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61 Princess Bahamas Cruise Reviews

This was the first cruise for my husband and me. Four days was optimal... in case one or both of us hated it. We approached it in an unconventional way but had a great time. What I mean by "unconventional" is that we purposely ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my husband and me. Four days was optimal... in case one or both of us hated it. We approached it in an unconventional way but had a great time. What I mean by "unconventional" is that we purposely avoided sit-down dining, any event that we had to "dress" for and did limited activities at the ports. We basically wanted to see if we liked being on a ship. That being said, getting to the port was fine--flight on Jet Blue and transfers were fine. Unfortunately, we must have hit peak time for boarding, but the lines moved fast. Our cabin was decent sized---balcony room on Caribe Deck, mid-ship. As I said, we did not do any sit-down dining---only the buffets and pizza. All of the food was really good and the pizza was to DIE for. Pizza is a personal-type-of-thing...some like thin crust, some thick...this was perfect fire-grilled, Brooklyn style. Only other food that I had was high tea one day, which was very nice and I had wished I had gone on the other days. At the ports, we really only sat on the beach. This was a time to relax for us and we did not want to have to rush back to the ship---just sit and enjoy the 80 degree weather at Grand Turk and Princess Cay. The "shopping" at Grand Turk was not as great as the staff made it seem but it was very pretty and clean. Princess Cay had crystal-clear water and the BBQ was nicely done. I only hit one show--Jim McDonald (comedian) who was not particularly funny---I wish I had caught the other comic---Sarge. We "spent" money at the casino---it was nice to see $5 tables and the slots actually paid out well. MUTS was GREAT! I hit the spa for "ladies night"---$99 for a facial, massage, foot rub, scalp rub, champagne, and steam room. Very nice and perfect for my last night on the ship. The fitness facilities was also very clean and had a good amount of cardio equipment. Only complaint there was the water from the fountains was a bit warm. I found the other passengers to be a mix of old, younger, and very few big families. The crew was pleasant. No one from the crew stood out to me as providing horrible or stellar service. Back at Fort Lauderdale, it was MUCH quicker to get off and find our luggage. Transfer back to the airport was fine. Only issue was Jet Blue had changed our return flight and we were stuck in the airport for 8 hours, as all other flights were booked. Had I realized how fast we would get off the ship, I would have looked to change the flight to another airline when Jet Blue altered their schedule. Now I know for next time! I cannot wait for my next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
When I saw this itinerary, I contacted some family members and talked them into going. I normally don't submit to these boards, but after reading the previous review from ab.... I had to submit my review. First off, this was my ... Read More
When I saw this itinerary, I contacted some family members and talked them into going. I normally don't submit to these boards, but after reading the previous review from ab.... I had to submit my review. First off, this was my first cruise on Princess, but my "28th" cruise. I am certainly not an expert, but after sailing many lines I can make a good comparison. The Caribbean Princess is big, but even with a total compliment of passengers, you did not feel cramped. I opted for an outside cabin since I was traveling solo and it was good. Only complaint it had a partially obstructed view, but how long was I going to sit and look out the window. My family and friends had AB category balcony cabins on C deck. Their cabin size was exactly the same as mine, but they had a large balcony that fit 4 chairs and a table. They were impressed. The food was outstanding! We had breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet and the choices and quality were impressive. On our departure from Ft.Lauderdale, they offered an all you can eat lobster claw, crab leg and shrimp buffet in the Horizon, and that also included the normal selection for the night. It was awesome! We chose anytime dining and were able to make a reservation each night in the coral dining room. The food was exceptional and the service excellent. The ports of Grand Turk and Princess Cays were fun. And even though they were crowded, you did not feel cramped. Upon disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale, we opted to carry our luggage off and were schedule to disembark at 0800. At 0745 they called our number and we were off the ship, through customs and at the taxi stand in less than 20 minutes. My first impression of Princess was beyond my expectations. I am looking forward to my Island Princess Alaska cruise this coming week! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: We're in our mid to late 40s. We've been on many cruise ships with various cruiselines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. We live in Florida, so when we see a good deal, we snatch it up and leave. ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: We're in our mid to late 40s. We've been on many cruise ships with various cruiselines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. We live in Florida, so when we see a good deal, we snatch it up and leave. ;) EMBARKATION: Went very smoothly, and was on the ship in a matter of minutes. SHIP INFORMATION: Caribbean Princess is an absolutely beautiful ship, and even though she hasn't been in dry dock for quite some time and the carpeting could be replaced, it's still an absolute gorgeous ship. SERVICE: Everyone was very pleasant and the stateroom attendant greeted us by name. We were surprised to find that there were attendants inside the ship when we got on that led us to the elevators and escorted us up to the buffet for lunch. No other ship has ever done this for us. We definitely have no complaints about any service on this ship. STATEROOM: Magnificent. This was the best room that we've ever had on any cruise. The size of the room alone was unbelievable. I've stayed in motel rooms that were smaller than this room was. We enjoyed our room with our balcony sooooo much. It became our home away from home. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We originally booked a 4 night cruise, but was called to ask if we wanted to do a "move over" to the 3 night cruise that did not include Grand Turk. We were skeptical at first because we really did want to go to Grand Turk, however, when we were told that the cruise would be free, except for the taxes, fees, etc., we jumped on the 3 night cruise immediately. Can't beat a free cruise. So, we ended up going to Nassau, and Princess Cay. "Princess Cay" - Private Island. Didn't see any hammocks hanging between trees like some of the other private islands, and their lunch on the island was not as nice as some of the other cruiselines. We just browsed around and took pictures, and then laid in some lounge chairs under a shaded tree and watched the people walk by. Was there only a few hours and then got back on the ship. Really nothing to write home about. DINING: The best. I ate food that I've never had in my life before. Everything was perfect. We ate at the buffet every meal, and loved it every single time. We were really surprised when we went to the buffet one night for dinner, and they had Crab Legs, Lobster Claws, and Shrimp. I'm a seafood lover, and everything was cooked perfectly. The food is so good on this ship, that we're tempted to stick with Princess cruises only, just for the food. ;) ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was wonderful. There were jugglers, a magician, and the production shows were superb. The shows were so good on this ship that we could have watched them twice and enjoyed them both times. DISEMBARKATION: This has been the only cruiseline that we've been on that allowed us to sit in a restaurant to wait to get off the ship when our bus service arrived. All the other cruiselines insisted that we have to get off about the time our eyeballs open. This showed me that Princess Cruiselines really think of their customers. SUMMARY: Out of all the cruiselines we've been on, we definitely rate Princess the best. The food is superb, the service is fantastic, and there was not one thing that I seen that was wrong with anything on this cruise. Absolutely perfect and we can't wait to go on another Princess Cruise coming up this November 2008. We're even thinking of booking another one next year in 2009. Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
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
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
Sail Date March 2016
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
Sail Date November 2015
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
Sail Date April 2015
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.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
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.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I was very excited to cruise on the Regal, especially after hearing that I would be sharing my cruise with the original cast of the love boat. First impression the Regal was beautiful, getting on the boat was painless, muster drill easy ... Read More
I was very excited to cruise on the Regal, especially after hearing that I would be sharing my cruise with the original cast of the love boat. First impression the Regal was beautiful, getting on the boat was painless, muster drill easy and comfortable. We had a balcony cabin on the 9th floor mid ship. It was small but laid out well. There was plenty of room for our luggage. Room attendant was pleasant and kept our room tidy. That was the good part.... Here comes the bad. I disliked the layout of the ship. There are no steps by the middle elevators and it takes forever to get an elevator. Didn't care for the food on the ship. It was just OK. There were plenty of choices, most were just blah. The scallops for dinner were the highlight of dinner one night, after that no one really raved. I loved their creme brûlée and gluten free chocolate cake. The food in the buffet were fair. We didn't get to eat in the specialty restaurants as they were booked for special events. The wait staff and bartenders were the slowest I have ever encountered. Finally on our last day, we did find an attentive waiter, but still the bar moved slowly. I would guess it took 30 minutes to get a drink. We played bingo.. That was fun especially since my friend won the jackpot. The outdoor movies at night were great but hated the use of the big screen during the day. I'm sure that once they get the ship running schedule, they may get better in certain areas..... But I have to say... I was disappointed.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was not our first cruise with Princess we have always been pleased and have considered this a top line. Our thoughts were changed during this trip. Although nothing I will speak of was a deal breaker there were issues that would make ... Read More
This was not our first cruise with Princess we have always been pleased and have considered this a top line. Our thoughts were changed during this trip. Although nothing I will speak of was a deal breaker there were issues that would make us think twice about cruising on Princess again. It was apparent to us that the service was somehow altered.my suspicion is that the number of staff was compromised. Examples: There was one person making speciality coffees with six people waiting in line. There was one person at the excursion desk on a port day because everyone else was sending out excursions. There were at least eight people waiting to be helped. The public bathrooms were not kept clean. The eating area around the outdoor grill was not picked up. There was trash on the ground and tables not bused. The singers and dancers wore costumes that were not maintained, looking worn and used. As I stated in the beginning these were not deal breakers, we had a wonderful time in spite of these issues. However there has been an obvious decline in Princess. Princess offers the SANCTUARY. This is a private area where you can rent a chair that is yours for the week. One deck under there is a small, adults only pool. They have a limited lunch menu,and provide water and headphones. For as wonderful as this place was this too has changed. It was twenty dollars a day and has now doubled in price. Also if you want lunch there is a $3.95 delivery charge. The week for two of us was $410.00. Breakfast was good, the usual foods, eggs, pancakes etc. lunch from the grill was okay. Dinner was difficult. We did not enjoy the menu, and ate two meals in the speciality restaurants and the other meals in the buffet. The charge for the speciality restaurant was $25.00 per person. The food was outstanding. The discrepancy between the speciality restaurant and the regular dining room was vast. The casino was a big issue for me. It is a smoking casino. There is only one night that is non smoking. I think Princess has this backwards. It should be non smoking with one day of smoking. It was intolerable. Princess has really fallen. It is only one step above Carnival. That should sum it up. Next time Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Just got back today; figured I'd write a review while it's fresh on my mind. Pros: 1. Very clean public rooms, state rooms, dining rooms, etc.: all first class. 2. Service and attitude among staff was professional, friendly ... Read More
Just got back today; figured I'd write a review while it's fresh on my mind. Pros: 1. Very clean public rooms, state rooms, dining rooms, etc.: all first class. 2. Service and attitude among staff was professional, friendly and courteous. 3. Nightclubs/dancing (at Explorers): Thank goodness for the Liquid Blue Band. They were an awesome party / dance band that played in the Explorers Lounge. For 50-somethings that like to dance to music from the 70's and 80's [and a variety of other non-hip hop music], this is a great band. 4. Buffets for breakfast / lunch were fine. 5. If you're looking to get away from other people's kids, you found your cruise line. Fewer kids running amok. 6. Non-dance bars: Crooners Bar (can't say enough good things about their martinis, variety of drinks, customer service, excellent staff etc.) 7. Pools: thumbs up. Quite a variety of choices and plenty of lounge chairs were available. 8. Spa: thumbs up. I did the "thermal lounge" - access for entire trip for $69; they have sauna rooms and hot tile lounge chairs to relax in. Nice retreat spot. The massages were very expensive, so the wives did the massages and my wife had a good experience. 9. Grand Turk: we strongly recommend www.gtdiving.com (3 hour Gibbs Cay Experience); we got to swim with and hold stingrays, swim with and touch nurse sharks. Very cool. $70 pp. Arranged online with Al & Chris in advance. Jason was a great guide. Meets you right on the beach. Cons: 1. Food: The evening meals in the main dining rooms (Michelangelo and DaVinci) were disappointing [versus our experience on Royal Caribbean]. The prime rib was dry, tasteless and pathetic. I gave NY strip a try another night and it was mediocre (I'm a medium rare guy; they didn't overcook it, but it was still dry and tasteless). I veered away from red meat the rest of the trip, but the fish/chicken etc. was equally pitiful. Nothing else was particularly noteworthy (appetizers, vegetables, desserts). The reports from my wife and our traveling companions regarding their meal selections were equally disappointing. One night we skipped the "fine dining" and did the buffet. I felt like I was at the Golden Corral, which is fine if you like the Golden Corral. At least it was quick. 2. Average Age: A comedian and a magician [separately] joked during their respective performances about the average age on the ship being 80. I guess that's OK [if you're 80, like my parents], but if you're closer to 40 than 90 you might want a different demographic experience. 3. Other dance scenes (other than the Explorers Lounge): The Skywalkers Lounge is designed to appeal to a younger set, so it had a DJ that played mostly hip hop music that all had the exact same remix beat. Think: Tokyo Disco scene. In fairness, one night (request night) he played more 70's and 80's music that appealed to the baby boomers. Club Fusion had more of a Las Vegas lounge singer type atmosphere. Not my personal preference but it might appeal to you. 4. Entertainment (Stage Acts at the Princess Theater): Meh. Thumbs down. 5. Cigar Bar [should be renamed the "Marlboro Lounge"]: Thumbs down (and I am a cigar enthusiast). This is a relatively small interior room (with no balcony/outside access) next to the casino; it had 5 to 10 cigarette chain smokers puffing away every time I opened the door to poke my head in. It's a cigar bar, not a cigarette bar. No thank you. I was able to smoke a couple of my premium stogies on excursions. Overall, despite the cons, we had a fantastic time. A cruise is what you make of it. But the point of a subjective review is to give people information so they can make educated decisions based on their own personal preferences. Would I go on a Princess Cruise again if I could take a comparable cruise for the same price on Royal Caribbean? Based on the dining experience alone, I'd say "no". If this review helps you, great. If not, move on. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
My favorite vacation, without a doubt, is cruising... and the location does not really matter, which is why we chose a 3-day Ruby Princess cruise that fell in-between my anniversary, my birthday, and the holiday season! My husband and I ... Read More
My favorite vacation, without a doubt, is cruising... and the location does not really matter, which is why we chose a 3-day Ruby Princess cruise that fell in-between my anniversary, my birthday, and the holiday season! My husband and I have sailed on Princess several times previously, and although this voyage would be much shorter than previous sailings, we were excited to to sail on the Ruby and expected nothing but Princess perfection. With all of this said, although we had a wonderful time, we were disappointed and our taste for Princess has become sour. The Ruby is big, beautiful, and decked out for the holidays. She was everything that we expected and more! We happen to like an indoor cabin, because I like to take a quick nap during the day; thus, the room gets dark when needed. As expected, the indoor cabins were tiny, very tiny, but we were able to put our small suitcase under the bed, giving us adequate room. I was quite happy to feel HOT water in the shower, which was a perk. On the flip side, we received 2 towels, and although we asked several times, they never arrived until the 3rd day. What was even more frustrating was that the bed did not have a sheet, just a duvet cover. My husband and I have never cruised without a sheet on the bed, and although we asked several times, we never found a sheet on our bed. How unsanitary was this... yuch! Along with this frustration, I will mention that our steward did not refer to us by name, and he just about said "hello" when he saw us walking down the hallway. Perhaps such communication is not necessary, but I bet if we were doing individual tipping, we would receive some recognition. Let me also mention that our toilet did not flush one morning, and when we called, we were assured that someone would be in the cabin within a matter of minutes. An hour later, we called again, and we were told that they do not have to come into the room to fix the toilet... this was early morning, and we did need to go the bathroom. About a half hour later, no one had fixed the toilet, and we called again. They said that a man would be there sometime in the morning [!], but this was not a priority since there were toilets throughout the ship... right during our phone call, someone knocked on the door to fix the toilet. Obviously, something is missing in communication. Did I mention that the walls are paper thin and you hear everything, all night long! Moving on, although Princess knew about both special celebrations, we never received balloons on our door. After seeing them on various doors, I called to question this, and I received an apology plus the assurance of balloons. After 4 additional calls, the balloons were on the door; believe me, the balloons were not what was important... it was just the principle of the entire process. It was a celebration after-all! The entertainment was alright, but it was not what we had expected. We received a notice from Princess stating the names of the shows that would be shown on the Ruby, along with information on the cruise director, Lisa. However, the one Broadway show was not "Once Upon a Dream," which is one of the reasons for choosing Ruby. Why would Princess tell us one thing and then the show is something totally different? There was only one cast show of sorts on this short cruise, but the cruise staff was constantly telling us the shows that we missed because we were on a short cruise. I would have preferred to hear what I would be seeing, rather than what we were missing. The comedian, whose name unfortunately I do not remember, was the best, super funny and totally appropriate. He opened the show, returning for the final show. On such a short cruise, I would have liked to see 3 different shows, even though, as I said, he was a riot. In addition to the main showroom, which filled to capacity every night, there were smaller shows offered, along with the traditional game shows. We have sung with piano player Arny Galayo and Bert Stratton for hours into the morning, so the piano player on the Ruby was quite a disappointment. Her voice screeched and her personality lacked personality! Speaking about lacking personality, this is the first cruise that my husband and I ever took where the crew was anything but warm and friendly. We would pass by members of the staff, and they were in their own dream world or chatting amongst themselves. They certainly did not know anyone, and being a short cruise should not have made a difference. We are used to be acknowledged by the cruise staff. I must mention the Cruise Director, Lisa Ball, who was, without a doubt, an unhappy camper. She never smiled, and when she spoke, it was all memorized and did not relate at all to her audience. We heard others on the ship sharing these same feelings... her smile was not there, and the most important thing that she shared with us was that we were missing a lot with a 3 night cruise. Moving on, the food was alright, but it was not up to Princess standards. We chose Anytime Dinning, and we never had a problem getting a table for 2. We never saw lines in the dinning room. The menu was very limited, and the waiters told us that this was due to it being a shorter cruise. I had heard that reasoning once to much. We did the buffet at the Horizon Court for breakfast, and that was typical buffet food. No complaints, but no real rave reviews either. Unfortunately, we met many passengers who shared their disappointment on this short cruise. When I called to share my views, I was connected with the head purser [although I wonder!], and it took 3 calls before I was finally connected with her. She never returned my message; I had to call her back. I finally spoke with Tamara who promised to check into everything and call me back within 15 minutes. Needless to say, she never called back. Lisa, the cruise director, did return my call, but we were out... we called her back, and were told that Lisa was working and could not be reached. Well, we knew she was working on the ship... So... all in all, we were disappointed with the little things... things that we expect when we are in a cruise. We expected Princess to show the scheduled shows... we expected a sheet... we expected a working toilet... and we expected to feel a part of the Princess family and being recognized as a member. I will definitely cruise again and cannot wait, but I have doubts if I would choose Princess again. This what not the way to celebrate... Please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail if you wish further information at beginningsteps@bellsouth.net These reviews have helped me so much in the past, and I hope our experience, even the worse it, will help you. Cruising is supposed to be special; the special was missing from this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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