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61 Princess Bahamas Cruise Reviews

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
21-28 February 2016 Caribbean Princess We have cruised many times and had experiences ranging from outstanding to deplorable. On occasion we find ourselves blessed with all possible favorable outcomes on one trip. Such was the case ... Read More
21-28 February 2016 Caribbean Princess We have cruised many times and had experiences ranging from outstanding to deplorable. On occasion we find ourselves blessed with all possible favorable outcomes on one trip. Such was the case on our recent Key West and Bahamas voyage with Princess Cruise Lines on the Caribbean Princess. We have just been aboard the Caribbean Princess in late November 2015. That voyage was not especially remarkable. In fact we considered it to be, on balance, slightly below par for Princess. Thus, our expectations may have been set lower on this trip. We arrived slightly early for prescribed our check in and boarding time but breezed through check in and went directly onboard and to our stateroom in about ten minutes time. The cabin was immaculate. We were greeted cheerfully by the attendant who, throughout the course of the journey, did an excellent job. Virtually everyone we encountered was helpful and polite. No issues. Our dinner attendants were among the best we have had on any cruise line. Polite, helpful and engaging. I am generally critical of cruise ship meals, but on this voyage it was obvious that Princess had taken the quality of their cuisine up a notch. Certainly one could pick a nit or two if one wanted, but quality, selection, assortment, preparation, presentation and variety were all at a good standard. The onboard entertainment was quite good. On this trip Princess had a “Voice of the Ocean” competition which we thought might be hokey but turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. We loved it. As far as the ports are concerned Key West is basically a box that we wanted to check off. Crowded, expensive, dirty and unappealing. The history is fascinating however, as is the Mel Fisher Museum which although pricey is a must. This was our first visit to Freeport and we were not impressed. Due to a diesel generator malfunction and choppy weather we diverted from Princess Key to Nassau. We had not been to that port in thirty years and found it to be crowded, unappealing and dirty. The brightly colored building we remembered were sporting the same coat of paint they had on thirty years earlier. We walked around the town for miles, down the crumbling roads and sidewalks and past derelict buildings. Surprisingly, however, everyone we met was pleasant, helpful and cheery. Our trek to the Bahamas National Art Museum was worth the walk. The docents were informative, pleasant and helpful. We highly recommend this stop. The return voyage was uneventful as was our disembarkation experience. We did the “walk off,” and when our elevator doors opened on deck 7 we simply merged with the line of passengers already exiting and proceeded to customs. The entire experience, including our walk to the car, took about fifteen minutes. Special acknowledgement is deserved by our Cruise Director, Lee Childress. Although a quick “Google” search might reveal some undeserved bashing of Lee, we feel he was a special gift. Choose ten people and one will get ten different opinions of a topic. We loved Lee. Thanks in part to Lee, Princess made time available each day for an interdenominational bible study hour. He also arranged, and led, a nondenominational worship service. Princess has a daily LGBT get together hour for those so inclined. They also have a Dr. Bob & Bill W. session every day. For those of us who are Christians it was a true blessing to have these few minutes set aside for worship. Good job Princess! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My Wife and I loved the Caribbean Princess and her crew. Our room steward was awesome and took great care of us. Bartenders were very nice and it was easy to get a drink. We could always find someplace out of the way on the ship where it ... Read More
My Wife and I loved the Caribbean Princess and her crew. Our room steward was awesome and took great care of us. Bartenders were very nice and it was easy to get a drink. We could always find someplace out of the way on the ship where it wasn't crowded. The food was amazing in the sit down dining and out of this world in the Crown Grill and Sabatini's. The meal we ate at the crown grill was one of the best we have ever had. The Snorkeling on St Thomas was fantastic and the airport beach was fun on St Martin. The Balmoral Beach excursion at Nassau was horrible. The beach was tiny and full of seaweed and no fish to be found. Then the prices at the bar are outrageous. 4 beers is 34 dollars and a hotdog was 13 dollars. There is nothing anyone could do to a hotdog to make it worth 13 dollars LOL.... But the cruise itself was awesome and we will cruise with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Cruised with wife and another couple. Embarkation OK but our friends got on board in the regular line than we did with preferred boarding(why call it preferred?). Cabin was Aloha deck regular balcony about midships. OK but a little ... Read More
Cruised with wife and another couple. Embarkation OK but our friends got on board in the regular line than we did with preferred boarding(why call it preferred?). Cabin was Aloha deck regular balcony about midships. OK but a little dated; mattresses was quite sunken on both sides. Always need to mention the TINY shower princess has in anything under a mini suite. FOOD: OK if not great with the exception that my wife had barramundi the first night which made her sick. I had it before and warned her as I am you. Buffets were universally crowded, but the pizza is really good. Hand dip ice cream and popcorn is a nice touch for an evening snack. Good salads and sweets in the International Cafe. Entertainment: Enjoyed all the lounge bands and piazza entertainment ( be sure to get seats early as the are only on deck 5 and limited). Production shows were very good and Phil Tag the comedian is just great! Watched the College Champ. game on the big screen (not crowded). Over all thought crew was very friendly and helpful. No problems encountered. Debarkation was smooth with lines moving well at customs.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Background - third cruise ever, first two were on Carnival, this was our first on Princess. Price and OBC was too good to pass up. My boyfriend is 63 and I'm 39 so there's two age groups reviewing here. I knew that Princess was ... Read More
Background - third cruise ever, first two were on Carnival, this was our first on Princess. Price and OBC was too good to pass up. My boyfriend is 63 and I'm 39 so there's two age groups reviewing here. I knew that Princess was going to be and older crowd and more subdued, THIS IS WHAT I WANTED. I was so stressed out from the holidays, my job, going to college, my family, my dog, you name it, and I just wanted to get away and relax. I knew that Carnival was not going to fit the bill this time. Hotel - we flew in the night before and stayed at the Extended Stay America on 17th. Very clean room which is all I wanted. We booked a king (Orbitz) and they gave us 2 doubles. Ok. Around the corner from Total Wine & More and Publix so we stocked up on water, diet soda and wine. Debarkation was a breeze. The only 2 shuttle times left with Extended Stay ($4 pp plus tax) was 10:30 and 1:30. We took 10:30. Stood outside for a few minutes and then we were all let in. We were the first non-preferred (first-time Princess guests) people in line and in the boarding sitting area. Sat for awhile, I forget how long, and then we were onboard, it was before noon. Get on the ship, I immediately started looking for the MDR for lunch. They were trying to funnel everyone into the elevators up to the Lido deck. Nope, I want the MDR. One guy flat out lied to me and told me the MDR didn't open for lunch until 1:30. I knew they CLOSED at 1:30, thanks Cruise Critic! Finally found the Coral dining room. Our first lunch was TERRIBLE. I told my boyfriend that if the rest of our cruise food was going to be like this, I was going to be PISSED. His cod was rubbery and you couldn't cut it even with a knife. My london broil was grey and rubbery. Gross. Went to the room - we had a window room on the Plaza deck. TINY. When they push the twins together to make a king, the nightstand gets turned to the side and the drawer space becomes unusable. The closet space was great but dang, that cabin, so small. In our window cabin on Carnival Imagination, the bed was parallel to the window so my boyfriend could get up in the middle of the night and look out the window without disturbing me. On Princess, it was perpendicular so he had to kneel in bed to look out. Not crazy about it. The rooms are also worn, the carpet seriously needs updating, walls were beat up, our sheets had stains on them and the bathroom had mold on the shower, sink and under the toilet rim. I seriously wished I brought along some Ti-D-Bowl or something. The hallways are also worn. Don't get me wrong, the main common areas are great, BEAUTIFUL, just the hallways and rooms where we were, seriously gut these rooms and hallways in the next dry dock. Bed wasn't uncomfortable so there's that. Steward - I'm not the type that needs to make friends with my steward, just keep the room clean and the ice bucket full and I'm happy. This guy disturbed every afternoon nap, and even though I told him several times that we were on late dinner, disturbed us when we were getting ready for dinner every night. Even when I put out the Do Not Disturb tag. I didn't remove our tips but I didn't leave anything extra like I usually do. No robes in the room that I ordered pre-cruise. A note about this ship - does it even have stabilizers? We rocked to and fro like crazy. I don't get seasick, thank goodness. Very weird. Front Desk - I did some laundry in the laundromat. $3 for a wash and $3 for a dry. One of the dryers wasn't working and I didn't realize it until I had already paid twice to dry. Front desk sent someone to fix it while we were in Princess Cays and my wash was finally dry by the time we got back but they refused to refund the wasted $6. Yes, it's only $6 but it's about the customer service! Dining Room - we were on late seating in the Palm dining room. Most of the tables in our section were empty all 5 nights but service was soooo slow. The server in the section next to us had two 8 tops and 1 2 top and they all were always finishing dessert when we were getting our entrees. Frustrating, but we made the best of it. And yes, the food quality DID improve over that first day's lunch, thank goodness! Entertainment - I read some reviews from some other cruisers on the same cruise, they didn't think the comic was funny - we did. We also enjoyed the movies in the Princess Lounge but didn't get to see one under the stars. Weather - Our two port days were sunny and our two sea days were overcast and drizzly. Go figure. Ports - I loved Princess Cays because all I wanted to do was lay on a lounger and read a book. We went in the water - it was a bit chilly but became comfortable once we got used to it. Very rocky, next time I would bring water shoes. I was eaten alive by sand flies on Princess Cays. DON'T FORGET YOUR REPELLENT LIKE I DID! Ouch. Nassau - we did the beach day at the British Colonial Hilton the first time we were in Nassau. That was in August so it was worth it. I didn't think it would be worth it in cooler weather so this time we decided to do something different and walked to the Queen's Staircase and Fort Fincastle and took pictures. We then walked over to Junkanoo Beach to check it out. We stopped at Fat Tuesday's (overpriced but it was nice to sit by the water and those drinks were strong!!) and then walked back to our ship. If we had our suits with us, we would have stopped at Junkanoo Beach, it looked decent for a free beach! We then walked back to the ship. Fellow passengers - the only place my fellow passengers annoyed me was on the last day at the buffet. I stopped for a quick lunch and people were cutting in line and pushing ahead of me. That was the only time I ate at the buffet. It was Italian day, it wasn't that great. So would we do it again, yes, at that price, it was worth the little quirks. But for full price - heck no. We would definitely go for a balcony next time, our balcony on Carnival Pride spoiled us FOREVER. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Our previous cruise on the Caribbean Princess which we took shortly after this ship was launched has changed greatly. Still the great stage shows, still the fine Lido buffet and excellent dining room services and cabin service i'm ... Read More
Our previous cruise on the Caribbean Princess which we took shortly after this ship was launched has changed greatly. Still the great stage shows, still the fine Lido buffet and excellent dining room services and cabin service i'm happy to say. The changes we did not care for was the Lido deck special buffet in the most aft section where previously, we were treated with fabulous seafood including unlimited lobster claws and other deliciousness but this menu is not relegated to a new pay-for sea food specialty dining room! A second inevitable change is the aging of the cabin mattresses. Ours, in our handicap cabin had broken springs virtually collapsing the mattress. When we informed the steward and finally the Hotel Manager, our mattress were switched out but even the new mattresses needed replacement as they did not support our bodies. The steward, as an answer, had tried adding plastic bags, duvets and other materials as padding but, of course, that did not help in the lease. Hey guys, it's time to update your bedding! Other than that, we really enjoyed our too-short cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
As expected, the Caribbean Princess is a well-run ship. Service all over the ship is professional and certainly adequate with special mention of the staff in the Lido buffet who were especially helpful. This is our second cruise on the ... Read More
As expected, the Caribbean Princess is a well-run ship. Service all over the ship is professional and certainly adequate with special mention of the staff in the Lido buffet who were especially helpful. This is our second cruise on the Caribbean the first one was back when she was relatively new. Two changes my DW and I regret: On our earlier cruise, the Lido buffet had a second buffet astern of the main buffet where seafood was predominant and quite wonderful. That dining choice, as i see it, got so popular that Princess decided to open a new specialty restaurant featuring the self-same seafood that we loved but now require reservations and a service charge. Our regrets. Second, the cabin mattresses have aged beyond acceptability. In an almost comedy of events, we complained about our mattress as it no longer offered any support (I am somewhat handicapped and NEED firm support to sleep). When informed of our problem, hotel management tried but failed to meet my specific need so we will no sail on her again until that problem is resolved. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Great cruise on the CB for a short 3-day cruise. Everything went well. Embarkation was super quick. With Preferred Check-in, we went from shuttle to ship in 12 minutes at 1:30pm check-in. The calendar was packed with things today. I think ... Read More
Great cruise on the CB for a short 3-day cruise. Everything went well. Embarkation was super quick. With Preferred Check-in, we went from shuttle to ship in 12 minutes at 1:30pm check-in. The calendar was packed with things today. I think they squeezed a 5-day itinerary into the 3 days. Entertainment was top notch, with main shows being a comedian, comedian/musician and the fantastic CB Singers and Dancers. There were 3 Showtimes each night, so plenty of opportunities to fit it into your schedule. We had our granddaughter along with us. This cruise was very different, as it had about 3 times the number of kids, compared to a typical Princess cruise. She enjoyed all the events she attended. The "seasonal" employees were also top-notch. They called her by name, whether it was at the Pelican Club or around the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We had some rocky weather, which of course was not Princess's fault, but we still made it to Princess Cays. Embarkation and debarkation was literally walk on and walk off. Staff was consistently great and service impeccable. It seems ... Read More
We had some rocky weather, which of course was not Princess's fault, but we still made it to Princess Cays. Embarkation and debarkation was literally walk on and walk off. Staff was consistently great and service impeccable. It seems Princess has scaled back a bit some of the "luxury" features, and perhaps the food is not as high-end as it used to be, but it is a well-run line with well-trained staff. The captain and executive staff came to our Meet & Greet, which was nice. The ship looked great -- very clean well taken care of. The shows were standard (read: bad) amateur-hour shows. We saw Landon Swank for the second time, and the show was pretty much the same as the last time. He puts on a good show. The comedian Troy Thirdgill had the place in stiches. He was very funny and definitely the best, most professional part of the entertainment. Bert Stratton was, well, "Bert WITH AN 'E'"! What can you say? You either love him or you hate him. I thought he was entertaining. He is definitely different. And a real talented piano player and performer. The ship was pretty empty. We heard there they were 1,000 passengers short of being full. That made it real easy to find seats, room in the pool and hot tubs, etc. We also got a nice upgrade on our cabin and a generous onboard credit allowance. All in all, it was a great experience and we will definitely be back sailing with Princess soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My wife searched for bargain cruises while we are wintering in Florida and this cruise to Jamaica was what we chose. You get what you pay for. We've sailed on other Princess ships and this one didn't compare. Here are the Pros ... Read More
My wife searched for bargain cruises while we are wintering in Florida and this cruise to Jamaica was what we chose. You get what you pay for. We've sailed on other Princess ships and this one didn't compare. Here are the Pros and Cons: PROS - Cabin stewart was excellent - Ship was overall clean and in good repair - International Cafe was superb - Overall, the staff was friendly and accommodating - Food in all areas was acceptable - Nice having silverware on tables in buffet area - Sanitation was stressed by staff - Disembarking was very good - expedient - Walking deck for exercise was excellent CONS - Entertainment was sub-par; musical was performed at a high school level - no band - Art on walls throughout ship was low-end - Hardly any flowers throughout - Our server in dining room was overtaxed; Princess has cut back on restaurant staff too much - Embarkation was terrible; took excessively too long to board. - Shore excursion to the Falls was not well thought out Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I was looking for a quick getaway for my family and was thrilled when I saw that the new Regal Princess had a 3 night sailing between the Mediterranean and Caribbean itineraries. I traveled with my husband and two kids ages 7 & 9. We ... Read More
I was looking for a quick getaway for my family and was thrilled when I saw that the new Regal Princess had a 3 night sailing between the Mediterranean and Caribbean itineraries. I traveled with my husband and two kids ages 7 & 9. We have all cruised before many times. This was our 2nd time on Princess, but 1st time out of FLL. Embarkation went fairly quick. Food on the Lido deck was amazing. The different options available were amazing and continued throughout our cruise. When dining at the Horizon you definitely have to walk down all the rows to see what is available first before making a selection. The huge bakery always smelled yummy, but considering the size I didn't find a big enough variety of pastries there. We stayed in cabin A107. I found the cabin a bit small, but then again my last cruise was on the RCCL Oasis. I liked the flat screen on the wall as it didn't take up unnecessary space elsewhere. The balcony wasn't obstructed, but the bridge did block the view to the front. Lots of hanging closet space, but it was open exposing it's contents throughout the ship. Our cabin attendant Henry was wonderful...always knew when we were out to make our room... no fun towel animals for the girls, but always a new chocolate. This particular sailing had a lot of celebrities since it was the first Caribbean voyage out of FLL for Regal Princess and it had just been christened the day before (11/5). The Love Boat cast, Charo, Jeraldine Saunders, Micky Arison and I'm sure more. They were all VERY pleasant when approached throughout the ship and on the island. We were a bit disappointed with not being able to see the Charo show live. The theatre filled up and there wasn't a 2nd performance. We were told to go up to Lido deck to watch on the big screen, but for the first 10 minutes of the show no one bothered to zoom in on Charo so we could barely see her...big screen and all. At some point there was some zooming, but considering how many people were out there to see it, not enough. Many people left the deck frustrated. Better use of all that fabulous technology would have been great. The wedding performed in the Piazza (atrium) was very nice. Love Boat Captain read a blessing. Captain Perrin married them. Hundreds of balloons fell to the ground from above once they were pronounced husband and wife and after the Opera singer. Congratulations to the happy couple! The tender process at Princess Cays wasn't too painful. Our kids stayed in the kids club area most of the time we were there. They enjoyed themselves in the sand, playground and were allowed to enter the small pool if one of the parents was present...there was a lifeguard on duty as well. I would caution parents to take some bug spray for the little ones. All four kids came home with bite marks and we are pretty sure they came from their stay there. We had a 5:30pm dining time which isn't our usual as that is way too early. The first night kitchen service was REALLY slow...most likely because the ship was delayed to leave for some unknown reason. The food and service was wonderful. The 2nd night kitchen service was better, but we also ate at a later time 7:30pm open seating (with the same wait staff)....and the 3rd night we opted for eating on the Lido deck so we wouldn't miss the shows we wanted to see. While we did not make use of the gym, many others did. They seem to offer plenty of machines and a decent sized room for group classes. The ship also had workout stations throughout the walk/running track on deck 18. We didn't get a chance to enjoy the Sanctuary because it was too crowded the few times we went there but the space looked nice. They also had a special area of the Sanctuary that required reservations and an extra charge of $50 per person for half day and $80 per person for the full day. This exclusive section was very nice. It included some open cabanas with flat screen tv's, robes and even sandals to wear. No pool or hot tub from what I recall in this private area...just a shower. There were some closed off sections - not sure if those were massage rooms or saunas/steam rooms as they were not labeled on the outside but we did hear people talking in them. Our kids think cruising = kids club. As much as they like hanging out with parents, kids club is better, and things were no different on this cruise. Pelicans are for ages 3-7, Shockwaves for ages 8-12 and 13-17 in the Remix Lounge. Between the two families traveling together we had 2 in Pelicans and 2 in Shockwaves. Staff is very nice and interacts with children. They do ask that they wash their hands upon entering. Pelicans offer a pager should anything come up. They close for lunch 12-1 and dinner 5-6. They operate until 10pm free of charge with new activities almost every hour. From 10-1am they offer care for just $5 per child per hour. During this time they just hang on the couches and floor and watch movies. They do combine the Pelicans and Shockwaves. On this particular cruise there were only about 100 children...not sure how their numbers will be during the summer on longer cruises and if it will be feasible to combine after 10pm. Both rooms have a lot of books on animals and science which many of the kids enjoy reading. They do ask that you bring a photo id to check out kids, but I was never asked for one. I think they do this should their system not be available at pickup time to swipe the card... Kids camp activities were only provided on the island while at Princess Cays. I read about a kids pool, but never did find it to report about it. The fountains on Lido deck were great, but I guess not meant for kids to play in while on since I only saw them on at night with the lights on and the entrances blocked. Disembarkation was just as smooth. Luggage tags were provided along with the time. Luggage had to be placed outside by 10pm... I have to say, I've never seen luggage disappear from hallways as quickly as I did on this ship. We found out that our luggage was out and ready one hour before expected so we just walked off the ship and started our journey home. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Just returned from the 3 day sampler cruise on the Regal Princess, the newest ship on Princess Cruise Lines. It was their first voyage from a U.S. port. Boarding process was quick, easy and flawless. We had a mini-suit. Baggage was ... Read More
Just returned from the 3 day sampler cruise on the Regal Princess, the newest ship on Princess Cruise Lines. It was their first voyage from a U.S. port. Boarding process was quick, easy and flawless. We had a mini-suit. Baggage was delivered to our door swiftly and the room was available immediately. The ship was in immaculate condition. The staff was helpful and courteous at all times. The ship sailed a few hours late. The only stop was Princess Cay (a small section on the island of Eluthera). The sailing was smooth as most big ships are. The Ship has lots of places to eat, drink or just sit and people watch. There was music everywhere and they crammed a significant number of events, attractions and shows into such a short cruise. No one could possibly say they were bored. There was an interesting mixture of the upscale with the cool. A piano player singing standards at the Wheelhouse bar, a jazz violinist in the Piazza, a steel drum/calypso band on the lido deck near the pool were all nicely spread around to give you just enough of everything. The shows, Fiera and Spectacular were just that: Spectacular! Kudos to the troupe and their directors. The Princess Theater, where these shows took place is the largest at-sea indoor theater I have ever seen. It is a beautiful facility. They also use it for late night movies. Speaking of movies they ran concerts and movies on the giant movie screen on the Lido deck but the real treat was the night they ran a first run movie. The deck chairs were covered with a "Movies Under the Stars" cover. They served popcorn and hot chocolate and they had warm blankets for those who felt the chill of the night air. Nice, very nice. The food was excellent with a huge variety in the Horizon Court and nice specialities in several of the other free eateries. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants because it was such a short cruise. Our regular dining was in the Concerto dining room and the food there was very good, with a nice selection that changed each night. On the menu they kept several items the same each night so that a fickle eater could fall back on whatever he or she had the night before. Now for some disappointments - The elevators are puzzling. In some of the banks there are elevators whose up and down call buttons are not linked to the others in the bank so, at times you would be facing one way and an elevator behind you would suddenly be there. The Vista lounge, where the nightly comedian entertained is a smallish room with non-functional seating. Barrel shaped chairs took up too much space and were more a nuisance than an asset. Because it is first come first seated late comers crammed in, standing in the aisles and doorway and blocking the view of those seated already. I would suggest they have staff on the doors and close the room off once capacity is reached. One last negative. There were several rooms closed for private parties during this cruise. I hope they don't make it a habit of cordoning off areas that are for public use. We were having drinks in a lounge and were told that at six a private party had reserved the area. Not nice. Back to the positives. The stars of the "Love Boat" TV show are the godparents of the ship and they were on hand for the cruise. This was a nice touch for the older crowd who remember the show and its stars. The Piazza is a phenomenal space, allowing for performers to do their thing in a central location while people on three decks can look down and see the show. The same space was used for dancing to Beatles tunes played by a four piece Beatles look alike band, a hot rhythm and soul show by a little combo called Evolutions and on one evening, a violin quartet playing classical music and an opera singer one afternoon. A great use of space. Disembarkation was organized and uneventful. All in all we had a great time and would recommend this ship on an expanded itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
After reading so many mixed reviews on here I headed on to the ship with some trepidation, but it was a good experience. This is my second Princess cruise so I already knew enough to know not to expect the level of service that you'd ... Read More
After reading so many mixed reviews on here I headed on to the ship with some trepidation, but it was a good experience. This is my second Princess cruise so I already knew enough to know not to expect the level of service that you'd receive on Disney, Celebrity or the higher end lines. Even still we had a fabulous cabin steward, John, who was incredibly friendly and a great waiter in the Palm dining room, Michael from the Philippines, who was incredibly helpful, funny and great at anticipating our needs. The other areas of the ship delivered the reasonable service level I expect from a mid-price line like Princess. As many reviews state, the ship has signs of her age here and there but nothing egregious that I saw. There always seemed to be small puddles of water on the upper decks, sometimes large puddles after it rained that made it hard to navigate without getting your shoes wet. We also found the layout of the ship very counter-intuitive and the signage significantly lacking, even on Princess Cays which tells me it's probably a company-wide thing. But if you keep your handy little ship map with you and look for deck signs with listings of what is on each deck, you'll be fine. The Princess Patter is a nice thing to have but if you have a mobile device (tablet/phone) you can hop on to the ship's wifi for free and use it to navigate to caribbean.princess.com and you'll have the ship information with event listings, venue hours, shipboard account info, etc at your fingertips and you don't have to pay for internet to use it. Overall the food is good but not excellent. The food was pretty hit-or-miss on the buffet lines but consistently good in the dining rooms. We ate all but 2 or 3 of our meals in the dining rooms and were very satisfied. There was only one dinner where we struck out and that could have been our choice of entrees. The baked Alaska was great, much better than I remember having on any other line which is a highlight for any cruise I take. I would agree with the other reviews that the nightly entertainment isn't stellar but we only caught the ventriloquist. He wasn't bad just don't go expecting Jeff Dunham. The musical acts throughout the ship are a mixed bag, the DJs and steel drum players were alright, but the pianist/singer in the Crooner's lounge in the evenings is great and every night we went by there it was standing room only and everyone was singing along like in a piano bar. The guitarist, Toby Reiley (?) was fantastic, we loved listening to him while we played cards. We didn't do any of the ship activities except the wine tasting the last day at sea which we got for a bargain deal of $9.50, instead of paying the full price $25 at the beginning of the cruise like our dining room neighbors. We booked this cruise within 2 weeks of sailing, got a great deal and so were very happy with what we got for what we paid. Since we live in Ft. Lauderdale this was cheaper than a staycation and a great getaway. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My husband and I just returned from a 5-night cruise to the Bahamas and Grand Turk on the Ruby Princess. We are in our mid-sixties, and both retired. This was our 6th cruise, 3rd with Princess. The other 3 were with Celebrity. Mostly we ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a 5-night cruise to the Bahamas and Grand Turk on the Ruby Princess. We are in our mid-sixties, and both retired. This was our 6th cruise, 3rd with Princess. The other 3 were with Celebrity. Mostly we take longer cruises, and 5 nights was definitely too short. But last summer we got an offer we couldn't refuse, a balcony stateroom for the cost of an oceanview, so we grabbed it. And thank heavens we did--the winter here in Northeastern Ohio has been brutal and endless, so we needed a break. Pre-cruise: We flew to FLL from CLE Sunday and stayed at the Sleep Inn in Dania Beach. We have stayed there before, and find it a very clean and comfortable hotel in a good location. They offer free shuttle to and from the airport, and shuttle to the port for $5.00 per person. There is a Mexican restaurant across the street which offers a 15% discount to hotel guests. If you don't care for Mexican, there are also an Italtan and a Japanese restaurants. There's a Walgreens across the parking lot, where we stopped Monday morning to stock up on Coke Zero and buy me some socks. The hotel also includes free continental breakfast. Embarkation: We caught the 11:30 shuttle to the port,. By the time we checked our luggage, filled out our health forms, and got our sea passes, they were letting people board. My husband uses a cane, and the staff was extremely helpful, allowing us to bypass the long line and use the Elite/Suite passengers check in. After posing for the Welcome Aboard photo, we were in our cabin by 12:30. Cabin: We had a balcony cabin on Deck 11, Baja, midship starboard side. It was a very nice size for 2 people, although there was a drop-down bed in the ceiling which might make it crowded. The sitting area was smaller than a similar cabin on Celebrity, and there was much less drawer space, but it was adequate for a short cruise. And there is a HUGE walk-in closet, with a set of shelves. But the bathroom is the smallest I've ever seen. The stalls in the ladies' restrooms have more floor space. And there were only 3 tiny shelves for toiletries and drinking glasses. The shower had barely room to turn around. I don't know how a larger person would manage. The balcony was very nice, with 2 canvas chairs and a small table to hold your drinks and camera. Food: We ate breakfast in the Horizon Court buttet every morning. There was a good selection of various types of food, mostly geared to US or British passengers, but there were some Hispanic and Asian dishes. I didn't find out until after breakfast the last day that they make yummy waffles out at the pizza station. I really like that the flatware and napkins are already set at the tables. They also come around serving coffee and orange juice, but you can get tomato juice and other types for free, and they'll also bring water. Service was hit-or-miss the first 2 mornings, but improved as the cruise went on. For lunch, we ate in the DaVinci dining room once, where I found the selection disappointing and uninspiring. We ate at the Mast Grill once, and the burgers were excellent, and at the Pizza station once. Princess undoubtedly has the best pizza at sea. The other 3 days, we ate in the buffet. Again there was a good variety and the beverage service was much appreciated. We chose anytime dining so we could eat either at the Michaelangelo or DaVinci dining room. We enjoy meeting other people and sharing experiences. We went to the Michaelangelo (deck 5) if we wanted to eat early. If we went to the early show, we would just stay on Deck 6 and go across to the DaVinci, which didn't open for anytime dining until 7:30. After hearing everyone complain about needing pagers, we only had one on the third night. Then we went out to the piazza and listened to the musicians for about 10-15 minutes, a reasonable time to wait. I think the fact that we were willing to sit with others made it easier for us to get seated promptly. Food ranged from good to excellent, but I had nothing to really make me go WOW until the last night. Then I had the chilled Granny Smith apple soup, which was wonderful. The really fun part was that they served it in a pina colada glass with a straw and an apple slice on the edge. Because it was a short, port-intensive cruise, we didn't do much onboard. We went to the production shows, "Colors of the World" and "Broadway Ballroom." Both were fun, high-energy, well-performed and well-produced shows. We skipped the magician and comedian, and missed the Welcome Aboard show due to dinner running long. We saw only a few of the casual entertainers, and found them underwhelming. Unusual for us, we never made it to the fitness center, let alone the spa. We only encountered one serious glitch, which was eventually resolved. We signed up for EZcheck, where, for a fee, they will check you in with the airline and print your boarding passes. They also check your bags through from your stateroom to your final destination. The problem was, they delivered my husband's boarding pass and luggage tag on Thursday evening, but I didn't get mine. After 4 trips to guest relations, where we were repeatedly told not to worry, everything will be fine, I finally got mine at 3:30 Friday afternoon. They just couldn't seem to understand why we were worried. Well, maybe they are used to the process, but we aren't. Plus, our flight down was oversold, and people who checked in last, or not at all, got put on standby. We would have been much less concerned IF they had held his until mine was also available. Since our flight was at 5 pm Saturday and United doesn't let passengers check in prior to 24 hours in advance, we really didn't expect anything until dinnertime Friday. I'm not going to comment much about the layout of the ship except to say I found the Lido deck confusing. We normally used the midshop elevators, which come out between the 2 swimming pools, and I could never keep it stratight which way to the buffet, grill, pizza, etc. Signage was less than helpful--arrows pointing up and down rather than left and right. I'm sure if the cruise had been longer, I would eventually have gotten myself oriented. The staff was exceptional--everyone was polite, cheerful, helpful (except for the woman handling EZcheck). Passengers: Age-wise, this was the widest range of passengers since our first cruise to Alaska. There were families with toddlers and school children on spring break, a large crowd of 20-30-somethings, and adults of all ages. (Note, we didn't encounter much drunkeness or other excessive behavior, but then again, we avoided the pool and didn't stay up past 11. Others may have a different perspective.) We were at the older end of the spectrum, although definitely not the oldest people on board. From over 3300 passengers, 2/3 were Americans, 450 were Canadians, 50 were Chinese, and the rest were a mix of British, German, and 16 other countries. Disembarkation: Since we had a late flight, we booked a shore excursion following disembarkation. Everyone with excursions met in the casino. After about half an hour wait, our group was called. Having just 2 carry-ons and one of us walking with a cane, we got through the handicapped line and had no problems. Then we boarded our bus and were off on our tour. Ports/Excursions: We prefer to book through the ship and choose easy excursions due to my husband's mobiiity issues. We like to see the island highlights and get a taste of the history and culture. In Nassau, Grand Bahama Island, we took the "Forts, Ardastra Gardens, and Scenic City Drive." This took us to Fort Charlotte for a photo stop, and to the Ardastra Gardens, which is part zoo and part nature preserve. Seeing the flamingos march in formation was a sight not to be missed. A fascinating tour. Since there was a long walk from the drop-off point to the ship, we decided to stay in town and browse through the shops. There was the usual mix of cheap souvenirs and high end jewelry stores. Then we caught the shuttle bus back to the ship and headed for pizza. At Princess Cays, on the island of Eleuthera, we took the "Rock Sound, Tarpon (sic) Bay, Scenic Drive, and Lunch" tour. We stopped at an elementary school, where the 5th graders sang the national anthem and shared information about their country, The Bahamas. Other stops included a local church with shopping across the street; Ocean Hole, a "bottomless" pool which is somehow connected to the ocean; the town of Tarpum Bay to see the government offices; and lunch at a local bar/restaurant. We were served conch fritters, mac & cheese Bahaman style, honey barbeque wings, and pineapple muffins. There was also a demonstration of how to make conch salad and a Junkanoo performance with audience participation. The tour was very informative. Outside the fence to the Princess Cays area, there is a local craft fair, and more shopping just inside the area. Not being beach people, DH headed for the shade while I browsed the shops. Princess Cays is a tender port, and the seas were rather choppy, which made for an uncomfortable ride. Also, the tender lurched just as DH was getting ready to step back onto the ship, which wrenched his back. Nothing to spoil the trip--just a warning to others. Grand Turk: Here we took the "Scenic Drive, Lighthouses, and National Museum." We drove past a replica of John Glenn's space capsule, which made splashdown offshore. We visited the National Musuem, which has artifacts from the Molasses Reef wreck, which may be Columbus's ship, The Pinta. We visited a couple churches and the historic lighthouse, which is located in a donkey sanctuary. The final stop was at a former salt house, now a museum and gift shop. If you're looking for unusual and authentic souvenirs, this is the place to go. I think this was my favorite tour. Local carft are available in Cockburn Town of at the various tour stops. There is a large tourist shopping area at the port, again with high end gift and jewelry shops, along with the largest Margaritaville in the western hemisphere. Ft. Lauderdale: We chose the "Intracoastal Waterway by Boat and Las Olas Boulevard with FLL transfer." The intracoastal waterway tour was on a riverboat and was very enjoyable. Then we were taken to Las Olas Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale's answer to Rodeo Drive, for time to shop or eat. We had lunch. Back on the bus for a ride along the waterfront, seeing all the spring breakers. Passengers going to FLL got dropped off first, then those who were returning to the ship, then those flying from Miami. It was a very enjoyable tour. In retrospect, I wish we had chosen to make this cruise part of a B2B. We needed more sea days to appreciated this beautiful ship, and a longer respite from the endless winter we're experiencing in NE Ohio. I guess this just gives us an excuse to book another cruise on the Ruby Princess.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My boyfriend and I choose to take our first cruise this March, after researching all the possible cruise lines we choose Princess. Nothing but good things too say about this trip. The food was excellent, between the constant buffet, the ... Read More
My boyfriend and I choose to take our first cruise this March, after researching all the possible cruise lines we choose Princess. Nothing but good things too say about this trip. The food was excellent, between the constant buffet, the main dining room and the little grills poolside. Our room which was upgraded from a balcony room to a mini suite a week before we embarked and I have to say we we're very pleased! Our "bellboys" name was Micheal, he served us hand and foot, anything and everything we needed at all hours of the day/night, we was great! Evenings when we dined in the Da Vinci dining room we had a waiter name Mersal and his assistant Victoria, always conversed and made dinner for us a great time every night. The casino was a great time and a great place to meet new people, which we did and again I have to say the bartenders Roy and Merlin were always happy to serve my boyfriend and I. Grand Turk was BEAUTIFUL and a great place to shop. We did the Snorkeling and Sting Ray Excursion while we were there, it was wonderful the tour guides made you feel safe in the ocean and brought lots of smiles and laughs to our faces while on this excursion. The shopping at Grand turk was good, a little expensive but HEY your a tourist that's what happens right? We also visited Princess Cays on this trip, now any future cruisers on this agenda, do all your shopping at Grand Turk because Princess Cays is a day designed for you to just relax on the beach, which is exactly what we did. Overall an excellent vacation, excellent cruiseline, we will be back for another getaway soon! Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This is our 2nd cruise on Princess, and it did not disappoint. After parking our vehicle in Park and Go (near the dock (very convenient due to lots of road construction in Fort Lauderdale) and reasonably priced, we arrived at the ship ... Read More
This is our 2nd cruise on Princess, and it did not disappoint. After parking our vehicle in Park and Go (near the dock (very convenient due to lots of road construction in Fort Lauderdale) and reasonably priced, we arrived at the ship close to 1pm, and literally walked on (I had completed all required paperwork in advance). Since Princess always has their rooms ready early, we brought our carry-on bags to Aloha - 327 (room ok, but did not realize there were overhead bunks) and then headed to DaVinci for a quick lunch, which was very good (beef so tender you could cut it with your fork). After checking out some areas of the ship, it was time for muster drill, which took about 1/2 hours time. Anytime dining works for us; Michelangelo at 6:30 pm was not crowded. We had a table of 12 and were served promptly. All the meals in the dining rooms were very good - no complaints whatsoever. Production show "Once Upon a Dream" was creative and very enjoyable. Day 2: Breakfast in Horizon Court (buffet) - good selection of fruit, eggs, omlets, meats, even fruit smoothies, etc. Water and coffee served at your table. 11:30 am - Princess Cays (Princess private island) - tendered to the island where we found a beach chair and headed into the beautiful Caribbean water which was cool and refreshing. Tough getting out of water due to sinking in the sand, but otherwise beautiful. Did not partake of the barbecue and headed back to the ship about 2pm for some pizza on Deck 15-midship, which is pretty good; Movies under the Stars going all day and well into the night. Dinner, comedian Rollin Jay Moore (very good),casino, karaoke. Day 3: Breakfast Horizon Court. Departed ship at 11:30 am, walking-off in Grand Turk, where a golf cart drove us the length of the pier to beach and shopping. Lots of beach chairs available (some in the some, some in the shade of palm trees). Water chilly, but refreshing once you got in. Again, tough getting out due to undertow. Shops are pricey, but nice to visit. Margaretville was hopping - pool and bars were full with everyone having a great time. Dinner (Horizon Court), magician Landon Swank (from America's Got Talent), Latin Fiesta Deck Party. Day 4: At Sea day. Lots to do, or not - your choice. Wheelhouse Bar offers a British lunch - fish and chips, meat pie, etc.; always good. Hunger Games on big screen, Dinner: DaVinci - Surf and Turf (wonderful). Colors of the World Production show, Late Night Comedy (Rollin Jay Moore) in Club Fusion - Adults only - laughed til I cried! Icon (band) opened for Rollin Jay Moore and were very entertaining. Staff was great throughout. Disembarkation a bit of a nuisance - should always walk-off if possible. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Took this short cruise on a lark and a "special" that applied the price to a future cruise. The ship offered all the amenities you would expect and the staff was very efficient and assistive. Too short a trip to make any real ... Read More
Took this short cruise on a lark and a "special" that applied the price to a future cruise. The ship offered all the amenities you would expect and the staff was very efficient and assistive. Too short a trip to make any real judgments but a few things really stood out. Check-in was a breeze and we able to immediately go to our cabin. Food was okay but a bit below the standard for Princess. Disappointing that with all the years Princess has had Princess Cays, you still have to tender. You would think by now they would have a pier. Tendering with that many people is a hassle. We stayed on board and enjoy free run of the ship. Rather sparse offerings at the Princess Elite lounge. Not the variety we have come to expect at this venue. DEFINITELY loved the mixed performances times. 7pm, 8:30pm and 10:15pm so you could choose when to go. The talent was good too.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
First let me disclose that I am a part-time travel agent, and limit myself to booking strictly for family and friends as I would never take on the responsibility of booking cabins for strangers. Too many liabilities and complainers! ... Read More
First let me disclose that I am a part-time travel agent, and limit myself to booking strictly for family and friends as I would never take on the responsibility of booking cabins for strangers. Too many liabilities and complainers! Besides I have a full time job! That said, I have been in the resort/travel industry for over 30 years and lived on 5 continents, 12 countries and many islands in-between. I am fairly new to cruising, having taken my first cruise on RC over Christmas out of the port of Singapore in December 2008, and have been hooked on cruising, especially over Christmas, ever since. Yes, I know Christmas cruises are more expensive and full of kids, and as someone who has no kids you would think I would avoid them, as opposed to paying MORE for them. But who can resist the beautifully decorated ships, real snow falling in the Piazza and the entrances that Santa makes. (More on that in my review). And this cruise was a DEAL, and I did not even use my TA discount. Just booked directly with Princess in late November. I now cruise with my DM (a young 82) since we lost my Dad a few years ago. She prefers not to spend the holidays at home and who can blame her after sharing 63 years of her life with my DD. We are fortunate that we live in Vero Beach and it’s an easy drive to Port Everglades. I did some cruise ship inspections in November during the cruise convention and we learned that Port Canaveral is set to become the largest cruise port on the East Coast within 5 years. I hope Princess will place some ships there! EMBARKATION DAY (Or as I call it Woo-Hoo Day).: On Sunday, Dec. 22nd with the dog off to the sitter we left Vero for the no traffic Sunday drive down I-95. We arrived at PE around 11:00 am and I dropped DM off at Pier 4 with our luggage. I had packed a cooler of Diet Cokes (for me) and Caffeine Free DC’s (for DM) and water. I also had 2 allowed bottles of champagne and Christmas decorations for our cabin and door. (You may have seen our door on Dolphin deck, port side, mid-ship near the elevators, as very few doors were decorated and our was done top to bottom! I forgot to take a pic though. I parked on-site and in the few minutes it took me to park and come down the elevator my DM was waiting right there for me. There was no line, zippo, nada and we proceeded straight through to the waiting area. I stopped at the table to “register” my bubbles, but since it was in my roll along carry on, I am not sure how they would ever have known if I chose to not claim it??? We were given a card for group 6 and we waited for approximately 45 minutes to be called. I would point out that it was difficult to understand the person calling the groups, whether it was a faulty system or a bad microphone, and reminded me of Charlie Brown’s teacher! Wah-wa-waa-wah! If they would just hold up fingers on their hands it would have been a better system. Regardless we were soon through the doors and the line slowed as everyone waited to have their boarding photos. Having cruised with Commodore Romano previously, I actually saw him stick his head in a door in this area and have a quick look around and then duck back out. We bypassed those who wanted their photos taken and were soon stepping onboard. For those of you CC members who say their cruise starts when they hear the…. take your pick…… Plink, Blonk, etc. of having their cruise card entered, you will be disappointed as they are all done with hand scanners now and there goes that noise. Who would think it’s the little things you miss??? We proceeded directly to Dolphin 416 and were pleased to find it right by the elevator. For those of you who ask about upgrades near the elevator, I can say that we are always mid-ship near the elevator which is extremely convenient, but never the first door. It was no problem whatsoever and I would book this cabin again with no hesitation. Our cabin steward was Michael, and he was surely the best, non obtrusive, accommodating cabin attendant I have ever had. Every day we would leave for a quick breakfast, and EVERY day our cabin was made up when we got back. We never had to ask for ice. He was superb! This was our first time in a Mini-Suite. This was the THIRD time I have booked a cabin with two single beds, only to find it made into one bed. (This happened in my brother’s cabin on the Island for a Christmas Panama cruise, but my brother left it as he was with his then 7 yr. old son and happened to me again on RC in Nov.) I explained to Michael that we had requested 2 beds and he showed me the post it note that said “D416- Q”, but I assured him that as the TA who booked it, I knew I had requested 2 beds. He said he would change it later which he did. The pillows and beds were as comfortable as could be! No need for an egg crate. No pillow substitutions necessary. I make it a habit to tip extra at the beginning of a cruise, and at the end, and I did. (Especially for crew working over a holiday). We requested robes and slippers and he said that it would probably be later or even the next morning, but we had big fluffy robes in 20 minutes. I am not sure if our refrigerator was meant to have a mini-bar set up or not??? I know I requested for it to be emptied on the Island and the (very lazy) steward told up to just empty it ourselves and set everything around the tv. So it being empty worked perfectly as our luggage arrived very quickly and I set about filling the frig with coke and water and putting our Christmas decorations up including lights and a small tree. Michael suggested that we may want to take the stockings on our door in at night or they might disappear as the decorations that they had put on all of the mail-boxes were already half gone. Sure enough, I looked down the hall and most of the cabins in our area had been stripped of the little decorations that had been there just 45 minutes before. Seriously cruisers??? Anyway, I never put anything on our doors I am not willing to lose (most from the dollar store) and all of our decorations remained in-tact during the cruise, except for the candy canes we kept re-filling for people to take and I know Michael enjoyed a few of those!!! I had a letter, poem and photo for the Commodore (with a bridge tour request for DM) and when I asked Michael the best way to get it to him, he said he would take care of it. Within the hour he informed me that it had been delivered. With the cabin decorated, the luggage un-packed and our first time in a balcony cabin, I enjoyed the sparkling wine Michael brought to us on the uncovered balcony, which I did not mind at all. (I have not had a covered balcony, but I feel like it would be like looking out of a box with all sides covered.) DM does not drink so I had her glass as well. I chilled a bottle of my Veuve Clicqout for sail away. We passed on lunch in the MDR as I just can’t eat a FULL meal for lunch and then again for dinner. We went to the Horizon Court which was busy and shared a table. From that point on we ate at the Café Caribe, which I think is less busy as most “starving passengers” stop at the first line available! HINT to future cruisers, keep heading aft to Café Caribe and you’ll find tables both inside and out, and shorter lines. We then went for a tour of the ship, which I was familiar with from my cruise on the Crown Princess. The Christmas decorations were beautiful! So far, so good! The muster drill was uneventful and we were in the Explorer’s lounge. I asked if my DM could take a seat outside but the crew said that was reserved for handicapped. I found her one of the last seats left and I stood a bit away. It always amazes me travelling with her at the number of young people who never offer an “old lady” (more on that later) a seat. We went back to our cabin and I opened my bubbles and we watched all of the other ships sail away and finally it was our turn at “last”. We did sail away from our balcony, but now that I know about the sail away cam I will surely be one of those holding a poster from somewhere on the ship next time, if we do not have a balcony! We did see the Princess flag get raised and as soon as we passed those condos it was gone. What fun that must be for those who live in those buildings and participate in that ritual! We made our sail away calls to family and doglet sitter and then sailed away from land-lubber worries! I for one was looking forward to no phones, no internet, and I hope the majority of the cruisers I saw with their noses stuck in iPads were reading a good book, but to each his own. The seas were some of the calmest I have ever experienced. As a long time sailor, and having done that trip on my own sailboat, I knew this was going to be one of the smoothest cruises ever. DM does suffer from vertigo from time to time, and I could tell from the forecast that this would not be a concern on this voyage and we would not need to unpack the Sea Bands, Dramamine, etc. We dressed nicely for dinner. I am one of “those” who figure if I am on a cruise, I am going to dress the part. We do anytime dining in the MDR and enjoy sharing a table each night. (We do not want to HAVE to be ready at a certain time to eat). As we waited a very short time, Commodore Romano approached with two young boys and told the hostess that the boys were with him. I put together that these were his sons and he must have popped his head in the door earlier looking for his family to come through the VIP line. This was confirmed the next night when he was again at the Da Vinci entrance with his wife and sons and introduced us all. Our first night sharing a table in Da Vinci’s was quite the experience. Our table was a family of 4 (2 boys approx. 9 & 11) and both Mother-in-laws. This was the first cruise for the family (not the Mothers) and it turns out they are Vegans. Now I WISH I could do that, but that is never going to happen in this life-time, and I don’t think a cruise and Vegan make a good pairing, especially if you’ve made no prior arrangements and it’s your FIRST cruise. These people had the chefs out of the kitchen 4 different times. Could they prepare this without this? Could they make that? They did finally ask to see the menu for the next night so hopefully, they were more prepared. In the mean time, the two Mothers ate meat, desserts, etc. lol. The poor wait-staff was already saddled with a party of four making special requests (Honeydew sorbet), and the one lady was demanding dessert before any of them had even been served their “meal” and while we were still eating out entre. Needless to say, I was happy we were never re-seated with them again, and I don’t think I ever saw that family the rest of the cruise. For those of you who are looking for food reviews, please find another reviewer. I do not take pictures of food on my plate, although we did share a table the 2nd night with a couple and she asked if she could take pictures of everything I got! I am not a “foodie”. I did eat at a specialty restaurant on the Crown once and for some it’s worth it, for me it’s just not. I did buy a bottle of Danzante Pinot Grigio that I have had before, to drink with dinner each night in Da Vinci’s. I will summarize and say that I was very happy with the food on this cruise whether it was the Caribe, the IC, Da Vinci’s, the pizza, etc. I heard my share of complaints about the food though…..”not up to Princess standards”, etc., but I do not share that view. My service was great, my food was great. And you will NEVER hear me complain about dessert. I also heard my share of complaints on this cruise about the “short” cruises and how they are “not Princess’s niche”. I guess I am just not a complainer and am just happy to be lucky enough to cruise! So, back to that…… As much as I would have liked to see the Colors of the World, we missed the early show due to dinner and sacked out early and missed the later show. I have heard good things about it. I did stop in the Piano Bar where I met a server, Franky from Bali. Having lived in Bali for a few years, I always enjoy meeting Indonesians aboard and usually befriend one just because they are amazed that I can speak some Bahasa Indonesian to them and Franky & I had both lived in Nusa Dua, so we hit it off and I did make a point of seeing him each night. The Piano Bar is usually my place to hang, but I did not find Craig Andrews very interactive with the crowd. I should probably stop here and explain that we chose this cruise for R&R. We were not interested in a port intensive cruise. We just wanted to be on a beautifully decorated ship, have someone else do all the work, and have no agenda. This cruise ticked all the boxes and I was not disappointed one bit. Day 1 At Sea: We awoke with no complaints and went to a leisurely breakfast at the Café Caribe. After brekkie we went to the Onboard Outlet Sale in the Michelangelo Dining Room where I found some great tank tops that Old Navy stopped making so I was a happy camper. There was a “Holland Line” lady in a hurry to check out and complained that all she had done with Princess so far was wait in lines. Again, seriously? You booked a sold out cruise over a holiday and you forgot to pack your patience??? We did mark the patters every day, (Creativity @ Sea, Turkey Carving, etc.) but if we didn’t make it to something, we didn’t worry. We were not interested in the trivia contests or the Pop Star or The Treasure Hunt or the line dancing, or the Spa, etc. Just R&R on the high seas and we napped in our mini-suite every day! After the sale, it was impossible to find two loungers together at the pool, but this was partly our fault as I wanted the sun and DM wanted the shade. I bumped into the Commodore and he told me that he had received my letter, poem and photo, and I introduced DM. At that point I settled her into the shade and went off to the adult only aft pool where after a short wait I was able to score a lounger overlooking the stern on the pool level. Now a bit about chair hogs. As someone who often travels single/solo, it is difficult to sometimes reserve your rights (as you dash off for a slice of pizza or to the loo for example) and not be accused of chair hogging. The whole 2+ hours I was in that lounger, there was a chair next to me with a towel and one sneaker on it. No one ever used that lounger. I should have gone back and rescued DM from the termites, I mean kids, but I did not want to be accused of chair hogging or lose my prime spot. There was a gentleman behind me who was asked by an ”ahem” lady if the chairs surrounding him were being used and he said yes. She then told him in no uncertain terms that you were not allowed to save chairs. He told her that he could assure her they were just over there in the pool. She scored a chair near-by and within 10 minutes, 2 more became available and she plopped down 2 of her party in those chairs. Literally 2 mins. later her DH asked what time it was and she said 1. He said, “what I thought it was like 11:00. Let’s go eat lunch at the buffet.” So they left all of their stuff and took off for lunch. I guess the rules don’t apply when you look in the mirror!!! Lol This night was the “Dress To Impress” night and the champagne waterfall. We did a few portraits until we got tired of being asked to pose in awkward poses (lol) and we found a front row seat under the staircase and watched the glasses being set up. I had never seen it done in red before and lest you think it was for Christmas, the very talented gal setting up the glasses explained it is because of the “Ruby” Princess. It is one of the cruising rituals I love! We engaged the couple sitting next to us. She had a “Christmas Cape” on, which she explained was really a Christmas Tree skirt. She said she has a whole wardrobe of them that she buys on sale after Christmas. Very clever! We waited until the end to get our waterfall pictures taken. We then went to DaVinci’s and the Commodore introduced us to his beautiful wife and 2 handsome sons. We sat with a couple. This was the gal who took pictures of ALL of the food plates. We passed on the Comedy show and DM called it a night. I wandered up to Sky Walkers but there were not many people there. Came back to Crooner’s and had a specialty martini. A “Poinsettia”, had a chat with Franky and then off to bed. Day 2 Princess Cays: Having been to Princess Cays previously, I could have bypassed it altogether and stayed aboard enjoying the empty ship. Being from Florida I knew I was not going in the water! As DM had never been, we decided to watch the movie (The Princess Bride) and enjoy the pool to ourselves and get some sun. At one point DM decided to use the hot tub. The previous days, it was just too crowded. As she entered the hot tub, it was occupied by another woman and 2 small girls. One of the girls looked up and said “Oh no, not another OLD LADY!”. I won’t go into all of their bratty behavior but the other woman gave up and left. Now the parents of these 2 brats were in a lounger near the hot tub and never once minded them. It’s a good thing I was up on deck watching the big screen or these “non” parents would have gotten a piece of my mind. I am not a public hot tub user but isn’t the rule that kids are not supposed to be in them unaccompanied??? About the same time that the movie ended (noonish), they announced that we no longer needed tender tickets to go ashore. WE caught a tender with no waiting and ventured ashore. We ate a burger which was what you would expect it to be as everything has to be ferried over, and shared a table with 4 young crew members on a rare day off. DM bought a trinket for a friend and we caught a tender back. We easily scored some prime loungers on the upper aft deck at the adult only pool, and I had a Mud Slide for a very reasonable $6.50. Then it started to drizzle so it was back to the mini-suite for a nap. I do love having the sofa to nap on! We returned to our cabin where we found an invitation for our “Navigational Bridge Tour” on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas DM! I had visited the bridge previously on the Ultimate Ships Tour on the Crown which I highly recommend, but thought it would be a bit ambitious for DM. Therefore I was hoping the request to the Commodore would be granted and he did not disappoint. We dressed festively as it was Christmas Eve, but passed on any casual photo opportunities. This night was the crew Christmas caroling and it’s another reason I love cruising at Christmas. We got our Holiday Carols booklet and joined in. When they got to “Let It Snow” and that real snow starts falling from the top of the Piazza, it is magical! We again shared a table with a large group this time and afterwards caught the tail end of the Beatles Medley in the Piazza. DM spent a short time in Gatsby’s which was waaaayyyy too smoky for me and came out $20 ahead on her slots. I had a drink from Franky in Crooners. Our plan was to attend the Ultimate Deck Party. The drizzling rain outside forced the deck party to be held in the Piazza. The change of venue did not seem to dampen anyone’s spirits. For those of you who were on this cruise, I was the one in the blinking red glasses and flashing ring. The fact that I got DM to wear both as well is why I love cruising with her! I think a good time was had by all, even though we mostly just took advantage of our front row seat and people watched! Afterwards it was time for DM to retire. I had a Bailey’s in Crooners, and chatted with Franky who had a Christmas present for me…a crew pin! I now have the old version and the new! CHRISTMAS DAY at SEA: We awoke and exchanged a few small presents we had brought aboard and DM won $10 on her scratch lottery tickets I had put in her stocking. We did some packing and I took down the Christmas decorations, as we were one of the few who put luggage out later that night. We gave wrapped presents to Michael and Franky, some candy we had brought on board. Today was Santa’s arrival! I have to comment that other than the bratty girls in the hot tub, the 750 children on board were all well behaved. And I believe all 750 were lined up to sit on Santa’s lap and get a gift! The line went FOREVER! I love the radio chatter between the Coast Guard and the Bridge when Santa arrives. I thought I was video taping his whole entrance thru the Piazza as “Here Comes Santa Claus” blared, and afterwards realized I had not pushed the button to tape! Well, some things are just meant to be seen in real time! I think Santa had a l-o-n-g night as his sparkly attendants had to help with his bowl full of jelly belly which was sort of sagging. The kids, big & small, did not seem to mind. We watched for a bit and then went off for the pub lunch and some great fish & chips in the Wheelhouse Bar. We caught a bit of magician Ben Seidman in the Piazza and we did some reading on the Promenade deck which is just a peaceful place to relax. I wish they would make it a “quiet zone” as the people strolling tend to shout at each other as they walk by. Our Bridge Tour was scheduled for 3:00 and we were met by a member of the security team and escorted to the Bridge where Commodore Romano greeted us. We had brought gifts of candy to the Bridge as well. We were allowed to take photos and DM even got to sit in one of the pilot chairs. I love the bridge and the crew there takes watches of 4 hours on, 4 hours off with no days off. The watcher stands his visual watch and with all of the electronics onboard, his position is considered the most important. Some things never change in hundreds of years! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/attac...1&d=1388518142 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/attac...1&d=1388518142 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/attac...1&d=1388518142 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/attac...1&d=1388518142 After the Bridge Tour, DM went for a nap and my plan was to have Afternoon Tea. When I turned the corner, the line for tea was longer than the line for anytime dining! Oops. Now I am the one complaining about lines! Lol I think it was due to the fact that the weather was not that great. I passed on the tea and went to the IC and had some goodies! Dinner was shared with a table of 6 others. One couple did the food complaining, the short cruise complaining, etc. Another couple was frustrated as they were doing a B2B and had to change cabins from an interior to an obstructed view. Seriously? Take the upgrade! DM had the turkey and I had the beef and all was tasty and the best part was we did not have to cook it! Dessert (Christmas Pudding for me) was as always, fabulous! My favorite dessert on this cruise was the French vanilla bean crème brulee, and I am an admitted vanillaholic! After dinner we went to see the show Broadway Ballroom, the only time we went to the theatre. It was your typical cruise ship production. My bad, but I almost fell asleep. I was looking forward to seeing “Now You See Me” on the big MUTS screen and after dinner we changed into comfortable, warmer clothes and headed up only to find it raining. So we returned to the cabin to watch it on tv and as much as we had planned to see the Christmas production, Holiday Wishes, with the crew…..once in the cabin to watch the movie…. we were done for the night. DISEMBARKATION DAY: (Sad Day) - Having put our luggage out the night before we were to wait in the Wheelhouse for a Group Orange 7, 9:20 disembarkation time. We had a leisurely brekkie in the MDR and still had an hour to kill. I found a seat in the packed Wheelhouse for DM and then went to drop my Consummate Host card off. I also dropped our Future Cruise Deposit Form in the box. This was literally 15 minutes before we disembarked and within 5 hours we had our e-mail confirmation. I had read some other posts complaining about this, so possibly we benefited from those previous complaints. I can say that each time I cruised by there, I never once saw the consultant. I noticed no one disembarking. I went and collected DM and it was about 20 minutes before our group was to be called. I asked the crew if we could walk off and she asked if we were in a hurry. I said we had a long drive and she smiled and said sure go ahead. We were the only two down the gang plank and into the luggage area. We elected to have a porter help, found our bags and he walked us thru the lane where the wheelchairs were going and we bypassed the whole passport line so we were literally off the ship and outside in 3 minutes. He took our luggage to our floor of the elevator and we were parked only about 6 spaces away. We loaded up and were off to A1A to visit my brother in Lighthouse Point. SUMMARY: This was one of the most relaxing cruises I have ever enjoyed. I wish I had booked the B2B, but prior to the cruise my Miata had to have a fuel pump replaced, and after the cruise my Yorkie fell and needed an x-ray so the mechanic and the Vet cost more than my whole cruise! I’m hoping they offer the “free cruise” again and I would book this same cruise in April for my birthday. Princess is my favorite line so I might be biased. The bottom line for me is the complainers are on a CRUISE! They are not fighting an illness in hospital. They have discretionary money to cruise. Unless the ship breaks down, or the seas are 30 feet, what is there to complain about??? Bon Voyage until next time.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
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