Most shipboard lectures or informational programming repeated on the cabin TV, which was very convenient and provided even more entertainment if one required it. Good selection of programming on the TV, which seemed to have better than average reception at sea.
Internet was available, and seemed far faster this cruise than ever before. Maybe it was the close proximity to land, but the system runs via satellite. Perhaps Princess has updated its internet hardware.
SERVICE: My cabin steward, Shekhar, is among the top two best stewards I’ve ever had in all my cruises. Flawless, prompt, cheerful, efficient service no matter what I needed or what the hour – he always seemed to be right outside in the corridor, smiling and asking if he could be of service. Wish the cruise line could clone Shekhar, or make him director of training.
Guest services staff did a fine job most of the time, and the shop staff were also courteous and very helpful. I speak several languages, and enjoyed conversing with them in their native language as much as possible – good practice for me! One very kind young woman found the T-shirt I wanted in my requested size after a day of searching, very graciously.
Spa staff were nice, but seemed burned out. I had a simple manicure, but it was not the best quality.
Great instructor for the Zumba class, however, very nice and enthusiastic.
Service in the dining room and buffet varied – some staff were wonderful, and others needed more training or vacation from burnout. Dining room service at my table at least was friendly and efficient, but very slow. Every cruise I take, it seems there is less staff in the dining room, and thus the slow service. Some of the buffet restaurant waiters appeared to be in a coma early in the morning, and just stood and stared out the windows.
Helpful and friendly photography staff, far above the usual.
PORT AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: I did not take any of the shore excursions offered, having planned to just enjoy the beach on my own. However, there were a lot of different options as far as local tours, rental of water sports and beach equipment, and land-based tours of Ft. Lauderdale pre- and post-cruise.
Ft. Lauderdale, as a port, looked much like any other coastal Florida seaport or beach resort city. It was big, with traffic, and had its high-end stores as well as ordinary citizen areas. Nice airport, and nothing seemed to be all that distant as far as arriving or departing by train or plane or car. The one beach I visited briefly in Ft. Lauderdale was gorgeous. Enormous cruise terminal complex, with good security and information signs to guide arriving guests to the right ship and pier area.
Princess Cays was a lovely, almost sanitized private beach resort with everything to make visitors happy and comfortable. There was a craft market, beach buffet with BBQ, water sport equipment rentals, plenty of swimming beaches with clean sand, gorgeous views, enough room for everybody, shady small clamshell sunshade shelters to rent, and every other amenity to make a day on a tropical beach pure paradise. The only minor downside was the huge ship needing to anchor about a 10 minute tender ride offshore, but the tenders ran constantly and nobody complained. The ride on the open top deck of the tender (actually the lifeboats) was as much fun as anything else offered that day. Lifeguards were on duty at the swimming beaches, and there were plenty of palm trees and other native shrubbery to offer shade from the hot tropical sun. The ocean water was incredible shades of blue, and very clean - very popular with those snorkeling in the 80+ degree water.
EMBARKATION: I arrived after the first huge mob was processed, perhaps an hour after boarding began, and my luggage was cheerfully collected when I was dropped off by friends. With my top level Captain’s Circle membership, I went to the expedited check-in lane, and was courteously processed and on the ship in about 10 minutes, with almost no waiting at all. My luggage arrived at my cabin in about 30 minutes. This port has the staffing and facilities for today’s huge ships, and the boarding process is carried out in air-conditioned comfort and efficient technique. The usual ship’s photographers have their photo opportunity on the way into the ship, which one can either use or not as they choose. Staff on the ship were plentiful to guide arriving guests to elevators, stairs, or wherever they want to go once on board. It is a bit of a hike up the long gangway to enter the ship.
CABIN: I had a regular balcony cabin, midship location, and midway up the ship. The only minor glitch with the cabin was the balcony having only half a “roof” – the deck above came out halfway over my balcony space, and I prefer a full covering. Not a problem, as there was good weather and some shade at all times. Book above Caribe deck level if you want full covering over your balcony. The first two balcony decks on this ship feature stepped-out balconies, and they do not have full overhead coverage. I had the twin beds linked to form a king, which was extremely comfortable, with nice bed linens. Only the pillows seemed a bit tired and I personally don’t like feather pillows. The two fiber-filled pillows were definitely needing replacement, but adequate. The cabin was clean, except for the grout in the bathroom tile floor appearing a bit dark and soiled. Towels were clean, but nearly threadbare and very scratchy. Shower gel and shampoo are in neat dispensers in the small shower. Top-level loyalty club members receive extra bath and toiletry amenities. Lots of places to store things in drawers and shelves. There is a safe in the closet area, and plenty of decent wooden hangers in the open closet. Small upholstered chair, vanity/desk and mirror with a desk chair, mini-fridge, shelves above that, flat-screen TV of good size. The balcony had two nice adjustable lounge chairs with small ottomans, and a table. Huge balcony. Very quiet at night in this particular cabin area, thankfully. It was a comfortable, quiet retreat the entire cruise.
Not far down the corridor was a convenient guest laundry facility. Princess updated to a card-swipe payment system (copper tokens dispensed by the machine and inserted into washer or dryer) in the laundry rooms – it’s $3.00 US per wash or dry, charged to your cabin account, and laundry products are also available for several dollars. Used to be $2. The new system saves time by not having the guest hike down to the guest service desk to get quarters to feed the washers and dryers, and is far more convenient – just 30% more expensive. Top-level loyalty program guests have free laundry service, but this doesn’t always work with things like underwear or delicate items. Bring your own powdered detergent in baggies, as well as dryer sheets, and save some money in the guest laundry.
Cabin stewards park their linen and service carts in the hallways outside the cabins seemingly 24 hours per day, so perhaps there is no other place to put the carts. This makes navigating the narrow hallways a challenge for those on scooters, with walkers, or with wheelchairs. Two people walking cannot pass each other side by side due to the narrow corridors filled with the service carts. Large wire cage-type linen storage units are also parked at the top of the stairways on many decks, which further obstructs walking and through traffic, at various times of the day. I did not like to see open carts with clean linens this close to a lot of people who walked by coughing and sneezing on the uncovered clean linens. I have mentioned this to Princess numerous times from other cruises, but the same thing happens repeatedly on every cruise.
DINING: The “premium dining” restaurants on board serve food that used to be standard on cruises 25 years ago. Buffet food is definitely a variety with something for all tastes. I saw some gluten-free and sugar free items, more than the last cruise. I did not use room service this cruise, the premium restaurants, or bar service or wine at dinner, so can’t comment on those.
Buffet Dining: I was usually one of the very first in the buffet early in the morning for breakfast. The only
problem I repeatedly encountered was lukewarm to cold “hot” items, as well as the pastries, which were left out uncovered far too long, and they dried out and became stale and hard as rocks. There was usually a wait for waffles. These are ongoing problems with Princess buffets for years now. The breakfast items did not vary much from day to day, but there is quite a variety, and nobody left hungry from what I could see. Lunch had its own huge variety, with themes at times, and there are the usual American, Asian, Indian food items available. Again, many of the hot items were not at the right temperature, and were cold or lukewarm. There are no trays, just a medium-sized oval plastic plate, smaller desert-sized plates, small bowls, and all the food you want has to somehow fit on or into these containers as you work through the food lines. It can be messy and a challenge to balance this, especially in rough seas. Waiters will help those requesting it, however. The plates and bowls available at all meals either seemed to be too hot to touch, or wet or both. One breakfast buffet line had a stack of filthy bowls with dried and baked-on egg yolks in the bowls, as well as other dried-on food bits. I showed this to the head waiter and he was horrified and quickly removed the stack of bowls. I did not use the buffet for dinner this cruise, but in the past there have been a lot of different items available and it is a good option for those wishing to get their food faster and have more choices at times, as well as not needing to dress up on formal nights.
Dining Room: I had the traditional dining, table for six, at 5:30 PM in the Coral Dining Room. It is a nice big dining room, with twinkling lights in the ceiling, and big windows. It is also extremely noisy, and one has to almost shout to converse with those at the table. Good waiter and helper, who both were very overworked due to obvious cuts in dining room staffing, and this made the service slower than it should have been. I know the waiters have to give their little speech about what they recommend for dinner, but I find it annoying and unhelpful most of the time. The menu options are reduced from past cruises – or perhaps just cut back due to the short length of this cruise. I was very disappointed in the offerings, as much of it was “comfort food” or “home cooking”. I can get spaghetti, meat loaf, roast turkey, fried chicken, salads, and ice cream at home. When I cruise, I want something new, elegant, or just plain nice – not ordinary! However, this is not a premium cruise line, and they are obviously trying to save money. The dining room is not the place to cut costs, however. There were more “available every night” type items, such as the fried chicken, than creative or “gourmet” selections. It seemed that every meal was loaded with red and green peppers as some kind of filler. The food portions were large, and presented very nicely, and served at the proper temperature. Soups were very good. This cruise featured some sort of chocolate theme, and some of the deserts were marvelous. There was the usual selection of main course from all the food groups – meat, poultry, pasta, fish, vegetarian, but no lobster the entire cruise. Some of the appetizers were peculiar mixtures of what appeared to be leftovers. The usual beverage selection was available, plus alcoholic beverages for purchase. The same dish of bread and rolls appeared every night, with no variety. Overall, I would describe the food as what one could get in a nice big-city chain restaurant, but very far removed from the true Continental cuisine served on this cruise line many years ago. Since Carnival obtained the Princess brand, the overall quality of everything has gone down, and this is especially noticed in the onboard cuisine.
The last night of the cruise, the usual baked Alaska parade took place, an event I wish Princess would stop. It takes the waiters away from their serving, and thus makes people captive at the table when they would prefer to leave for the shows. The music is tinny, blasting and blaring in volume to the point that it is painful to hear, and completely obliterates any chance at speech. The baked Alaska is overdone, with melting ice cream, if anybody really wants it. It is a cheap, noisy spectacle which ruins the meal for me, and I feel sorry for the waiters who are trying to get their tables served and are already behind due to less staff. On top of this, the maitre’d seemed inspired and compelled to make a long, boring speech about the “excellent” food and service, and then one of the lounge singers showed up and sang at least four songs, keeping us trapped for another 20 minutes and missing the show. Some people did get up and leave, including me, as we are free to do, but it wasn’t my idea of a quality dining experience. The last night of the cruise usually finds people depressed about the end of the trip, and needing to pack, or wanting to cram a bit more fun into the last hours on the ship, and being deafened and trapped in the dining room after a mediocre meal sure doesn’t help the situation.
ENTERTAINMENT: Considering the majority of the cruisers were probably late 20s to 40s, the music and entertainment were appropriate for them. I have seen all the production shows on other Princess cruises, and was surprised that they did not change over the past few years. The shows are noisy, with extremely high volume loud rock music in most cases, and full of dizzying strobe lights which flash through the audience at times. Good costumes and dancing, but perhaps I’ve just outgrown the 20-something rock scene in middle age. Clever use of projected graphics, shapes, colors, lights, and other theatrical techniques in the theater. The lead singer in the production shows sings several notes off-key, and has a forced, terrible vocal technique. I heard her on the “Ocean Princess” last year, and she has gotten even worse. Good dancers, but some are a bit stocky for a show dancers and look heavy when they dance. There were other acts with magicians and comedians, but I do not enjoy this type of entertainment and did not go to the shows. The lounge singers were very good. I can’t stay up late enough to go to the late-evening music and dance and other entertainment, but from what I heard from others, it was lively and good. The whole cruise had a Caribbean, tropical, party flavor to it, but it had somewhat of a forced cheerfulness to it. The younger cruisers got right into the spirit of it all, but some of us who are middle-aged did not enjoy it as much. I went for the boat ride and food, and being close to the sea and going to the beach on the island, and that was plenty of entertainment for me, plus enjoying my balcony. One can either party until they drop or go to the other extreme and relax for the entire cruise – the choice is yours, and there is an activity level suitable for everybody. Movies under the stars on the enormous top deck outdoor screen kept movie fans happy. There is the Serenity adults-only retreat area on top of the ship for those who like quiet time and space. I don’t know what kids did, as I did not see many of them. The Piazza entertainment was “street entertainer” short acts, with far more audience than could easily see what was happening. I heard some of it, but it’s not my type of entertainment. There were also cooking and ice-carving demonstrations in the Piazza at various times. Some cruisers were perfectly content to find a seat someplace in or outside on the ship, and just read or worship their IT devices, or talk to other cruisers.
DISEMBARKATION: The ship provided clear written instructions about what to do, when, and how to do it to get off the ship comfortably. If one did not like their assigned debarkation time, a simple request at the guest services desk took care of it. The convenient walk-off express departures were available as soon as the ship was cleared, assuming one could haul all their own bags. This can be requested any time during the cruise with a quick stop at the guest services desk, or a phone call from the cabin. I used this, and was off the ship in 5 minutes with the earliest group, and in a cab to the airport five minutes after that. It was perfect, efficient, and handled very well.
SUMMARY: This cruise was a good four-night getaway, and very popular with both Floridians and those escaping the cold northern long winter. The prices were a deciding factor for me, and a real bargain, especially close to sailing date. It is not a luxury cruise, however, and the food and slightly tired shipboard environment definitely showed that. It is probably best for those who either are young or think and feel young, with a party and tropical atmosphere. Princess has mercifully cut back on the loud and intrusive announcements during the day and early evening for various activities (most of which are aimed at making money for the cruise line). Unfortunately, every announcement by every crew member seemed to contain the word “excellent”, an apparent effort to brainwash guests into giving the cruise experience a top rating. It does not fool me after 23 cruises with Princess. This particular cruise was blessed with calm seas, sunshine and blue skies, which made being outdoors in the tropical balmy climate a pleasure. Lots of people enjoyed their balconies on the cruise, too. Unfortunately, the ship’s no smoking on balcony policy was ignored by some, and the odor of cigars and cigarettes was very noticeable depending on the wind. Smoking in cabins is also forbidden, but people ignored this in various cabins and the odor was quite noticeable. The casino is not enclosed, and the smokers in their polluted most of the center of the ship where the public areas, Piazza, and shops are located, and it absolutely reeked. The smoky air was sucked into the stairwells, too, and filtered throughout the ship. Be aware of this if tobacco smoke bothers you, or you don’t want to smell it. It was very bad on this cruise. Princess has a very good, middle-of-the-road brand of affordable cruises for people with realistic expectations or experience with cruising, but they are sadly going downhill with the food, most noticeably. For longer cruises, however, Princess offers some of the most port-intensive and economical ways to see the world of any of the cruise lines. The Captain’s Circle loyalty program also has a lot of perks as one ascends through the ranks.
There was one rather ugly problem in the dining room, stemming from a bad miscommunication from Princess about the dress code. Pre-cruise information stated four casual nights, and we all apparently packed for that. However, there was a formal night on one sea night, and very few people had appropriate clothing. Many were disappointed in not being able to dress up, as formal photos were being offered. The real problem with the dress code, however, was the statement about no shorts being allowed in the dining rooms in evenings, at least. One guest at my table wore very nice Bermuda shorts, such as the men wear in Bermuda for business and office attire, and he had a nice shirt with the shorts. The maitre’d did not want to allow him in the dining room, and an argument began which ended right at our table, in our faces, at the start of dinner. Totally inappropriate behavior on behalf of the staff, and it could have been handled with far more tact and grace than it was with this middle-aged passenger. I noticed some women of various ages appeared nightly in the dining room wearing shorts, some of which were extremely short and revealing, and they were always allowed in with no comment or restriction. However, the men had to wear long pants. This caused a lot of comment and dissent throughout the cruise, despite the written policy forbidding shorts.
Another dress code issue involved sleeveless tank top type undershirts on the men. Some of them apparently brought nothing in the way of proper shirts, and lived in these undershirts 24 hours a day for the entire cruise. It was disgusting and revolting to have to sit next to some hairy, flabby, warty man in an undershirt when eating. This type of revealing undergarment does not belong in public dining venues on a cruise ship, and really should be restricted. Some women wore the same type of shirts, and the results were not always very appetizing to look at, either. Yes, it was a tropical cruise, and relaxed in ambiance and clothing – but there are still some things which are best worn at home, on the beach, at a pool, in private – but not in a public dining venue in close quarters on a cruise shop. It doesn’t do much good for the cruise line to publish its dress code rules and then not follow up on enforcing these rules – perhaps they don’t want to lose paying guests in these hard economic times.
After four days at sea with a relatively good experience overall, it took four days to get home due to the travel disruptions from the huge blizzard in the northeast. Read Less
Cruised with wife and another couple.
Embarkation OK but our friends got on board in the regular line than we did with preferred boarding(why call it preferred?).
Cabin was Aloha deck regular balcony about midships. OK but a little ... Read More
Cruised with wife and another couple.
Embarkation OK but our friends got on board in the regular line than we did with preferred boarding(why call it preferred?).
Cabin was Aloha deck regular balcony about midships. OK but a little dated; mattresses was quite sunken on both sides. Always need to mention the TINY shower princess has in anything under a mini suite.
FOOD: OK if not great with the exception that my wife had barramundi the first night which made her sick. I had it before and warned her as I am you. Buffets were universally crowded, but the pizza is really good. Hand dip ice cream and popcorn is a nice touch for an evening snack. Good salads and sweets in the International Cafe.
Entertainment: Enjoyed all the lounge bands and piazza entertainment ( be sure to get seats early as the are only on deck 5 and limited). Production shows were very good and Phil Tag the comedian is just great! Watched the College Champ. game on the big screen (not crowded).
Over all thought crew was very friendly and helpful. No problems encountered.
Debarkation was smooth with lines moving well at customs.
Background - third cruise ever, first two were on Carnival, this was our first on Princess. Price and OBC was too good to pass up. My boyfriend is 63 and I'm 39 so there's two age groups reviewing here. I knew that Princess was ... Read More
Background - third cruise ever, first two were on Carnival, this was our first on Princess. Price and OBC was too good to pass up. My boyfriend is 63 and I'm 39 so there's two age groups reviewing here. I knew that Princess was going to be and older crowd and more subdued, THIS IS WHAT I WANTED. I was so stressed out from the holidays, my job, going to college, my family, my dog, you name it, and I just wanted to get away and relax. I knew that Carnival was not going to fit the bill this time.
Hotel - we flew in the night before and stayed at the Extended Stay America on 17th. Very clean room which is all I wanted. We booked a king (Orbitz) and they gave us 2 doubles. Ok. Around the corner from Total Wine & More and Publix so we stocked up on water, diet soda and wine.
Debarkation was a breeze. The only 2 shuttle times left with Extended Stay ($4 pp plus tax) was 10:30 and 1:30. We took 10:30. Stood outside for a few minutes and then we were all let in. We were the first non-preferred (first-time Princess guests) people in line and in the boarding sitting area. Sat for awhile, I forget how long, and then we were onboard, it was before noon.
Get on the ship, I immediately started looking for the MDR for lunch. They were trying to funnel everyone into the elevators up to the Lido deck. Nope, I want the MDR. One guy flat out lied to me and told me the MDR didn't open for lunch until 1:30. I knew they CLOSED at 1:30, thanks Cruise Critic! Finally found the Coral dining room. Our first lunch was TERRIBLE. I told my boyfriend that if the rest of our cruise food was going to be like this, I was going to be PISSED. His cod was rubbery and you couldn't cut it even with a knife. My london broil was grey and rubbery. Gross.
Went to the room - we had a window room on the Plaza deck. TINY. When they push the twins together to make a king, the nightstand gets turned to the side and the drawer space becomes unusable. The closet space was great but dang, that cabin, so small. In our window cabin on Carnival Imagination, the bed was parallel to the window so my boyfriend could get up in the middle of the night and look out the window without disturbing me. On Princess, it was perpendicular so he had to kneel in bed to look out. Not crazy about it.
The rooms are also worn, the carpet seriously needs updating, walls were beat up, our sheets had stains on them and the bathroom had mold on the shower, sink and under the toilet rim. I seriously wished I brought along some Ti-D-Bowl or something. The hallways are also worn. Don't get me wrong, the main common areas are great, BEAUTIFUL, just the hallways and rooms where we were, seriously gut these rooms and hallways in the next dry dock. Bed wasn't uncomfortable so there's that.
Steward - I'm not the type that needs to make friends with my steward, just keep the room clean and the ice bucket full and I'm happy. This guy disturbed every afternoon nap, and even though I told him several times that we were on late dinner, disturbed us when we were getting ready for dinner every night. Even when I put out the Do Not Disturb tag. I didn't remove our tips but I didn't leave anything extra like I usually do. No robes in the room that I ordered pre-cruise.
A note about this ship - does it even have stabilizers? We rocked to and fro like crazy. I don't get seasick, thank goodness. Very weird.
Front Desk - I did some laundry in the laundromat. $3 for a wash and $3 for a dry. One of the dryers wasn't working and I didn't realize it until I had already paid twice to dry. Front desk sent someone to fix it while we were in Princess Cays and my wash was finally dry by the time we got back but they refused to refund the wasted $6. Yes, it's only $6 but it's about the customer service!
Dining Room - we were on late seating in the Palm dining room. Most of the tables in our section were empty all 5 nights but service was soooo slow. The server in the section next to us had two 8 tops and 1 2 top and they all were always finishing dessert when we were getting our entrees. Frustrating, but we made the best of it. And yes, the food quality DID improve over that first day's lunch, thank goodness!
Entertainment - I read some reviews from some other cruisers on the same cruise, they didn't think the comic was funny - we did. We also enjoyed the movies in the Princess Lounge but didn't get to see one under the stars.
Weather - Our two port days were sunny and our two sea days were overcast and drizzly. Go figure.
Ports - I loved Princess Cays because all I wanted to do was lay on a lounger and read a book. We went in the water - it was a bit chilly but became comfortable once we got used to it. Very rocky, next time I would bring water shoes. I was eaten alive by sand flies on Princess Cays. DON'T FORGET YOUR REPELLENT LIKE I DID! Ouch.
Nassau - we did the beach day at the British Colonial Hilton the first time we were in Nassau. That was in August so it was worth it. I didn't think it would be worth it in cooler weather so this time we decided to do something different and walked to the Queen's Staircase and Fort Fincastle and took pictures. We then walked over to Junkanoo Beach to check it out. We stopped at Fat Tuesday's (overpriced but it was nice to sit by the water and those drinks were strong!!) and then walked back to our ship. If we had our suits with us, we would have stopped at Junkanoo Beach, it looked decent for a free beach! We then walked back to the ship.
Fellow passengers - the only place my fellow passengers annoyed me was on the last day at the buffet. I stopped for a quick lunch and people were cutting in line and pushing ahead of me. That was the only time I ate at the buffet. It was Italian day, it wasn't that great.
So would we do it again, yes, at that price, it was worth the little quirks. But for full price - heck no. We would definitely go for a balcony next time, our balcony on Carnival Pride spoiled us FOREVER. Read Less
We were on the Dec 22-27th cruise to Cozumel and Princess Cay. We are experienced cruisers and have travelled on Ruby Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. We go on cruises with the mindset that we are going to be flexible and ... Read More
We were on the Dec 22-27th cruise to Cozumel and Princess Cay. We are experienced cruisers and have travelled on Ruby Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. We go on cruises with the mindset that we are going to be flexible and have a fun time! I have to admit I was disappointed though within the first 15 minutes of exploring the ship but tried to focus on the positives throughout the trip. We had 2 mini-suites on the 9th floor: D305 and D419. Our group consisted of 2 adults (ages 42 and 43) and 3 teens (13, 16, 17).
Pros: Boarding process was a breeze. Very organized.
Rooms were clean and the attendants were friendly.
Balconies were spacious. Uncovered but worked well for sun-bathing.
Nice variety of pools on the ship. Movies Under the Stars was a hit with my family.
We especially enjoyed the pizza served on the pool deck, International Cafe, and the Casino.
Nice movie selection in the cabin.
Princess Cay was clean and offered something for everyone. A fun beach day!
Cons: Pool towels were not available on Day 1. Must use beach towels from your cabin. Note: pool towels were older and need a refresh.
Some of the furniture in the buffet dining rooms are showing their age and need to be replaced.
The food selection at the buffet was odd and not appealing. There was a long line to get food at the buffet on Day 1. Something I have not experience on other ships. Passengers were grumbling. Noted a few young passengers with poor buffet etiquette so we did not return. (Ex: sneezing without covering mouth)
The most alarming to us was the brown water (color of cola!) coming out of faucets and shower head intermittently in both cabins starting on Day 2. We were told this was happening on the starboard side of the 9th floor and a plumber would need to work on it. This continued through the end of Day 4. We brushed our teeth with bottle water (provided by us) and went to the pools and hot tubs vs taking a shower with contaminated water.
This is an older ship that has doors in some common areas (busy pool/elevator areas) that you need to use your hands to pull/push vs being automatic. I was surprised Princess did not upgrade these doors to touch free to reduce germ transfer among passengers.
We tried to ignore the flaws to the best of our ability and have a fun Holiday vacation. Would I cruise on this ship again? No. We much prefer the Celebrity Cruise Line. Read Less
Hi! I'm 13 and me and my family just came back from the Caribbean Princess cruise today. There were many good things about it and other things that probably need improvement. I will start with the first day and arrival onto the ship. ... Read More
Hi! I'm 13 and me and my family just came back from the Caribbean Princess cruise today. There were many good things about it and other things that probably need improvement. I will start with the first day and arrival onto the ship. Me and my family got onto the boat at Port Everglades. The embarkment process went fairly fast although there were a lot of long long lines. The staff was nice enough but seemed kind of bored and tired. After filling out many tedious health forms and waiting in extensive lines, we arrived on the cruise ship.Right before you board, the staff will ask to take pictures of you. Don't do it! There will be many more chances to take pictures and it only slows down the whole process.
My family was very hungry when we got on the ship so we immediately rushed to the Horizon court for a quick buffet lunch. I extremely recommend eating before you get on the ship!!! This cruise line has MAJOR problems with really long lines and the buffet line was really long and not worth it. The food at all the buffets were very good though. There are many options for everyone and there is defiantly something for you even if you are a very picky eater like me.
Later that night we went to the evening show which was "Caribbean Caliente" and I was very impressed with the performers. They really put on a good show that looked very practiced and professional. For dinner we ate at the anytime sit down dinner at the Coral cafe. The service was average but the food was very good. We had a mini suite with a balcony and I slept in the pull out couch bed. If you do have a child sleeping in the couch bed, ask your attendant for a pad for the bed it makes it much for comfortable. When we woke up in the morning the next day, we had a lovely breakfast at the breakfast buffet in the Horizon cafe which had some great options.
The second day on the cruise was an at sea day and the cruise line had many events planned for that day. As I am 13, I was expected to go to the teen club onboard, "Remix." I ended up not going any of the days to the teen club as the only people in it were 15 year old boys. I think that if you have a younger child, the kids club looked nice and fun but the teen club was a big let down. The show that night was a comedian and he was very funny but I'm sure that you will have different entertainment on your next Caribbean Princess cruise.
The next day, we were at port in Mexico and my family decided to take an excursion to Coba, the Mayan ruins. The excursion was very over priced at $70 per person. The tour of Coba was not the most popular excursion for many reasons. To get to the ruins, you have to take a 40 minute boat ride and then a hour and 45 minute bus ride both ways. If you do want to go to the ruins but you don't want such a tedious trip, go to the ruins of Tulum. This excursion was very popular with over 200 people on it. To get back on the boat, the lines were not to long but the boat ended up leaving much later than expected at all ports we visited. The next day was another day at sea (Christmas Day also) Again, the cruise had many activities planned and there was something for everyone. On the last day, we docked in the Bahamas at Princess Cruise line's private island, Princess Kay. At 10:00 in the morning, right after my family and I finished breakfast and were about to head for the dock, we heard an announcement come on the system saying that the line to get off the boat was too long and no one else should join the line and that to get off the boat, you had to take a water taxi to from the boat to the land. The announcement said that when the line got shorter, they would make another announcement. If you are smart, sleep in that day and don't try to leave the boat until about 12:30. At 12:30 my family and I were able to get on a 5 minute water taxi and get to the island. Princess Kay was crowded but the water was perfectly clear and with a fantastic view, it was almost paradise. I do recommend renting a "Clamshell" ahead of time as the beach chairs fill up very fast. The ship said that the last water taxi would leave at 3:15 but the last one left at around 4:30 so take your time when leaving the island.
Leaving the ship the next day was a little bit chaotic. You have to be out of your room at 8:00 so the smartest way to leave is to book a "Walk-Off Time" for 8:20. The line to get off the ship was insane and took about 1 hour to get out of the line. When we finally finished in the building, we walked outsides only to find that we were at a different port than where we got on the boat. The ship wanted you to wait in a line that would take 4 hours to board a shuttle and they would drive you to your car. The shuttle could only hold 2 families so my family smartly decided for my dad to take a taxi (cost was $10) while we waited for him on the sidewalk, then he drove the car to us and we left. This whole process took 15 minutes which was way less than waiting in the long line. The port where we docked is about 5 miles from where you would have parked so it was impossible to walk. All in all, the cruise was pretty good with many modern aspects and fun activities.I hope this review helped you decide whether you want to go on this cruise or not. Thanks for reading!!!
We were a group of 8. 2 families. Adults are 48-54. 2 19 year olds. 2 17 year olds. We booked the cruise about 2 weeks before sailing. This was the first cruise for one of our families. This is our 5th.
It took ... Read More
We were a group of 8. 2 families. Adults are 48-54. 2 19 year olds. 2 17 year olds. We booked the cruise about 2 weeks before sailing. This was the first cruise for one of our families. This is our 5th.
It took about 45 minutes to check in and get on the ship. It was a really smooth process. We got a shuttle for the 8 of us from our hotel near the airport for $8 each. We got on at about 3 pm. They shut the bars down as soon as we found our way to the deck. The muster drill was long and conducted in a lounge which was different from past cruises.
We had 2 cabins on the interior Caribe deck, one on the interior Baja deck and one with a window on the Emerald deck. The cabins all seemed a little roomier than those on other ships. They would not let our kids room together officially so keeping the keys straight was a challenge. We all had great cabin service.
We found the buffet to be bland and lacking in selection. We only tried the buffet at breakfast and lunch. It was the worst buffet we have had on a cruise. We really enjoyed the International Cafe for pastries and coffee. We had breakfast in the dining room one morning. It was average. We had all of our dinners in the Coral Dining room with Anytime Dining. All of our dinners were good. The fresh breads and desserts were especially good. We enjoyed the pizza at the pool best for lunch. The grill by the pool was just ok.
Beverages on the pool decks are pretty much only available at the bar. There were a few people taking drink orders away from the bar, but I only saw a few. Trash and dirty dishes were just left. There really was not any place to leave the dirty dishes on the deck. One day birds were swooping in trying to eat the left over food.
We really enjoyed the band the first night. By the end of the cruise we were tired of the band. Same songs over and over. There was not much entertainment around the pools during the day. We only saw one night show. It was pretty weak so we didn't go back. We tried to go to the 50s night but the venue was in one of the lounges and could not accommodate the number of people.
The maintenance was subpar in the public areas. The median age on the ship seemed to be about 65. There were lots of scooters, wheelchairs and such. The kids did not enjoy the cruise as much as the adults. There were not many entertainment choices for the kids. They enjoyed the time at ports more than the ship.
Our previous cruise on the Caribbean Princess which we took shortly after this ship was launched has changed greatly. Still the great stage shows, still the fine Lido buffet and excellent dining room services and cabin service i'm ... Read More
Our previous cruise on the Caribbean Princess which we took shortly after this ship was launched has changed greatly. Still the great stage shows, still the fine Lido buffet and excellent dining room services and cabin service i'm happy to say. The changes we did not care for was the Lido deck special buffet in the most aft section where previously, we were treated with fabulous seafood including unlimited lobster claws and other deliciousness but this menu is not relegated to a new pay-for sea food specialty dining room! A second inevitable change is the aging of the cabin mattresses. Ours, in our handicap cabin had broken springs virtually collapsing the mattress. When we informed the steward and finally the Hotel Manager, our mattress were switched out but even the new mattresses needed replacement as they did not support our bodies. The steward, as an answer, had tried adding plastic bags, duvets and other materials as padding but, of course, that did not help in the lease. Hey guys, it's time to update your bedding! Other than that, we really enjoyed our too-short cruise. Read Less
As expected, the Caribbean Princess is a well-run ship. Service all over the ship is professional and certainly adequate with special mention of the staff in the Lido buffet who were especially helpful. This is our second cruise on the ... Read More
As expected, the Caribbean Princess is a well-run ship. Service all over the ship is professional and certainly adequate with special mention of the staff in the Lido buffet who were especially helpful. This is our second cruise on the Caribbean the first one was back when she was relatively new. Two changes my DW and I regret: On our earlier cruise, the Lido buffet had a second buffet astern of the main buffet where seafood was predominant and quite wonderful. That dining choice, as i see it, got so popular that Princess decided to open a new specialty restaurant featuring the self-same seafood that we loved but now require reservations and a service charge. Our regrets.
Second, the cabin mattresses have aged beyond acceptability. In an almost comedy of events, we complained about our mattress as it no longer offered any support (I am somewhat handicapped and NEED firm support to sleep). When informed of our problem, hotel management tried but failed to meet my specific need so we will no sail on her again until that problem is resolved. Read Less
Great cruise on the CB for a short 3-day cruise. Everything went well. Embarkation was super quick. With Preferred Check-in, we went from shuttle to ship in 12 minutes at 1:30pm check-in. The calendar was packed with things today. I think ... Read More
Great cruise on the CB for a short 3-day cruise. Everything went well. Embarkation was super quick. With Preferred Check-in, we went from shuttle to ship in 12 minutes at 1:30pm check-in. The calendar was packed with things today. I think they squeezed a 5-day itinerary into the 3 days.
Entertainment was top notch, with main shows being a comedian, comedian/musician and the fantastic CB Singers and Dancers. There were 3 Showtimes each night, so plenty of opportunities to fit it into your schedule.
We had our granddaughter along with us. This cruise was very different, as it had about 3 times the number of kids, compared to a typical Princess cruise. She enjoyed all the events she attended. The "seasonal" employees were also top-notch. They called her by name, whether it was at the Pelican Club or around the ship. Read Less
Princess Cruises has always been synonymous with providing a premier experience with excellent service. It turns out this is just a farce. My husband and I were extremely disappointed by our recent experience aboard the Caribbean Princess. ... Read More
Princess Cruises has always been synonymous with providing a premier experience with excellent service. It turns out this is just a farce. My husband and I were extremely disappointed by our recent experience aboard the Caribbean Princess. From the very moment we boarded the ship until the time we got off, we had perfunctory service at best by staff who barely acknowledged our existence and were not equipped to answer basic questions, such as where to make dinner reservations and how to check-in for a bungalow we rented on Princess Cays. While doing the muster drill, staff were extremely rude – not even a smile or eye contact. At Princess Cays, we wasted well over a half-hour and were extremely frustrated by the time we got to our bungalow because our tickets said to check-in at the watersports area, which like all lines during the duration of our trip was long. When we asked several staff members where to go, none were able to guide us in the right direction. In fact, as we approached one female employee in particular, we were made to feel as if we were an extreme inconvenience. Not to mention, an employee, who appeared to be a manager, walked into our bungalow without saying a word to my husband and I as we sat directly in front of the cabana. My husband asked the manager if he could help him and in response the manager said he was checking to see what needed to be cleaned (at 1:30 p.m.) and even got defensive. Food also was a big disappointment, although we did have much better service in the specialty restaurants. Suffice to say, we will never book a Princess Cruise again and caution anyone else who has a similar perception about the company's service.
This was our first cruise on the Caribbean Princess. We've ben on 4 other Princess cruses and about 33 other cruises on various lines. We stayed in mini suite D505and since we had ben to these ports before, didn't even plan to ... Read More
This was our first cruise on the Caribbean Princess. We've ben on 4 other Princess cruses and about 33 other cruises on various lines. We stayed in mini suite D505and since we had ben to these ports before, didn't even plan to get off the ship. We just needed a short rest. Luckily, the ship was only about 2/3 full so there were no waits for tables, the show lounge, elevators, etc.
Unluckily, I think because there were fewer passengers, Princess cut down on both the quality and presentation of food. I sent back 3 entrees during the cruise, the buffet selection and taste were adequate at best and breakfasts unimaginative.
The ship badly needs a upgrade as there was a permeating smell of mold, bilge or something near the show room. There's a lot of rust where there should be white paint. The room carpets are showing wear and the furnishings are getting a little thread bare.
The room and service personnel were great, but it was hard to flag down a waiter around the pool and the days we were in port a lot of waiters vanished.
We didn't expect too much as this was a last minute inexpensive, decision, so we realize we got what we paid for.
Would I go on it again? No
Would I recommend it ? Only to a first time cruiser who wanted an inexpensive vacation.
Room a little cramped for 3 uncommitted people.
Balcony railings and partitions were never wiped off, they were down right dirty.
For a 4 day trip to the Bahamas, we had cold temperatures and rain for 3 1/2 days. The only sun was on the ... Read More
Room a little cramped for 3 uncommitted people.
Balcony railings and partitions were never wiped off, they were down right dirty.
For a 4 day trip to the Bahamas, we had cold temperatures and rain for 3 1/2 days. The only sun was on the ship at sea on the way back to port. I know it wasn't the ships "fault", but it was a lousy cruise.
There was hardly any entertainment in regards to games, contests, and other deck parties. Again the Weathers fault.
I got motion sickness on the way home. At this point, all I wanted to do was get home.
Ship looked it's age, rust noticeable. Staff was fine. Room Steward, couldn't seem to keep inc in my room. Never responded to pages sent to her. She didn't deserve her tip.
Food was good, not GREAT, but good.
Best part of the cruise was the entertainment and joy the two bartenders (Christopher and Wilson) in Crooners bar gave us.
We had some rocky weather, which of course was not Princess's fault, but we still made it to Princess Cays. Embarkation and debarkation was literally walk on and walk off. Staff was consistently great and service impeccable. It seems ... Read More
We had some rocky weather, which of course was not Princess's fault, but we still made it to Princess Cays. Embarkation and debarkation was literally walk on and walk off. Staff was consistently great and service impeccable. It seems Princess has scaled back a bit some of the "luxury" features, and perhaps the food is not as high-end as it used to be, but it is a well-run line with well-trained staff. The captain and executive staff came to our Meet & Greet, which was nice. The ship looked great -- very clean well taken care of. The shows were standard (read: bad) amateur-hour shows. We saw Landon Swank for the second time, and the show was pretty much the same as the last time. He puts on a good show. The comedian Troy Thirdgill had the place in stiches. He was very funny and definitely the best, most professional part of the entertainment. Bert Stratton was, well, "Bert WITH AN 'E'"! What can you say? You either love him or you hate him. I thought he was entertaining. He is definitely different. And a real talented piano player and performer. The ship was pretty empty. We heard there they were 1,000 passengers short of being full. That made it real easy to find seats, room in the pool and hot tubs, etc. We also got a nice upgrade on our cabin and a generous onboard credit allowance. All in all, it was a great experience and we will definitely be back sailing with Princess soon. Read Less
My wife searched for bargain cruises while we are wintering in Florida and this cruise to Jamaica was what we chose. You get what you pay for. We've sailed on other Princess ships and this one didn't compare. Here are the Pros ... Read More
My wife searched for bargain cruises while we are wintering in Florida and this cruise to Jamaica was what we chose. You get what you pay for. We've sailed on other Princess ships and this one didn't compare. Here are the Pros and Cons:
- Cabin stewart was excellent
- Ship was overall clean and in good repair
- International Cafe was superb
- Overall, the staff was friendly and accommodating
- Food in all areas was acceptable
- Nice having silverware on tables in buffet area
- Sanitation was stressed by staff
- Disembarking was very good - expedient
- Walking deck for exercise was excellent
- Entertainment was sub-par; musical was performed at a high school level - no band
- Art on walls throughout ship was low-end
- Hardly any flowers throughout
- Our server in dining room was overtaxed; Princess has cut back on restaurant staff too much
- Embarkation was terrible; took excessively too long to board.
- Shore excursion to the Falls was not well thought out Read Less