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13 Princess Bahamas Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date November 2017
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. [Time passes…] 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
Sail Date November 2015
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
Sail Date April 2015
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
Sail Date January 2015
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!!!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
BACKGROUND 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. EMBARKATION It took ... Read More
BACKGROUND 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. EMBARKATION 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. CABIN 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. DINING 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. SERVICE 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. ENTERTAINMENT 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. SUMMARY 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.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
3 day cruise - Memorial Day Weekend. My first 3 day cruise. I was unaware that when we booked this cruise (which we got a great deal on), it was known as a "gambler's cruise". Entertainers are a whirlwind of information. ... Read More
3 day cruise - Memorial Day Weekend. My first 3 day cruise. I was unaware that when we booked this cruise (which we got a great deal on), it was known as a "gambler's cruise". Entertainers are a whirlwind of information. Embarkation onto the ship - As a platinum member, this was a breeze, except that they lost my cousin's card and we needed to go to the other end of the area to take a seat and wait while they printed a new one. Once on the ship - we dropped off our stuff and went to lunch on Lido which was pleasant. Plenty of choices and the food was good Cabin A749 - my first interior. Only downside was the location - the very last interior room before the Aft suites and the anchor that dropped 2 days and made a crashing loud sound which woke us up. Casino - Smokey!!!!!!! I can usually go there (and do!), but found it uncomfortably smokey. Perhaps they need a new ventilation system? Staff - Overall, we feel they had all newbies on staff. Service was slow, and in some cases nonexistent. Steward - Regallio, was very pleasant when we first met him. We requested extra towels which he provided with a smile. Unfortunately, he did not provide them the next two days and when my husband went to get one off the cart, he got "yelled" at, as if he were stealing it. (Believe me, you don't want their towels!) Bar Service - We prefer the quieter Terrace Pool area. There were zero servers around on either this deck or the lounging deck above. We had to go to the bar ourselves to get drinks (As a Carnival shareholder, this upsets me!). It took a very loooooonnnnng time to get their attention and then get your drink. Quality control is nonexistent - every drink I ordered tasted different (and yes, we ordered the same!) Shows - don't bother. It's like they dredged the bottom of the barrel for the two comedians. Ports - This short cruise only went to Princess Cays. Have been there many times and have no problem with this "private" port, however, on this ship it took 2 hours to disembark and 1 1/2 hours to get back on. That is unacceptable and I feel we did not get our money's worth from our cabana and aqua chair rentals. There are water sports and excursions available for extra money of course. Food is so so, hamburgers, hot dogs etc... I prefer to go back to the boat to eat. Food and Food Service - As far as choices, it was fine. You do not get the "top" level food as it is only a three day cruise, but it's fine. Service - our waiter, Alexander, was very nice and personable. He really tried to please. We actually tried to tip him extra on the last day, but we waited 20 minutes after eating and he never came back out! Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about our assistant waiter who we never saw until we actually asked our waiter for coffee. Moreover, we requested regular milk and were brought out cream, twice, each time ruining our cup of coffee! Also, I got sick on our last night of the cruise from something I ate at dinner. Not a good way to end the cruise :( Disembarkation - An absolute breeze. Ate breakfast on Lido and waited to walk off with our luggage. We never even made it to the Platinum lounge. The reason I booked this cruise was the price, plain and simple. I thought it would be a good cruise to help me get to elite status. My fault, but I should have checked airfares to Ft. Lauderdale first - it was expensive! Is this where I say, you get what you pay for? LOL The only shame is that I brought along my cousins. I wanted them to share my Platinum Princess experience and turn them on to Princess. I am afraid they will never book one again.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I wanted to write to provide others some insight on a few things not mentioned in the other reviews that might help them decide about Princess if on the fence. It was Memorial Day weekend, a lot of passengers. Embarkation was slow, but we ... Read More
I wanted to write to provide others some insight on a few things not mentioned in the other reviews that might help them decide about Princess if on the fence. It was Memorial Day weekend, a lot of passengers. Embarkation was slow, but we would not let that affect our attitude. To be honest, we have had good and bad experiences on all cruise lines, we just get through it the best way we can, get on the ship and forget about it. We made it early enough to enjoy lunch in the dining room...very nice way to start the weekend. Food was great and service excellent. We were able to purchase our drink packages from the beverage attendant, which was nice. Room steward, extremely pleasant and saw him multiple times every day, always very friendly, helpful and concerned about our happiness, room was kept very well. Actually all of the housekeeping staff was quite friendly and pleasant, always smiling with a nice greeting, we liked that. Bar Service: We intended to make full use of our drink packages, but found it extremely difficult. The had no mint at 3 bars, no Mojitos!! (Really...in South Florida!!!!) But we finally did find 2 bars that did have mint... Why wouldn't they stock all bars appropriately, just unacceptable. There were 2 areas where we got good bar service 1) Churchills, but it ALWAYS smelled like a large used ashtray in there and 2) the dining room. Very little "service", more time than not we would have to get our own drinks. The worst thing for us though is that they close most all of the bars by 11pm and the martini bar at 12am. The seating areas around the bars were small and taken by that time, people were 5 and 6 deep to get their own drinks...complete madness. Just a huge disappointment for us and reason #1 to avoid Princess. Food Service: Dining room was great! We loved our servers and food was great, for lunches and dinner, however breakfast is another story. The breakfast menu itself is very boring and uninspired. Just the basics, but for us its about the service and hot coffee kept full. On our last morning, one of our tablemates ordered eggs benedict and 15 minutes later the server announced they were out of hollandaise so could she order something else....crazy. Actually she said she didn't like the sauce anyway, so our server actually created it for her without the sauce and she was happy he went the extra mile to please her. I will say that when a mistake was made, the staff bent over backwards to correct it the best they could and that was appreciated. We did try the buffet on Princess Cays day just to get some variety. We went early, around 7...there were plenty of tables, the food was hot, fresh and plentiful. It was clean and well kept. I know there are a lot of complaints about the Princess buffet lines, but we didn't have any issues. We like the fact that they serve juice and water. A very nice hostess came around and asked if we were happy with our experience...very nice. Our main complaint is the lack of food options past 11pm. We don't stay up late every night, but when we do want to catch a late show, it's nice sometimes to grab a quick bite before bed. The ONLY option is the International Cafe, which has very limited options. You can settle for cold salads or sandwiches, but why should I? There are no late buffets. Even the pizza closes at 11pm. Room Service??? It doesn't exist. We are convinced they "advertise" room service, however there is no menu and they don't answer the phone, so there is really no room service. They offer nothing except empty apologies, we are busy, so many people on the ship.....YA, I KNOW, that is the business you are in, DUH!! Just add staff and leave a small buffet open, problem solved. Another disappointment and #2 reason we may not go back to Princess. Princess Cay: We were lucky enough to get over to the island by about 9:30, I think we had to 5th tender going over....people behind us were delayed quite a bit and they were getting irate about it, which I don't blame them. The bar service on the island was horrendous!! It look an hour to get the bar open and ready to serve, then a waiter took our order, never came back. DH went and got our drinks from the bar. A second waiter took an order and we asked him to come back with another round, never showed up. We thought we might stay for one more drink but the line at the bar was LONG, no servers in sight, except our original one who was pre-occupied with a group of young ladies, we just said forget it, we can get drinks on the ship and left. We do not eat at the island buffet, it's really unfortunate too because they serve a great lunch, however the fly situation is unbearable to me...just can't do it. However, I must say this is a problem with every cruise line that has a beach day....the flies just hover and cover everything, they are relentless. But many people didn't get over there soon enough to get food (we heard they ran out, seemed to be just unprepared overall for the island day). Shows and entertainment: Enjoyable, plenty to do on the ship each day, lots of variety...we kept busy. Casino: Meh, have seen better and worse. Nothing special, not a huge variety of machines, but enough to go in and spend a few $$ each day. Drink service in the Casino was pretty poor at peak times. Disembarkation was very smooth and easy. The ship is lovely, it was almost clean (for some reason the elevators always had stuff on the floor that stayed for a long time, days in fact), the staff was very friendly and I would only recommend Princess to anyone with extreme caution, especially if you have expectations about food and bar availability after 11pm and if you have expectations of the Princess Cays beach day (including bar service and lunch). We know there are people who don't stay up late or who don't get off the ship at all, so our issues won't matter to them, but we still feel that practices in particular are explicitly targeting a certain demographic of people, actually excluding them; those who stay up past 11pm and expect the same service at all hours. Maybe they are trying to keep their staffing costs down, but when it is at my expense, I will spend my vacation dollars somewhere else. We heard from MANY people who are regular Princess cruisers that our experience was not the norm, however they did indicate standards have lowered. Some blamed it on being a short cruise and frankly we are tired of hearing that from any cruise. I don't care how long the cruise is, they cruise 365 days a year, each day's service should be the same high standard, no matter who gets on, who gets off and how long anyone is on. Training is no excuse, that is part of the process. We were not the only disappointed people and we did provide survey responses, I hope Princess is listening.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My husband and I went on this cruise (May 23, 2014) with another couple. A month before the cruise, we received an email that we had been upgraded to a balcony, midship, on the Caribe level (C402). Our deck was HUGE! We have cruised many ... Read More
My husband and I went on this cruise (May 23, 2014) with another couple. A month before the cruise, we received an email that we had been upgraded to a balcony, midship, on the Caribe level (C402). Our deck was HUGE! We have cruised many times before but this was our first cruise with Princess. We were more than pleasantly surprised with the size of our balcony. Half of the balcony was covered/shaded, while the other half was uncovered. The amenities aboard the ship were great too! The food was pretty good but the dining service was slow. After ordering our food, we usually had to wait about 45 minutes for our entrees to arrive...very very very slow service. We dined at the late dining (8PM) and had difficulty catching the nightly shows because our dining service was so slow. Besides the slow service, we had an exceptional time! The DJ was AWESOME. He played current, top hits by the pool, during the day and then continued his good vibes in the Skywalker Lounge (nightclub). The Skywalker Nighclub location is perfect! The club was packed with people of all ages- ranging from early 20s to late 60s. The music was current and everyone enjoyed it! I would absolutely recommend this cruise ship. My friends and I had an amazing time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
First, let me say I do like Princess and am a platinum member having taken many cruises with them in the past. This was a short cruise over Memorial Day weekend with family. Or room was an upper deck balcony. Our steward did a good job ... Read More
First, let me say I do like Princess and am a platinum member having taken many cruises with them in the past. This was a short cruise over Memorial Day weekend with family. Or room was an upper deck balcony. Our steward did a good job keeping it clean and fresh. We always got clean towels and the room was picked up often. We spent a lot of time by the Terrace pool and that was found wanting basically do to lack of waiters and the lack of anyone picking up used food and drink containers. On other Princess ships there were always waiters taking orders but on this ship you had to go get your own drinks. We went to movies under the stars and found things much the same there, nobody taking drink orders or passing out popcorn as had been done on other ships. Also, there were still towels still strewn about from the afternoon swimmers. Getting ashore at Princess Cays took a very long time, about 1 1/2 hours wait to get on a tender. It took us even longer to get back to the ship at the end of the day. It was a very long wait in the sun with little shade and nothing available to drink. Our food was very good as we like the buffet at Horizon Court. Also we used the specialty restaurants which are very good and a nice treat. We enjoyed the entertainment to the shows but noticed the casino was overpowered with tobacco smoke. I wish they would do away with smoking in all interior spaces. Disembarkation was easy as we did the self walk off being responsible for our own luggage. We had minimal bags so this worked for us. All in all the cruise was OK but not as good as Princess Cruises usually are. Greater tidiness in public areas needs improvement as well as getting people on and off the ship in port. That was very poorly done and accounts for most of my negative feelings about this cruise. I will cruise with Princess again as I know they usually do much better.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
CRUISE REVIEW – Jan. 15, 2014 Type Cruise: 4 Day Voyage to Nowhere (Getaway) from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA.  Cruise Line: Princess Lines (a.k.a. The Love Boat) Ships name: Ruby Princess. Italian-made 2008; Large type; 19 decks; ... Read More
CRUISE REVIEW – Jan. 15, 2014 Type Cruise: 4 Day Voyage to Nowhere (Getaway) from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA.  Cruise Line: Princess Lines (a.k.a. The Love Boat) Ships name: Ruby Princess. Italian-made 2008; Large type; 19 decks; Navigational crew: Italian/World-wide; Max: 3,599 passengers and 1,200 crew. Note: Only two (2) Americans were in the crew at administrative positions….. go figure. Dates: Jan. 9, 2014 @ 4 PM to Jan. 13, 2014 @ 7 AM Parking: Adjacent to departure pier at $15/day. Excellent, quick and easy Check-In: Slightly unprofessional; some things did not work at first; Check-in Agents used ordinary laptops placed on top of cardboard boxes. Luggage was checked-in at the curb. Embarking: Somewhat slow due to multiple/long zig-zaging lines. Over a 1 hour process. Cabin: Original booking was for an Inside Stateroom, but they upgraded us to an Ocean view Stateroom. Well-appointed, could be bigger and the shower was a bit small. Getting around: Confusing; due to insufficient directional signage throughout the ship; the deck plan provided only showed a profile of the entire ship vice individuals deck plans for each deck. In addition, all the crew members encountered were extremely friendly and helpful to guide us. Health/Safety: Needs more Purel hand sanitizing stations. Common areas: Two (2) main mediums sized pool/sunning areas. One pool area has a huge JumboTron screen for Movies at Night and Sports games during the day or night. It can be a bit loud at times. Quiet and cozy smaller pool areas are located at the bow and stern areas. Activities: Just far too numerous to cover. There is something available for all tastes and styles. Internet: Satellite (slow) internet connection is available. Price plans vary from $0.79/min to $19.90/hour. Entertainment: The showroom was large and well appointed. The entertainment was well done. Dining/Casual: The five (5) casual buffet style dining areas were open “alternatively” between 5 AM and midnight making it a “guess where is” on each visit. The food served was excellent and very well presented, although the selection could have been slightly greater. Of special note, these dining areas had low (7 foot) ceiling heights with a crowded seating arrangement, whereby making it a tight, squeezed-in type of ambience. Avoid the Ice Cream stand for Ice Cream…UGH. Dining/Semi-Casual: Casual attire, no formal nights during this cruise. The dining room seating and the general ambience was excellent. The latter of the two services was about 55-60% of its full capacity. The service was impeccable and precise. All the chosen food was excellent and well presented. It is worthy of my equivalent to a Michelin 1 Star rating. Destination(s): Princess Cays (A Princess Line owned 40 acres beachfront area at the deserted southern end of Eleuthera Island in the eastern Bahamas). It was nice and well-appointed with shops and inclusive dining places. The 3,000+ lounge chairs were tightly packed together. It can be a bit noisy at times. The only major issue was when walking into the water at the beach to take a dip …. the bottom was hard coral or limestone, not soft sand, whereby making it difficult to “safely” walk without “water shoes”, especially in rough surf. Renting snorkeling gear is a waste of money since there really is nothing to see underwater. The best bet activity would be the small sailboats to rent for an hour, providing there is wind. Disembarking: Up at 6 AM, went to breakfast and packed the suitcases by 7:15 AM. We decided to carry/roll out our luggage to save time, and it did. We arrived at the disembarkation muster point on the ship, left the ship at 8 AM, through U.S. Customs / Immigration and in our vehicle by 8:25 AM. Well done. Overall: We would do again even with its minor issues. Just stay onboard at Princess Cays. Total costs: Booking rate of $149 base price per person (Original was $449). Itemized: $448 base for two persons with taxes and port fees + $92 gratuities @ $11.50/pp/day + $60 terminal parking @ $15/day = $600 Total for two(2) people.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was bought on the premise that almost all our fare could be used on a new voyage before Dec. 31, 2014. We just wanted to get out of the Niagara area for a week and a half to escape the worst winter in years. We got the most expensive ... Read More
This was bought on the premise that almost all our fare could be used on a new voyage before Dec. 31, 2014. We just wanted to get out of the Niagara area for a week and a half to escape the worst winter in years. We got the most expensive cabin left (C320) just a couple weeks before sailing and booked the Hyatt near the Harbour Shops the night before. Super hotel if the price is right. $6.50 cab ride to port so ignore their pitch for a $7 each shuttle. Embarkation was a breeze, especially compares to the disaster trying to get on the Royal back in Novermber. We have been on the all three sister ships before and we were surprised to see serious aging signs on the Ruby. Its the youngest of the 3 but in far worse shape than the Crown was in 2013. A lot of nasty rust on the promenade and our balcony and varnish completely gone on railings. Drains on the veranda were bubbling up during rainstorms. The carpet in our room was badly stained and the heat/air conditioning was always out of whack. You could be freezing then 5 minutes later you would be sweating. We were told traditional dining was full only to learn that it was never more than half full. We were moved for the second 5 days to the rear dining room which is the best layout with the best waitstaff. The food was above average here as was the service. Entertainment was fairly good but as I am reaching Elite status , we have seen many acts before. Sad to see the bandits in the casino have upped their commission for poker to a record 15% . You really should be ashamed of this amount of greed and although I enjoy playing, you have taken away some enjoyment from the cruise experience. Final kudos to Alberto, our room steward. You were the best steward we have had in over 40 cruises and I can only hope a promotion is in your future. Disembarkation was easy because we carried our own bags in order to grab a cab for an early flight out of FLL back to brutal conditions up north. Lets hope the Ruby gets a much needed upgrade before we hop on here again in Southampton in the end of June. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We usually cruise on the smaller ships of Seabourn or Windstar and this was our second cruise on a mega ship. It is unusual for Princess to have a 3 night cruise and we made plans on the spur of the moment to give the line a try, one week ... Read More
We usually cruise on the smaller ships of Seabourn or Windstar and this was our second cruise on a mega ship. It is unusual for Princess to have a 3 night cruise and we made plans on the spur of the moment to give the line a try, one week before the cruise, securing the very last stateroom. I was hoping for a mini suite but gladly reserved the ocean view stateroom at the very aft of the ship on the 14th. floor. When we pulled into the parking lot we looked in awe at the enormous ship waiting for us. We parked the car, took our carryons, and got in line with our passports and boarding passes. It was a little more chaotic than the well organized Celebrity checkin from last year. We were guided to our room and found it of average size and fairly well appointed despite a tiny bathroom. We unpacked and preceded to explore the ship which was in tip top condition, although not as glitzy as the Century. The first thing I did was to make reservations in the two specialty restaurants which was a smart move as Sabatini's was fully booked prior to sailing. We had a nice lunch on deck with a well stocked salad bar, a carving station and some pastas and other hot dishes which we passed up. I was told to save my appetite for Sabatini's where we could only get a 7:30 reservation. After lunch we went back to the room to prepare for the required muster drill, although we were surprised that they never did a roll call which we thought was required. We dressed casually that night for Sabatini's which is the intimate, wonderful Italian restaurant where the service is great and never rushed. Basically you just order your entree and they bring trays of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, choice of soup I think, pizzas, freshly baked breads and homemade pastas. I was very impressed with the selection and we tried to taste everything. By the time the entrees came we were really stuffed but kept on eating like the troopers we are. The waiter picked his favorite desserts for us and they were equally delicious, accompanied by cappuccino and espresso. The wine list was well priced although fairly limited but we were quite happy with the $30+ bottle of fume blanc we selected. The meal was well worth the extra $20 per person and a wonderful start to our cruise. I ordered coffee and tea to be delivered to our room the next morning and delivery was punctual. Since we were already dressed, we went upstairs to check out the breakfast buffet which was a deck above us. This particular room was empty as most people had opted for the larger buffet in the center of the ship. We found the back of the boat to our liking, from the small adults only pool surrounded by a bar, with ample deck seating to Cafe Caribe which was a breakfast buffet in the morning, serving Caribbean influenced specialties at lunch and dinner. The only downside to staying in this area was the designated smoking area, which was often expanded by the smokers at the bar. There were a few times when people had to be reminded that they were out of the smoking area. Another standout on this ship was the pizza parlor at the other end, near the main pool. We are originally from NY but were duly impressed by the quality of the thin crusted pizza, which could rival most pizzerias. We did not try the hamburgers or hot dogs. All kinds of food are available 24 hours a day and we were surprised to see people sitting down for a second dinner at 11:00PM. The bars were intimate and the drinks fairly price. Fusion nightclub on the very top of the boat was for a much younger set but we took the escalator up to take a look anyway before making a rapid exit. The second night we ate in the main dining room and were seated with three other congenial couples which made for an entertaining evening. I cannot say enough for the personal choice dining as we do not like to be told when and with whom to eat and the thought of sitting with the same people each night does not appeal to us. The food in the main dining room was fairly good, simple but well prepared with a nice selection. The service could have been better and the wine steward did a disappearing act. We had much better service on Celebrity. We went to the show but were not impressed with the quality of the performers or the show itself. The level and variety of goods in the "boutiques" was standard, unimaginative and not of the highest quality and the number of liquors for sale was small. The day we stopped at Princess Cay in the Bahamas, we opted to stay on the boat, as we live in a beach area. Having the boat mostly to ourselves was delightful and we did not miss standing in line for the tenders. I did hear that the wait was not very long after the first few tenders had departed. We also heard that it was very hot on the island, with little shade. The third night we ate a quiet meal in the Sterling Steakhouse. The change of pace from the bustling buffets was welcome, service was good as were the steaks. The side dishes were memorable and service was adequate. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our three night mini cruise and for such a large ship (3100+ passengers) there were plenty of nooks and alcoves and quiet areas. Debarking went fairly smoothly because we had carryons. They don't let you carry your large suitcases down the stairs and I imagine it would have taken quite a bit longer to get off the boat. The elevators are too small to take everyone down so many floors. There was a minor delay going through customs but for their part, the Princess employees were efficient in getting everyone where they had to go. We were among the first off the boat and getting to our car and paying for our parking was a breeze. Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
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