1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Princess Cruises Cruise Reviews

61 Princess Bahamas Cruise Reviews

We booked the first Caribbean (actually it was in the Atlantic) for this new ship -- which was launched in Europe the summer of 2013. It had completed its transatlantic cruise to Ft. Lauderdale and this was the initial 5 day sailing which ... Read More
We booked the first Caribbean (actually it was in the Atlantic) for this new ship -- which was launched in Europe the summer of 2013. It had completed its transatlantic cruise to Ft. Lauderdale and this was the initial 5 day sailing which included a day at Princess Cays, a day at Grand Turk, and two days at sea. The ship is the largest of the Princess fleet. It was beautifully outfitted with all types of venues available. It was fully booked and holds around 3,600 passengers. I felt that the service, in all areas, was good and efficient. We ate in the buffets and the traditional dining room -- and the food was well prepared and the variety good. There were no problems with substitutions (ie: no potatoes, but more veggies, etc). The shows were all well done and appropriate for any age range. Positive Additions: The buffet eating venues (Horizon Court and the adjoining Bistro) provided excellent food selections as well as abundant seating. There was never a problem getting a place to sit and eat. Negative Issues: There was no central staircase bethind the central elevators -- a staircase ran from deck 5 to 6 and 6 to 7, but not beyond that! That necessitated unnecessary central elevator use, or the need to go to either the far aft or far forward stairs! This made for heavy traffic on the central elevators. All other Princess ships have a stairway to all floors behind the central elevators. In the Princess Theater, there are no cup holders -- although bar service is provided. Therefore you either held your beverage, or sat it on the floor! Not the best arrangement to say the least.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
we just got back from our western caribbean cruise on princess. we've mostly cruised on celebrity, but also have gone on holland america, disney, regent, and royal caribbean. we were hesitant to try princess, but friends were going on ... Read More
we just got back from our western caribbean cruise on princess. we've mostly cruised on celebrity, but also have gone on holland america, disney, regent, and royal caribbean. we were hesitant to try princess, but friends were going on this cruise and talked us into it. i'm glad they did. we had a great time! overall, we were pleasantly surprised at how upscale the cruise was. the best thing about it was the staff. every single person working there was over-the-top accommodating. the personal attention was even be better than regent. the dining room food was good and the service was excellent. the maitre d', neville, was extraordinary. we were able to go to the chef's table dinner which was absolutely fantastic ($75 per person); dinner at sabatini's was excellent ($20 per person, free our first night through American Express); dinner at the crown room was also very good ($25 per person). we did not like the buffets. more stations with international variety would have been welcome.after reading on the boards about the coffee, we bought coffee cards. if you like coffee, this is a must. the liquid coffee mixture used in the dining rooms and around the ship is vile. we like good wines and were able to secure many excellent bottles. the sommelier, mihai, was very professional and knowledgeable. we spent a lot of time at vines (the sushi and tapas wine bar). the lounges were really comfortable, most with excellent musicians. the shows were no better or worse than most. the casino is huge and lively. the dealers and pit bosses were friendly. the fitness center was very well equipped, with a variety of classes available. the movies under the stars was a fun concept.our mini-suite was roomy and comfortable, except the mattress was too hard. our steward, edgar, was fine. although the public rooms are rather dated, they were not "worn" or dirty. overall, the ship was very clean. we didn't do any excursions as we've been in all the ports before. we did go into each port, though, and when tenders were used it was very organized. the private island was as nice as any of the other cruise lines. the only bad experience was luggage dropoff and embarkation which took over an hour -- poor signage, crowded conditions, lines that blended into one another and too few clerks. but once we were aboard, and two cocktails later, all was forgiven. getting off the ship and securing our luggage was quick and easy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
This was our second cruise on the Ruby with the 1st being Nov. of last year. We loved our last cruise so when I found out the Ruby was doing a special 3 night cruise in Dec. my husband and I decided to give ourselves an early Christmas ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Ruby with the 1st being Nov. of last year. We loved our last cruise so when I found out the Ruby was doing a special 3 night cruise in Dec. my husband and I decided to give ourselves an early Christmas present. We loved our cabin before so we booked the same cabin. Embarkation was a breeze for us. We drove down the night before and stayed the night at the Hyatt Pier 66 and had a very nice dinner at the restaurant there. The next moring we drove to the pier to park but since my husband has a concealed to carry permit and had a weapon in the car we were told we had to park at the Park N Go over by the airport. That was a great idea as the parking there is only $10 day and you get a discount off that if you are a AAA member. The shuttle picked us up immediately and took us to the pier and when we got of the shuttle was right there. The neet thing about Park N Go is that they have a family of monkeys living right next door and they feed them banannas so we got to see them. Parking at the port is $15 a day. We were on board very quickly. Cabin: The cabins on Caribe (10) deck have the biggest balconys onboard. They are a huge 9' x 9' and the front half is covered. The balconys are tierd so if you don't want to look down on someone or have someone look down on you do't book princess. We don't care. Now you can hear others on their balconys and you can smoke on your balcony. You have no control over that and neither does Princess or any other crusie line. It is just like a hotel balcony in that you have your personal space but it is not completely private. FOOD & SERVICE: The staff onboard to us was wonderful and very courteous and friendly. We are not buffet people so we only did the buffet for lunch the first day. It was crowded and impersonal. We had anytime dining and never had to wait more than 50 or 10 min. to get seated ever for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The food was great we thought. ULTIMATE BALCONY DINNER: I HIGHLY recommend doing this if you are at all romantic. WOW we felt like royalty. The cost is $50 pp. but so worth it. Our personal waiter arranged everyting out on the balcony with a beautiful table set up complete with flowers. First course was canapies, Second course was appatiser and we had steak for the main course and the dessert was do die for WOW along with water, wine and champagne. The photographer took some beautiful pictures of us. Between courses the waiter waits outside your door so you do have complete privacy. Our dinner was the ultimate highlight of our cruise. We had a day at sea so early that moring at 7 am I went to sign us up for the Sanctuary for the afternoon in the adult area. We love that area as it is quiet and relaxing with wait service. Then I went and worked out in the gym. In the moring I shoped and took pictures. PRINCESS CAY DAY: We slept in as we were in no hurry to get to the island. Princess Cay is a pretty island with tons of water sports opportunity with bars, grills and local shopping. IT was a fun day. The tendering was very organized getting to shore and back. CROWN GRILL: our last night of the crusie we had dinner in the Grown Grill. IT was wonderful and so was the food. MISC: Movies under the stars was fun with blankets and popcorn. Loved the internationa cafe with sandwiches and desserts. The Champagyne waterful they do was so much fun and a great photo op. It only lasted a few minutes. We never did so see a show as time and our plans did not allow. We spent a lot of time on our balcony reading and just looking at the water. We love the Ruby Princess and are now looking forward to our next crusie on her. the only negative was that the cabins never really get what I call cool, like you keep it at home so I brought a small fan and extension cord and used that at night. I think the thermastates are just there for looks. In the day time it helps to keep the drapes closed if you are not in your cabin. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We just returned from the 3 night Ruby Princess Cruise to the Bahamas. The weather was not good, but the cruise was great! It was just me (Larry) and my DD, (Lindsay), who was on her winter break from Grad School at FAU. She's in her ... Read More
We just returned from the 3 night Ruby Princess Cruise to the Bahamas. The weather was not good, but the cruise was great! It was just me (Larry) and my DD, (Lindsay), who was on her winter break from Grad School at FAU. She's in her 20s and I'm in the second half of my 50s. This was my 20th cruise and 10th cruise on Princess. This was Lindsay's 5th cruise and 1st on Princess. The weather in Ft. Lauderdale was ominous with big black clouds and periods of hard rain. The embarkation process was quick and easy. We parked the car around 11am. There was no line at all to enter the terminal and we were through security within minutes. I Platinum level and we were seated in a waiting room for Elite and Platinum members. The wait was about 15 minutes and then we were allowed to proceed to registration. Registration took less than 5 minutes and we were on the ship by 11:45am! Princess has always had a great embarkation process. We found the way to our cabin which was an aft/starboard inside cabin on the Aloha deck. Since it was only a 3 day cruise we carried our luggage on with us and we couldn't even fill half the drawers and closet with our clothes! Our cabin steward met us in the room. I asked to have 2 extra pool towels each day and for 2 bathrobes which he placed in the room by the time we got back from lunch. I had been on the Emerald Princess (identical twin of the Ruby) twice before and know the layout of the ship very well; so I gave Lindsay a full tour of the ship. For those of you that have not been on the Ruby, Emerald or Crown Princess, they are very impressive ships. I pointed out my favorite places like the International Cafe, Piazza and the aft adult pool area. I love the fact that the layout of the ship is somewhat confusing as I continue to discover new things every time I sail. We had lunch in the Horizon Court buffet which was excellent. I had a salad that was crispy and fresh, sliced turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. The turkey and mashed potatoes were warm and delicious. I then discovered something new to me on Princess, which is Free Ice Cream!! They now have free soft serve ice cream at the ice cream kiosk next to the Pizza Kiosk. Very yummy! The rain stopped for a while, so we changed into our bathing suits and enjoyed the Aft Pool Jacuzzi for a while. The heavens opened up around 3:30pm and they moved the Sail-away party from the Neptune Pool to Club Fusion. The rains subsided a little when we sailed away, so we enjoyed sail-away on aft pool deck. Prior to dinner we went to the Cafe Caribe for the Seafood extravaganza buffet. As always Princess came through with a sea food spread of delicious shrimp and large lobster claws. We shared a plate and then went to the Monticello Dining room for dinner. I love to meet new people, so we opted to share a table and met some interesting tablemates. The food and service in the dining room was excellent. For dinner I had the porticini (sp) mushroom soup and the prime rib. Princesses' Porticini mushroom soup is one of the best mushroom soups I've ever had. I always order it and as I always I was not disappointed. The prime rib was cooked to perfection, cooked medium rare as I like it. I am an ice cream aficionado and order a different kind of ice cream each night. I had hazelnut ice cream this night and it was very good! I can't remember everything Lindsay had for dinner, but she definitely enjoyed her meal. Our waiter was very friendly and efficient. We had a different waiter each night and all of them were very friendly and efficient. We were in and out of the dining room each night within an hour and had plenty of time to make it to all the evening shows and events. After dinner we went to the Princess lounge for the welcome show. The Princess singers and dancers were one of the best dance troupes I've seen on Princess. They also had a one of the funniest comedians I've ever seen. His name is Troy Thirdgill and I highly recommend him if he performs on your cruise. We then enjoyed the Karaoke event in club fusion where there were both excellent singers and not so excellent singers. We ended the night by going out on deck to see what movie they were showing on MUTTS. It was raining fairly hard, but there were some die hard people watching and enjoying the movie under the sheltered part of the deck. The movie was The Time Travelers Wife. It was off to bed for us and a good night's sleep as the ship gently rocked back and forth. Friday was a great sea day! I am an early riser, so I hit the gym around 7am and worked out for about an hour. They have a great gym on board with lots of weight machines, elliptical machines and treadmills. They had a yoga class going while I was there with about 40 people. After the gym I went down to the International cafe and got a latte using my frequent coffee card. It you love coffee, especially specialty coffee drinks, Princess has a great deal. You can buy a coffee card that allows you to have 15 specialty drinks for $27. That's less than $2 for any specialty drink like Lattes, Cappuccinos, espressos, etc. You can also get unlimited free coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc. with the card. I then went to the Cafe Caribe buffet for breakfast. I try to be healthy on the cruise and hence I had oatmeal along with some fresh fruit, but I did cheat a little and ate one piece of bacon. It was all warm and delicious! If you want more, the buffet has a full variety of scrambled eggs, sunny side up eggs, omelets cooked to order, bacon, ham, sausage, French toast, waffles, bagels, lox, various rolls, breads and pastries, etc. I find all the food to be hot and perhaps the reason some people seem to find the food cold is because they load so much food on their plate, it can't all stay warm before they eat it all! :rolleyes: I then went outside to find a place to sunbathe and read my book. It was overcast most of the day, but the sun did peak through many times; enough to give us both a little sun burn! The temperature was a perfect 80 degrees most of the day. We sunbathed at the Aft Pool deck on starboard side railing right at the back of the ship. It's one of my favorite places on the ship as it is very quiet and it's just you and the ocean! We went in the aft Jacuzzi several times as well. The lunch special in the Cafe Caribe was Mexican and Lindsay had a Taco salad that she said was delicious. As much as I try to eat healthy, cruising brings out the worst in me and I thoroughly enjoyed a delicious cheeseburger and fries from the grill located by the Neptune Pool. Later I had to get my free ice cream cone which really hit the spot. There were dozens of activities both inside and outside during the day, but we were more than content to sit outside and read almost all day. We went to dinner around 7pm in the Da Vinci Dining Room and again sat with some very interesting people and enjoyed our meal with them. Again the food and service were excellent. I had a shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad and Lamb Chops. I always get the Caesar salad mainly because they only give you a very small portion which does not fill me up. A lot of people complain about the small portion and I'm not sure why. If they want a larger portion, all they have to do is ask for a larger portion, but it seems some people would rather complain. Princess serves a delicious shrimp cocktail and the lamp chops were cooked to perfection and were to die for! It was butter toffee ice cream for dessert which I thoroughly enjoyed. Lindsay had a tossed salad and chose the Chilean Sea Bass for her entre, which she loved. After dinner we went to the Princess Theater to see the Production show called "Once Upon a Dream." The show was fantastic. It featured the Princess Singers and Dancers and used a cool new technology where the side and rear backdrops were all done with multi-dimensional video projection. It's the first time I've seen this technology and it was really cool. After the show we went to the Explorers Lounge to see the comedian Troy Thirdgill. His full show was hilarious and everyone in the crowd was howling with laughter. We really loved his show. After his show, we went to the Grand Piazza for the "New Year's party event. They had a live band playing dance music and the crowd danced the night away. Everyone is given steamers and at midnight everyone throws their streamers. It's a blast of a party and I've attended many on past Princess ships. By now we were totally exhausted from a wonderful day at sea and made our way to the cabin for another nights relaxing sleep. I was up at 6:30am on Saturday and decided to skip the morning exercise routine as I wanted to be one of the first to take the tender to Princess Cay. Lindsay and I had our usual fare for breakfast in the Cafe Caribe and afterwards made our way to pick up our backpacks from the room to take on the tender. As we left the room with our backpacks, the Captain came on the loud speaker to announce that due to rough seas and high winds, we would be unable to safely tender over to the Island. I had a feeling this was going to happen as it was very over cast and it was windy on deck. If you've heard the expression of turning a lemon into lemonade, that's exactly what Lindsay and I did. While the weather was quite windy and overcast, we found an area by the aft pool that was somewhat isolated from the wind and spent half of the day lounging and reading our books. As the hours went by, the weather conditions improved, but as the sun peaked out more and more the temperature dropped. By mid afternoon, it couldn't have been more than 70 degrees. We decided to go inside for lunch and very much enjoyed fish and chips in a traditional pub lunch that they serve at the Wheelhouse bar. The fish and chips were almost as good as I have had in Alaska! I decided to splurge when we went back on deck and had a delicious piece of Pizza from the pizza grill. Again, Princess has some of the best pizza I've ever had. It may not be as good as NY Pizza, but I live in Orlando and it's definitely as good as or better than anywhere in Orlando! If that wasn't enough, I had to then have my ice cream cone on top of that! My dd just shakes her head at my lack of will power!:o We went back to the room to watch a movie on the TV. I was browsing through the Princess Patters guide where I saw that they had afternoon tea in one of the dining rooms. My wife always goes to the afternoon teas and I have never gone with her. So we decided to try it out. I never knew what I was missing! We were seated with other people and enjoyed their company while we dined on little sandwiches, cookies and cakes and of course, tea. The icing on cake was when they served us scones with whipped butter and jam. It was so delicious!! Having filled myself with all this food, it was very easy to fall asleep and take a great nap until it was time for dinner! Once again we ate in the Monticello Dining Room and joined other interesting folks to share our dinner. It was Italian night, of which I am not a big fan, but I made some good choices and enjoyed my dinner very much. I had a shrimp cocktail appetizer along with a Caesar salad and finished it off with the Pot Roast entre. The pot roast was hot, juicy and delicious (just like mama made)! Lindsay had the Shrimp Fra Diablo, which she said was not too spicy and tasted delicious. They had two different gelatos for the ice cream dessert. Not knowing which one to get, Lindsay and I shared them both and they were both excellent! After dinner we went to the Princess Theater for the evening's main show which was a man and wife Illusionist team,Tony Laffan and Kasey-Laura. I'm not a big fan of magic or illusionists, but they were very good. The illusions they performed were mind boggling and I'm glad we went to their show. Afterwards we went to the Explorers Lounge for the Liar's Club Game Show. It was entertaining and hilarious as a couple of words were, "BALDERSNATCH" and "COCKSHY". You can use your imagination as to how a couple of the "celebrity" players defined those words! :eek: As it was our last night on the ship (way too short), we made our way to the cabin and packed our bags so we would be ready for our 7:25 am walk off departure in the morning. Before we went to the cabin, I went to the purser's desk to pay cash for our bill. As neither of us drinks, our bill came to a whopping total of $27. I own 100 shares of Carnival Stock, so I received $50 OBC and to my delight Princess credited our account by another $15 per person for not stopping at Princess Cays. My only expenditures were for a coffee card and sun screen I purchased on board. Princess also posts $10.50per person per night for tips which makes the tipping process very simple. I do usually tip some of the staff extra especially if they go out of their way and go over and beyond. We awoke bright and early at 6:15am on Sunday. We dressed and went to the Cafe Caribe for our final breakfast of Cereal and fruit. We then picked up our luggage out of the room and went to our pre-disembark area in the casino. We got there at about 7:10 and were received our notice at 7:30 that we could disembark the ship. As we never made it to land, we did not have to go through customs and were in our car within 5 minutes. I dropped off my daughter at her apartment in Boca at 8:30 and was home in Orlando by 11:30am! Just as Princess excels in their embarkation process, I don't think they are second to anyone on their disembarkation process. In conclusion, I rarely write reviews of cruises any longer, but due to some of the negative reviews floating around about this cruise, I wanted to give another perspective. I really don't mean to take away anything from people that do have negative experiences on a cruise, especially when they are serious. But sometimes people make a little more out of the negative experience that it deserves. Was our cruise perfect? No. On the first cruise day, I ruined my coffee card in the Jacuzzi. I went to the International Cafe to see if they would replace it and I was told rudely that they could not replace it. Did I get mad and upset? No, I called the Food and Beverage Manager and politely told him about the card and he did replace it for me. Even if he had not replaced it, would it have done me any good to get upset? No, I would have ruined the cruise for me and my daughter. Losing a $27 card is hardly enough to ruin an entire cruise and a horrible reason to not cruise on that cruise line again (as some would surely do)! Also, as this was one of very few 3 night cruises that Princess offers and the total cost for the entire cruise for my daughter and I was less than $400, I didn't have sky high expectations. I am pleased to say that Princess totally exceeded all my expectations by a wide margin. Four years ago, my daughter and I sailed on a 4 night cruise on the Imagination ship and Carnival's food, service and entertainment far exceeded my expectations for that cruise as well. As usual others found something to complain about in their cc reviews. Cruising is not for everyone. For those of you expecting 5 star meals on a cruise ship, you'd be wise to go on a land trip where there are 5 star quality restaurants or on a very high end very expensive cruise line like Crystal; for those of you expecting Broadway quality shows on a cruise ship, you might want to go to NYC or London to get that kind of quality and for those of you looking for the comfort of a Heavenly Bed, you should consider a land trip and stay in a Hotel that offers that type of bedding. For those of you that are generally happy people that enjoy the true gifts of life, I think you will find a cruise on any cruise line to be a fantastic vacation! Just my 2 cents...Happy Cruising!:) Larry Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We really enjoyed sailing the Ruby Princess, but not for the reasons we thought we would. It had been about a year since we last sailed on Princess Cruises, our last sailing on favorite ship Caribbean Princess. Since then we had sailed ... Read More
We really enjoyed sailing the Ruby Princess, but not for the reasons we thought we would. It had been about a year since we last sailed on Princess Cruises, our last sailing on favorite ship Caribbean Princess. Since then we had sailed on several other cruise lines, some not as great, some about as great and one greatly less than wonderful. We are on a health management program that required we follow certain guidelines and hoped we would be able to on the ship. What we found were plenty of good, healthy options aboard Ruby Princess that worked well with our program. What we did not count on was a deadly combination of two factors that drove us off our plan: Fabulous food and an equally fabulous, helpful crew. We just were not counting on either being as good as they are. As a result we went far off our plan, have no regrets and nothing but nice things to say about both. This ship truly blew us away in most all areas so let's get right into it Embarkation A breeze. We entered Pier 2 at Port Everglades about 11:00 and were on the ship by 11:30, in our aft balcony stateroom by 11:40. Very nice. Food As mentioned, fabulous. What made it difficult to stay strictly on our plan was Maitre d' Jose who just could not do enough for us. From a personal phone call upon embarkation, to his personal commitment throughout the cruise, this was a first for us. It seems more the norm for Maitre d's and other dining room management people to stop by tables occasionally during a cruise. This man was really into being sure we had a good time and did what it took to see that happened. The ship Beautiful. As this was a holiday cruise the ship was decorated quite tastefully and was spotlessly clean throughout the voyage. The familiar basic layout of the ship mirrored other Princess ships so we felt at home and enjoyed the new features added, especially the International Cafe offering a nice variety of light meals and snacks throughout the day plus some fabulous coffee selections. The crew Again, fabulous. From our cabin steward to electricians and maintenance people met in random encounters walking the halls, everyone seemed so happy to be there doing what they do. It was really refreshing to see. Not that other lines do not have happy people on board there working, they do, the crew on this ship just seemed so over the top happy to be there that it was a real pleasure to see. Itinerary This was the perfect ship to miss a port when we could not stop at Princess Cays for safety concerns about the tender operation in high seas. It was a great day to spend in our stateroom for the most part even though a revised and updated activity schedule was promptly distributed and featured plenty for everyone to do on the ship that day. Disembarkation We needed to get off the ship early for our drive back to Orlando and got just that, off the ship and on the road before 8am. Very nice. I like that they keep it simple and their "silent disembarkation" without a bunch of annoying announcements was pure heaven. Some highlights: Internet Access in-cabin- Decent. We had an aft balcony cabin, all the way at the back of the ship, probably about as far away from the Internet Cafe as possible and got a signal. A low signal but it worked. Others I talked to, closer to the center of the ship, had signals much better. I chose to go sit at the International Cafe, within view of the Internet Cafe on deck five, to connect. Very good signal there Motion in the Ocean- We sailed away under rough sea conditions and a rain storm. I can not remember sailing on rougher seas since a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2 but this ship handled it well. Our aft balcony stateroom on the Baa deck was rocking and rolling all night long that first night. Lisa always takes Bonine for this purpose, forgot to take it until we were well under way and had no problems but I would suggest a more midship location for those who experience motion discomfort...and a note to take precautions before getting on the ship Quality of the food- It is difficult for me to believe that the cuisine on this ship could be rated anything less than remarkable but as I have said many times before, food is such a subjective thing that I suppose it could happen. Our experience as noted earlier: fabulous. For those with food issues, look forward to your sailing on this ship; they really try hard to make it work for you. Dining room issues: None. Best advice: see the Maitre d' once on the ship no matter what. I think this is going to be a new rule for us, just something we do. Knowing the Maitre d' proved to be richly rewarding for our dining experience. These people really do want us to have a good time, we just need to give them the chance to make that happen Clientele- Short cruises on lines that don't do a lot of them often draw the curious. I know we had never sailed Celebrity until the Century offered shorter cruises so we could give them a try. We saw and talked to a lot of people just like that. Nice people who were regular guests on other lines, trying Princess for the first time. It might have been just luck but I did not talk to anyone who was not blown away by the Princess experience. I also talked to a number of repeat Princess guests, all mostly happy to be there. Front desk personnel- Bob from Tulsa had experienced less than wonderful service from the Pursers desk on a different Princess ship and was concerned. Bob, relax, this was one of the best bunches of Pursers desk staffers I have ever seen. I did have some issues with my bill, a double charge that was just a mistake and a charge for something I did not buy. Both were handled quickly and efficiently. I could not have asked for more. Past Guest perks- Sailing on Princess a bunch in the past had earned us Elite past guest status which was fabulous. From complementary laundry, to a priority disembarkation lounge and very accessible Captain Circle host, this program is a real winner, I think the best of the bunch. A couple we talked to while waiting to board who had not sailed the ship before had booked this one and the next two sailings for a total of 22 days on the ship. We happened to see them the last day at breakfast and were happy to see that they really enjoyed the ship. Princess past guests can be a really vocal group and don't hesitate to mention something they don't like. This couple thought there should be more places to sit and "people-watch" but were solidly loyal Princess fans who had tried other lines and said they "always come back to Princess". I can sure see why. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We were hesitant, because a 3 night Princess cruise did not seem like enough time. BUT... we needed a break from SO many things that the timing and hours seemed ideal. During the 8 cruises that we have taken, our favorites were 7 nights in ... Read More
We were hesitant, because a 3 night Princess cruise did not seem like enough time. BUT... we needed a break from SO many things that the timing and hours seemed ideal. During the 8 cruises that we have taken, our favorites were 7 nights in length. However, we have sailed on the Caribbean Princess before, and since we were comfortable with the large ship, we believed that we would be able to take part in most of the activities, not needing time to get acquainted with the ship. In many ways we were correct, because we really were able to navigate throughout this beautiful ship with no problems. But... we certainly were not able to participate in all of the activities, and that is because Princess, even with such a short sailing, offered us SO many choices that there just were not enough hours to do everything we wanted to. Since this was a short cruise, we felt that passengers were a bit younger than is traditional on Princess. I believe that many people took an extended weekend, and thus, this was a party group. There were very few children, or at least, there were not many that we noticed. My husband and I are in our 50's, and we like the sophistication of Princess passengers. As a matter of fact, friends joined us on this cruise that we met on a previous Princess cruise. Joining them on this cruise was a highlight for us, and we all seemed to actually prefer the grouping of passengers on our past longer Princess cruises. But, that is just our opinion. EMBARKATION: We arrived at the Fort Lauderdale terminal around 12:30 p.m., prepared for an early rush of people. Pleasantly surprised, we walked directly onto the ship after receiving our keys from Princess personnel. We went directly to check out our room and make plans for the evening after reading the Princess Patter. Within a short time period, we went to the lunch buffet, and by the time we were finished eating, our luggage was already in our stateroom. Actually, by 2:30 p.m., we were unpacked, greeted by our cabin steward, and reacquainting ourselves with this beautiful ship. SHIP INFORMATION: The Caribbean Princess is, indeed, huge. We did not, however, find it difficult to navigate throughout. Some of this is because this was not our first voyage on the Caribbean Princess, but looking back, we were not overwhelmed by it size on our first voyage. There are maps of the ship on most walls, and Princess personnel are eager to guide you, if needed. Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the decks that go straight through the ship. We definitely suggest reserving a mid-ship cabin, because it makes it easy to navigate yourself from the mid-ship elevators. Although there are, obviously, a lot of people on the ship, we never felt crowded or held back by the masses of people. There are enough elevators to accommodate everyone, and the passenger numbers never affected us. Rooms and activities are well spread out throughout the ship, and as a result, there seemed to be plenty of room for everyone. Staff can be found cleaning the ship constantly, which is why she looks practically new. Of course, some of the carpet needs an upgrade, but everything else sparkles so that it is almost not worth mentioning. STATEROOM: We chose an indoor cabin for several reasons. The obvious reason is that the price is less, but more important to us was the fact that the room is dark, without the sunlight peaking through in the early morning and mid-day when we took a quick catnap. The room was small but adequate, since we were only inside for sleeping. This is, actually, another reason why we chose not to take an outside cabin… we never used the balcony, because we were just too busy! Getting back to the room… the shower was a bit tinier than we remembered, but our biggest problem was getting extra towels. Our stateroom attendant, Dino, was just not up to Princess standards, and he was not around much. On 3 different occasions, we requested extra towels, and finally, Dino informed us that he only had enough towels for his assigned staterooms [of which we were one!], but he did not have any extras. Indeed, our stateroom was clean enough, but although Princess is our cruise line of choice, we still miss the towel animals on our beds at night. From experience, we knew to request an egg-crate mattress, which was on our bed when we arrived. After speaking with other passengers, their mattresses were not comfortable, but for us, the mattresses were ideal… so, plan ahead by requesting the egg-crates! DINNING: Again, I must mention that we are not new to Princess, and as a result, we have tried all of her specialty dinning options. To us, the food in the dinning rooms is the same caliber as the specialty restaurants. We chose anytime dinning, which is an option that keeps bringing us back to Princess. It is a luxury to be able to pick and choose your dining times based on other ship activities. Although there were lines at key times, you could easily get a table if you arrived early or late. After the first main show, there were lines, but the maitre-d was always pleasant, assuring us that a table would soon be available. Princess uses pagers for dinner, but we never seemed to have a problem. Also, you are able to make a reservation in the morning for anytime dinning, assuring you a table at the time requested. We ate all of our dinners in the Coral Dinning room and found the food yummy. I will admit that I missed the lobster dinner during formal night, but we were told that lobster was not served on a short cruise. I did have both steak and prime rib that was so lean and tender that I could have cut it with a fork. AND I missed the Princess souffles that are an all time favorite of mine, but again, they are not offered during a short cruise except in the specialty restaurants. The service was impeccable, and our waiter, Elvis, was friendly and very eager to please. We did find our way to a special sushi lunch buffet on our day at sea. We learned that sushi is offered at the buffet on every Princess Cruise during the first day at sea. We were not aware of this, and we were quite happy with the find. We enjoy sushi [obviously], but the wok dishes were just as good. It was a delightful surprise for us, and we will definitely look for such an option in the future. This is not mentioned in the Patter, so check it out for yourselves if you are a fan of sushi. Be aware that you pay extra for ice cream, but it is free during your meals in the dinning room! The ice cream choices are detailed, and we highly recommend the Rum Raisin… WOW, it was almost better than the Princess Love Boat dessert; notice I said "almost". Looking back, we might have paid the additional $20.00 on this cruise to eat in Sabatini's' only because I had my heart set on lobster, and their tiramisu cake is the best on the planet. ACTIVITIES: OK, it was only 3 nights, but we expected a bit more in this area. There was BINGO, 1 horse racing game, an art auction, and the traditional pool games, but the kitchen tour and the backstage tour were missing. Even one of the above mentioned 2 tours would have been better than none. The craft activities were also missing, and several passengers were disappointed not to have the opportunity to paint pottery. We felt that the 1-day at sea could have offered additional choices, and there were moments when nothing to our liking was taking place. I was talking for days about the backstage tour, which was our favorite activity on this ship previously, and we were looking forward to experiencing such again. The pool games are prevalent, but the pools are crowded during peak times. We ended up going to the Jacuzzi when we returned from Princess Cay, allowing us a chance to get in without waiting for someone to leave. Also, the pool choices are enough to give you options, if you want to take the time to look around. ENTERTAINMENT: Princess entertainment options are the best in the business, with more than one different show nightly. On this short cruise, we were a bit disappointed with the welcome aboard show. It consisted of one extremely short number by the Princess singers and dancers, followed by a short routine by a comedian who would be returning the last night of our cruise. The show was short and not much to write home about, although the comedian's show on the final night was extremely funny. However, it was not funny enough for me to remember the comedian's name. There was one production show on the 2nd night of our cruise, Piano Man. My husband and I actually saw this show a few year's ago on this ship; it was the first production of the show ever. We loved it then, and we loved it this time. In fact, to me, it is the best production show that we have ever seen, and if time had permitted, we would have gone to see the 2nd showing of this show. NOW FOR THE BIGGIE… our favorite ship entertainer was Bert Stratton who played at the piano bar every evening. We heard Bert the first time we sailed the Caribbean Princess 2 years ago, and when we were thinking about this sailing, we called to make certain Bert would be playing. Bert is an amazing singer, writer, piano player, and overall entertainer. He plays piano standing and has plenty of energy. Within minutes of his first note, his audience is singing along, while swaying to the music. Bert's personality grabs his audience, and there is always a full house… not to mention the people standing in the ship's aisles listening and singing. Once you attend a Bert concert, you are instantly Bertified, returning for show after show. Currently I am under a lot of stress at my job, and Bert made me leave the outside world and move into his world of music. My husband and I listened to Bert every night, and we left feeling alive with music. Bert doesn't need sheet music, and we are perplexed at how he remembers all of the words and music to just about any song you request. He has a large repertoire of music, and his show is never the same. We were literally blown away by the songs that Bert wrote himself, and several of those that he shared gave me the chills. His music touches your heart and soul, making you a part of the show. I was definitely Bertified, and if given a choice, I would listen to his music rather than attending any of the main shows. He has an unbelievable talent and he is the "real" deal. He appreciates his audience and is just a "good" person. I cannot even begin to give Bert the phrase he deserves. If you haven't heard Bert, you need to visit his web site and purchase his CD's. You will be glad you did! SHORE EXCURSIONS: We did not have the opportunity to take a shore excursion, and since we only visited Princess Cay, our options were limited. Princess Cay is lovely, but there was a major wind and the water was extremely cold. This was the overall opinion of many Floridians, but people from up north seemed eager to get into the water. The barbecue lunch on Princess Cay was typical of what you would expect. We did walk part of the nature trail, but I left my shoes on the beach so the rocks really began to hurt my feet. Definitely wear your shoes! DISEMBARKATION: Simple, easy, and quick. Take time to eat breakfast in the dinning room, since most people do not leave until after 9:00 a.m. The breakfast service was wonderful, and the food was a delicious way to end our trip. OVERALL: It was a great 3-day cruise. We would certainly do it again! However, the 7-day cruises have much more to offer, some of which we missed on the 3 day cruise. Overall, however, it was an amazing get away for a very reasonable price. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail me, since I have learned so much about cruising from Cruise Critic. I would love to offer you any additional suggestions, and I hope this review has been helpful. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
Background: I am a 41 y.o. male with a European/South American upbringing and have been living in the U.S. for a total of 27 years. I see myself as a person of refined tastes but do not necessarily live everyday life that way. I consider ... Read More
Background: I am a 41 y.o. male with a European/South American upbringing and have been living in the U.S. for a total of 27 years. I see myself as a person of refined tastes but do not necessarily live everyday life that way. I consider myself as someone who knows (both by upbringing and then personal experience) what "is good" and what "is not so good". As a consumer, I enjoy and seek out good value which does not mean cheap; there are times when a $50 entree represents better value than a $2.99 fast food meal. My previous cruise resume reads: Renaissance Cruises (1x), Princess (4x), and Royal Caribbean (3x). Reviews on cruise critic are as follows: Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas (AOS) on 07/07: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=30616. The Caribbean Princess Western Caribbean on 09/07: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=32829. The Crown Princess Southern Caribbean on 12/07: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=35864. The Caribbean Princess Eastern Caribbean on 04/08: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=40724. This cruise was booked simply in order to achieve platinum status which I wanted to have for my January '09 booking of a full Panama Canal on the Island Princess (Acapulco to Fort Lauderdale). As a secondary goal, I wanted to see how the Princess experience, which I enjoy immensely, translates into a shorter cruise. My cruise reviews are written in diary style, often with several entries per day. I attempt to give as much detail as possible, when required, and try to separate fact from opinion. This time around, I did not take the computer along to make actual 'live' entries but instead relied on the old fashioned "pen and paper" which I am now transcribing. April 30th/May 1st Fort Lauderdale Pre-cruise Took the late flight out of SJU on American Airlines which was thankfully empty and I was able to get the $90 instant upgrade to business. Other than a tad more room, this $90 charge also got me half a turkey wrap! What a bargain!!! Although we left late, we arrived on time and thankfully, there were still taxis around the airport something I always worry about when arriving somewhere in the last flights of the evening. I had a reservation at the Ramada that's on SR 87 and the electronic lock was having electronic trouble at 1:30am which necessitated an on the spot room change which turned out to be a pool side king. It was a very large room, clean, and the A/C was on upon arrival. There was also a pack of chocolate chip cookies which I found to be a nice touch. The room had a large mini fridge, a huge safe, TV with the usual assortment of local/cable channels, coffee maker with your standard issue regular/decaf coffee packs (plus 2 Lipton teas - yuk), iron & board, and a shower massage head which came in handy. Overall the room had a modern look to it but the two chairs looked dated (but only on their style, they were fairly new too). The hotel rooms are located on two floors around a central courtyard area which has the pool, a tiki bar, and loads of vegetation. It's your typical 70's courtyard hotel construction. A breakfast buffet (6-10am) was also included in the price and featured your standard hot breakfast that's now included in many mid-priced hotels (scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, breads, fruits, yogurt, danish/donuts, coffee, cereals, even grits). The breakfast was very well attended at around 9am and most of the people I saw had "tourist" written all over them. For $107.11 tax included, it was a very good deal in my opinion. Please note, that the price includes an automatic daily charge for the safe. Whether you can dispute that charge or not I don't know. After breakfast, I bummed around the room for a bit and ended up checking out at 11am. I then took a taxi to visit my travel agency. My past trips to the area tended to be over the weekend and I never got a chance to visit the good people I was sending my money to!!! It was terrific meeting them in person and we spent a good hour taking about cruises, trips in general, those bogus travel agencies ("be your own travel agent"...) and generally getting to know each other. I had a great time and it was way overdue. Thank you ladies - you are awesome!!! May 1st Fort Lauderdale Caribbean Princess 3pm My TA was then kind enough to drive me to the port and I got to the Caribbean Princess at 12:30pm. I had wanted to go at this time, because I truly wanted to go through check-in at what I assumed was peak time. Amazingly, the place was empty!!! In fact, the longest wait I had was entering the building when you have to go through TSA security and that was only because about 4 people were in front of me. I was in my cabin and unpacked (only traveled with a carry-on) by 1:15pm and this included the purchase of my soda sticker ($14.66 for this 3 night cruise). So much for trying to experience rush hour... My cabin is Riviera 407. This is one of the extra large inside cabins (II Category) available and I enjoyed the extra space so much on my Western Cruise in September '07 (R 403) that I went with this one this time around as well. For a complete description of the cabin, please follow the link posted at the beginning on this review for my 9/07 cruise (you may need to cut and paste). The only difference in description between R403 and 407 is orientation; what's on the left in one is right on the other. The other MAYOR difference is that in this cabin there was no (slight) machinery noise at all at night. In another first of mine, I decided to eschew the buffet and try lunch at the Trident Grill. I now know that I won't eat there again voluntarily since the burgers were completed dried out but the knockwurst was ok. The only thing I could point to this disappointing experience (my first bad meal on Princess) was that at that time (around 1:30pm) the Caribbean Princess was still basically empty. Maybe the Trident is better with more volume... I also cheated a bit because I ended up going to the Horizon for some of those great fruit tarts which I'm am so absolutely addicted to - they saved the meal!!! So far, those are the 2 differences I've seen vs. the 7 day cruises: no rush to check-in early (let's remember it was a Thursday) and - as an obvious result - basically empty sun decks with loads of space/loungers available at the pools. After lunch I headed back to the cabin and - believe it or not - found that someone had pooped in the hallway. And it wasn't a kiddie portion. This one was a hefty deposit. How in the world???????? In any case, shortly thereafter, a Princess Environmental Services team sealed off the hallway between the two nearest fire doors to the poo (where's Mike Rowe when you need him) and began clean-up. There were 3 guys I think, all dressed in full body white suits and masks; they reminded me too much of Bill Murray in the movie Caddyshack!!! Once in the room (while the hallway was being "de-pooed") I called up to put my name on the Chef Table's list. Having done the Chef's Table already on the Crown in December, I very specifically told them that I'd do it only if an extra spot was available and not to take someone else's spot away that hasn't done it before. In hindsight, I should have signed up for anytime dining for this cruise, especially if I end up getting on the Chef's Table. After all, tomorrow is formal (which I will not participate in this time on account of having traveled with only my carry-on) and Saturday is the Chef's Table. So potentially, I may just end up in traditional tonight... Well, let's see. I also called up room service for a hot tea service in order to abduct the carafe. Less than 2 minutes after placing the order, they called back informing that they couldn't deliver because my hallway section was sealed. I think it's pretty cool that the poo info got to another department so quickly. Good organization!!! Our muster drill is supposed to be at 5:15pm. This sort of puts a damper on our Cruise Critic Roll Call meeting which we had scheduled for 5pm based on information that muster was going to be at 4:15pm. I hope enough people recognize the error in the times and remember to go to the original meeting time. 5pm We had a nice turnout for the meeting!!! "The Undesirables" were smart enough to think on our feet and ended up meeting at 4pm at the Outrigger. As usual these meeting can be a lot of fun and I recommend that all who do think about going make a serious attempt to do so. On the way back to the cabin I paid a bit more attention to the name tags on the doors. We are sailing in a sea of blue. This is a Princess first timer cruise. Oh sure, there's the occasional gold and I even saw a platinum or two, but blue rules on this cruise. In fact, on the elevators so far, I have only heard comments like "This is so much better than... (mostly Carnival)". And that, at the end of the day, is what sampler cruises are, and should be, all about. Not bad really, and they didn't even have dinner yet... 7:35pm We left about 15 minutes late and I went to the Promenade Deck to see this. The sail away party was going strong on the Lido with quite a number of people "dancing" in ways the human body wasn't meant to be moved. On our way out I saw the 5 U.S. Navy ships that were in town. It included one of the Marine's baby carriers which was fun to see from a distance. I've never seen an aircraft carrier before. 11pm What a record!!! I always bring a www.cruisecritic.com door magnet with me to put on the door. Usually, on a 7 night cruise, someone "appropriates" it about 4 or 5 days in. This time it lasted less than 4 hours!!! Ha ha, I think CC should hand these out for free!!! I finally ordered tea. Well, we had the poo thing earlier, remember? Dinner was the Sailaway. I again had the seafood terrine, the salad, the pseudo putanesca as a pasta course, the Luau pork loin, and the flourless chocolate tart. Terrific meal again. On the way out I talked to one of the head waiters to re-iterate my desire to do the Chef's Table but not at the expense of someone who hadn't had the opportunity to do it yet. May 2nd At Sea 10am I woke up early (7am) and went to breakfast at around 9am. There was no smoked salmon, maybe due to this being a 3 night cruise as opposed to a 7 nighter. Afterwards, I perused the watches available and couldn't decide between the two toned and the golden toned one so I did the right thing and purchased both. Being single with no responsibilities has its occasional advantages... Great news!!! I was included in the Chef's Table. That will be Saturday night (Princess Cays). We are to meet with the Maitre D' in an hour so I just played around setting the watches up. 2:30pm The meeting with the Maitre D' went well. Ok, I did get ticked off a bit. Why do people sign up for a fixed menu event and then have the gall to say "I don't eat this or that"? It's not a restaurant with menu choices! You eat what is presented and if you are a fussy eater you have no business going to such events (or go and just eat what you "can"). Jeez... I was so embarrassed for the Maitre D'. Had lunch at the Horizon: the herring in cream sauce (a favorite of mine since childhood and which I can't get here in Puerto Rico), salad, some rice, and the coq au vin. I feel like in a time warp: I had the same meal combination 3 weeks ago!!! The gnocchi however, wasn't a successful dish as they were falling apart. My fault really, I should have known better than to try that particular dish in a buffet setting. They did taste very good though!!! With most purchases done I also stopped by the pursers to get a print out of my account. Just need to mentally add in the Chef's Table and 2 more auto-tips. I like to settle my account in cash and if I end up purchasing something else, well, those miscellaneous expenses can go on the card. 6pm Hooray! Just woke up from a 2 hour nap. I know I'm on vacation when that happens. Or maybe it was the slight rocking of the ship. We are having some strong winds too. Had a couple of teas at the Outrigger Bar. The weather was slightly overcast with some passing showers. I could see a Carnival ship emerge a bit away from us returning to Miami. Those distinctive funnels do them in... This also afforded me the opportunity to peek in the Cafe Caribe as they were setting up for tonight and I saw a couple of dishes that peaked my interest for dinner: jerk chicken, lamb curry, and flying fish (which reminded me of Barbados of course!). 8:15pm So why was I eating dinner at the Cafe Caribe tonight? Because it's formal night and I didn't bring a suit in my carry-on luggage; don't want to ruin the experience for those that did pack nice clothes. It would be very selfish of my part to do so. In any case, the food was very nice there too. In fact, I enjoyed it a lot more than "Caribbean Night" in the dining room 3 weeks ago (where my critique was that the dishes served bore no resemblance to any true Caribbean dishes). These, however, did (for the most part). I started with the rockfish terrine which looked frightfully similar to the seafood terrine I had last night... The chicken jerk was spicy but not overpowering - nicely done! The lamb curry wasn't very "curry" at all and probably the weakest dish but only because it wasn't curried enough - it was a fine lamb stew though... I also tried a bit of the sirloin with green peppercorn sauce (very recommendable) and the lamb chops - in honor of my mom who loves them. Hmm... I think I might have even had some vegetables - I think... For dessert I had both a fruit tart and a cappuccino cheesecake. I'm stuffed and rolled down the flight of steps back to the cabin. Gulping for air like a fish out of water I reached for the phone and called room service for hot water. Yup - that stuffed... I also filled out my customer service questionnaire including my usual points of upgrading the tea brands on board to something drinkable, a need to upgrade the TV offerings (plus interactivity), and that Princess should consider doing more short cruises from time to time. May 3rd Princess Cays 9:15am I fell asleep last night while watching Troy on TNT. Last thing I remember is Paris chickening out against Menelaus and rushing to Hector. Wait a minute!!! Didn't Aphrodite whisk him away from battle? Mental reminder to read the Iliad again... Again, there was no smoked salmon for breakfast, a question I will bring up at the Chef's Table tonight. 12pm Came in a bit early from Princess Cays. You see, I had booked the hobie cat for two hours but we ended up having moderate winds (4 on the scale) which is still a tad more than I feel comfortable with a beach cat so far. I was ripping through the water getting wet all over with the spray. The water bottle I had brought along must now rest at the bottom of the sea somewhere - never having been opened. I hope a coral reef forms around it... Nevertheless, I did push the envelope a bit and picked up valuable experience to build on. You've got to know when you're in over your head and at least I didn't have to go through the humiliation of having been towed back ashore by the guys with their jet ski... Now that we are nearing the end of our mini cruise, how did the 3 night experience rate compare with the normal 7 night? That was an important question I wanted to answer to myself and it was also debated heatedly on the message boards. So here's my take: Princess didn't miss a beat and the very large number of "blue cards" truly did get a good taste of what Princess is all about. Everything was pretty much the same with small exceptions in food (no salmon for breakfast for example). So take that all of you Princess snobs who naysayed these 3 and 4 night cruises. As a side note, there was a large number of new crew members aboard but they did great. I had very uniform and efficient service in that "quiet" way that distinguishes Princess from Royal for example. 5:40pm It was an intense "do nothing" afternoon of the type required of any true vacation - even if it was just a short one. Still, I did get some things done: most of my packing, the US Customs card, returned the guest questionnaire (they do read those!) and managed to watch a movie on TV to boot. I also stopped by the Captain's Circle hostess to pick up my Gold pin which I never received in the first place; it'll look nice in the office. As luck would have it, my Platinum Welcome Package was in the mailbox when I got back. I suppose I'll do a whole lot more of nothing until we are scheduled to meet up at 7pm in the Lobby Bar for the Chef's Table. Vacationing on a cruise ship is hard work!!! 11pm Just returned from the Chef's Table (for a good review please follow the link to my 12/07 Crown Princess cruise). The menu was basically the same as on the Crown with just minor variations: we had the grilled goose foie gras with apple chutney rather than a duck foie gras pate (the fact we had "picky" eaters afforded me the opportunity to have seconds - their loss!!!), we had a lobster risotto (saffron one last time), and the lip smackin' Bloody Mary sorbet was served with Grey Goose vodka and was very spicy (didn't so much cleanse the palate but rather burned it off which was just fine with me). The 'picky' eaters also got a plate of seafood served for their entree. I found it very gracious of the Maitre D' to lie and announce that the plates were being prepared because of 'allergy' reasons. Their plate turned out to be nothing more than the langoustines plate from Sabatini's re-enforced by some plain shrimp scampi and another piece of fish. I would have served them the turkey wrap I got on Business Class on American Airlines, but I guess that's why I don't work in the service industry anymore - ha ha ha!!! A fun part was the "guest appearance" of Captain Attilio Guerrini in the galley! He was kind enough to pose for pictures with all of us. He just came aboard recently relieving the Commodore. After dinner, Executive Chef Cereda joined us at the table for a little Q&A. Turns out he was covering another Chef who was covering Chef Diffor on the Crown who had a death in the family. This bit of news saddened me. I'd like to add one other bit of "news" here. During the course of the evening, a high ranking crew member didn't want to get quoted but did confirm that for these short cruises, certain food items were omitted from the menus - such as the smoked salmon for breakfast. Considering the low prices we paid, I found that entirely acceptable and I think that all the "blue cards" will be pleasantly surprised on future Princess cruises when they do see them. As usual, I will not comment on disembarkation. However, if past experiences are to go by, it will be a smooth process. Just make sure to get to your meeting place 15 minutes ahead of time in case that they call your group early and be sure to look for the Princess Staff member who calls you out. Since there are no PA announcements, if you miss the crew member - you'll be needlessly waiting longer... See you on the Adventure of the Seas on October 5th and find out how I will survive a week of awful RCCL food!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
Info: This was my fifth cruise, first time on Princess. I took advantage of the short 4-night sailing as a way to try the line, and brought my mom on this cruise as a Mother's Day gift. Travel to and from was simple as we are local. ... Read More
Info: This was my fifth cruise, first time on Princess. I took advantage of the short 4-night sailing as a way to try the line, and brought my mom on this cruise as a Mother's Day gift. Travel to and from was simple as we are local. We parked in the covered garage at Port Everglades for $15 per day. It seemed to take forever to find an empty space because many sections of the garage were closed off due to repairs. Also traveling with us were 6 family members, in two additional cabins, who drove from the Orlando area the morning of embarkation who had never cruised before. Embarkation: A breeze. We arrived to non existent lines for card keys. The lines are formed by deck which makes things very simple with plenty of people to direct you where to go. Other lines could learn from Princess, they have embarkation down to a science. One very brave woman cut in front of us to the embarrassment of her husband. When I was called to the line next to her, I read her a very graceful riot act for cutting the line, and advised her not to do it again while on board our ship. She stood stunned, not saying a word. Her husband said "I told you this was going to happen". Caribbean Princess is a large ship. Don't think I nailed my way around in the 4 nights we were aboard but I think she is a wonderful ship for longer hauls. Lots of nooks and crannies both outside and inside! The 4 pools are great and I enjoyed each of them depending on whether I wanted music, a movie, some solace, or aft shade. The pool activities were fun, the band was OK, but after Grand Turk, the main pool was very hot! I jumped out and into the shower to cool off. I think the heat may have been on, or the hot tub water was flowing through the pool! No biggie, but that water did not feel good on my sunburned hiney! Had a burger at Trident, it was so-so. Mom wanted a veggie burger but they said it would take 10 minutes so she had a chicken sandwich which was also so-so. The pizza, however, was to die for. I really liked it and so did others, including some more line cutters, and one 20-something who decided to shove my one of my in-laws whilst ordering her slice. I'm glad I wasn't there to witness. I should be the only person allowed to shove my in-laws, not some stranger. Certainly was a lack of over 18 aged folks with any finesse aboard. They were the minority, but seemingly everywhere. Like the couple who showed up for white gloved High Tea in dripping wet shorts and cut off tee shirts, with 18 finger sandwiches on their plates as if they were in a buffet, or the group of drinking age young people downing beers and shots, smoking, and cussing loudly at the Lotus Spa pool, and the lady who had cell service the whole cruise, chatting away during the movie, while the band played, at the aft pool, walking around wherever there was any activity...wherever there was an activity, she was a-chattin'. Don't know how anyone she was talking to could hear anything she said and from the conversations I overheard, she wasn't talking about anything but the weather to her friends at home. The milk and cookies guy and I were trying to have a conversation but the chatter appeared, so he carted off and I ran away from her (again). Oh, and the 2 couples during Island Night who literally stole 4 chairs from right under the butts of the people who were sitting on them. A fight almost broke out but those couples must have wanted those chairs because they planted themselves right at the table with the ones who could have easily given them a beating. It's not the cruise lines fault these types of people get aboard, but it does give a good insight into the fact that far too many people have not been using any form of birth control or the mere fact many of the cruisers aboard were raised by wolverines. I found pleasantness in the Kids Club where the well behaved peeps were hanging out. Although my niece and nephew wanted no part of this place, a couple of us adults had a grand time painting tee shirts with markers. Given there was a small pool and a bar right outside the club was an extra bonus. Beer gives one extra artistic talents! There were many drinking age young adults aboard - they all seemed to know one another. Other than lots of kids with large tattoos, iffy attire, and a quasi gang mentality, they were quite jovial and lent some fun especially at the pool games. We didn't mind them a bit and only wondered "why all that ink". I guess we've moved from one small tattoo to gadzillions. Ah, these kids today. I have come to realize that I like good food when I cruise. I enjoyed every meal, nothing was sent back. Dinners didn't blow me away but they were all good. I ate all my dinners at the late seating traditional and enjoyed the speed of dinner. Not a lot of waiting in comparison to X where my dinners tend to be an all night event often until 11 PM. We had breakfast in the cabin two mornings and the breakfast buffet two mornings. Breakfast was much better than on NCL but not as good as X. X has 'those waffles' which get addicting, but a nice assortment of fruits, meats, cheeses and granolas were had. Hot foods, including the bacon, were very good. It does get confusing in the buffet with people walking all over the place, but the smart people formed little lines and moved through the stations with ease. My lunches consisted of small turkey sandwiches and Caesar salads and fruit. Kudos to Princess on their breads - not a stale roll could be found morning, noon or night! I feel as if we didn't partake in many activities but casino action was pretty good at the machines, I won a couple hundred on a dollar slot, and the blackjack for me was fruitless although my husband did quite well. Really enjoyed MUTS, the piano player in the atrium, and my mom really enjoyed the comedy show. I heard the hypnotist was a lot of fun too. I was a little disappointed in the shopping aboard - the shops didn't seem to offer much for what I consider a large ship. I wasn't on a duty free shopping trip though so the lack of knick knacks and cosmetics were not a big deal. I did not go into the spa but have friends who love this ship and rave about the facilities. On a longer sailing I would have done much more but thoroughly enjoyed my loafing. Grand Turk: Took a cab into town - thought $15 was expensive but hey it's an island and they need tourist dollars too so we paid. Not much to see but walked along the shore, went into some old buildings including the library, a church where services were being held, got invited to stay and then to the prison. Our goal was to snorkel so we carried our gear to a beach in front of small inn. Unfortunately we didn't see much of anything but a few fish and grasses. If I go back to the island I'll definitely take an excursion to get to one of the reefs offshore. We met family at Margaritaville, and they really enjoyed it - the kids played in the pool and the adults were just hanging out. There was some sort of amateur hour booty contest near the swim up bar, and after taking a peek, and confirming there weren't any men shakin' their thing, we headed back to the ship and partied at the main pool. Princess Cays: Having sailed through these islands as a young girl with my family, I was pleasantly surprised at how the commercialization of this spit of land is transformed by cruise line. Very nicely done, and fabulous snorkeling for beginners, and those born with mask and snorkel like us in gin clear water. My husband said he met someone who had a cabana who was very pleased with the location and the service. Snorkeling in front of those cabanas is better than on the other side near the clamshells. The buffet was great and I made sure I'd gotten all my cocktails before the bar closed at 1:30. Stood in a long line to take the tender back but the wait was very minimal. Again, great job Princess! The night we left PC and headed home was a doozie. We were rocking in 8-12 ft swells. I popped a Dramamine and hobbled up to a pretty empty Skywalkers at 11:30 PM with my hubby. I really liked that space above the ship. Would have hung out there longer, but after a couple drinks and the Dramamine, body told me to get to bed. Our cabin was C605. This was my first non suite cabin and it was perfect for a short sail such as this one. I'm not convinced I'd take a BA again, because I do prefer to have a sitting area. The balcony made up for interior space. I loved it out there and found the size perfect. I did successfully shave my legs in the shower which I knew was going to be small. And it is small! I thought the closet space was excellent, and the beds were indeed firm but we never considered asking for the egg-crates. We brought our own sheets which was a nice touch of home and without asking our steward made up our beds with them. He kept us flush with ice, towels and fruit, even cleaning out my 4 cup coffee maker I toted along. Oh, I tasted the coffee on board and it wasn't really all that terrible. Our steward got a large tip on day 1 and day 4 and he deserved every dollar. He made us some towel animals too, which for 2 grown women were fun to get. My niece and nephew ages 3 and 5 got no towel animals in their cabins up on Aloha, so I brought ours up to them to enjoy. To nit pick for the sake of a review, I'll note that unlike our previous cabins (suites) I didn't have cotton balls or q-tips in the bathroom. Maybe they have those items in the suites? No biggie, I always pack my own. Overall, this was a great cruise. I don't think I got enough good or bad to rate Princess but would definitely sail the line again without hesitation. I'm still an X fan but I think Princess did a fabulous job on this cruise. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. I would recommend Caribbean Princess. I also wanted to thank my new friends from Cruise Critic. I met some lovely folks and the sail away was a blast! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
This was the first cruise for my husband and me. Four days was optimal... in case one or both of us hated it. We approached it in an unconventional way but had a great time. What I mean by "unconventional" is that we purposely ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my husband and me. Four days was optimal... in case one or both of us hated it. We approached it in an unconventional way but had a great time. What I mean by "unconventional" is that we purposely avoided sit-down dining, any event that we had to "dress" for and did limited activities at the ports. We basically wanted to see if we liked being on a ship. That being said, getting to the port was fine--flight on Jet Blue and transfers were fine. Unfortunately, we must have hit peak time for boarding, but the lines moved fast. Our cabin was decent sized---balcony room on Caribe Deck, mid-ship. As I said, we did not do any sit-down dining---only the buffets and pizza. All of the food was really good and the pizza was to DIE for. Pizza is a personal-type-of-thing...some like thin crust, some thick...this was perfect fire-grilled, Brooklyn style. Only other food that I had was high tea one day, which was very nice and I had wished I had gone on the other days. At the ports, we really only sat on the beach. This was a time to relax for us and we did not want to have to rush back to the ship---just sit and enjoy the 80 degree weather at Grand Turk and Princess Cay. The "shopping" at Grand Turk was not as great as the staff made it seem but it was very pretty and clean. Princess Cay had crystal-clear water and the BBQ was nicely done. I only hit one show--Jim McDonald (comedian) who was not particularly funny---I wish I had caught the other comic---Sarge. We "spent" money at the casino---it was nice to see $5 tables and the slots actually paid out well. MUTS was GREAT! I hit the spa for "ladies night"---$99 for a facial, massage, foot rub, scalp rub, champagne, and steam room. Very nice and perfect for my last night on the ship. The fitness facilities was also very clean and had a good amount of cardio equipment. Only complaint there was the water from the fountains was a bit warm. I found the other passengers to be a mix of old, younger, and very few big families. The crew was pleasant. No one from the crew stood out to me as providing horrible or stellar service. Back at Fort Lauderdale, it was MUCH quicker to get off and find our luggage. Transfer back to the airport was fine. Only issue was Jet Blue had changed our return flight and we were stuck in the airport for 8 hours, as all other flights were booked. Had I realized how fast we would get off the ship, I would have looked to change the flight to another airline when Jet Blue altered their schedule. Now I know for next time! I cannot wait for my next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
When I saw this itinerary, I contacted some family members and talked them into going. I normally don't submit to these boards, but after reading the previous review from ab.... I had to submit my review. First off, this was my ... Read More
When I saw this itinerary, I contacted some family members and talked them into going. I normally don't submit to these boards, but after reading the previous review from ab.... I had to submit my review. First off, this was my first cruise on Princess, but my "28th" cruise. I am certainly not an expert, but after sailing many lines I can make a good comparison. The Caribbean Princess is big, but even with a total compliment of passengers, you did not feel cramped. I opted for an outside cabin since I was traveling solo and it was good. Only complaint it had a partially obstructed view, but how long was I going to sit and look out the window. My family and friends had AB category balcony cabins on C deck. Their cabin size was exactly the same as mine, but they had a large balcony that fit 4 chairs and a table. They were impressed. The food was outstanding! We had breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet and the choices and quality were impressive. On our departure from Ft.Lauderdale, they offered an all you can eat lobster claw, crab leg and shrimp buffet in the Horizon, and that also included the normal selection for the night. It was awesome! We chose anytime dining and were able to make a reservation each night in the coral dining room. The food was exceptional and the service excellent. The ports of Grand Turk and Princess Cays were fun. And even though they were crowded, you did not feel cramped. Upon disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale, we opted to carry our luggage off and were schedule to disembark at 0800. At 0745 they called our number and we were off the ship, through customs and at the taxi stand in less than 20 minutes. My first impression of Princess was beyond my expectations. I am looking forward to my Island Princess Alaska cruise this coming week! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: We're in our mid to late 40s. We've been on many cruise ships with various cruiselines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. We live in Florida, so when we see a good deal, we snatch it up and leave. ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: We're in our mid to late 40s. We've been on many cruise ships with various cruiselines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. We live in Florida, so when we see a good deal, we snatch it up and leave. ;) EMBARKATION: Went very smoothly, and was on the ship in a matter of minutes. SHIP INFORMATION: Caribbean Princess is an absolutely beautiful ship, and even though she hasn't been in dry dock for quite some time and the carpeting could be replaced, it's still an absolute gorgeous ship. SERVICE: Everyone was very pleasant and the stateroom attendant greeted us by name. We were surprised to find that there were attendants inside the ship when we got on that led us to the elevators and escorted us up to the buffet for lunch. No other ship has ever done this for us. We definitely have no complaints about any service on this ship. STATEROOM: Magnificent. This was the best room that we've ever had on any cruise. The size of the room alone was unbelievable. I've stayed in motel rooms that were smaller than this room was. We enjoyed our room with our balcony sooooo much. It became our home away from home. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We originally booked a 4 night cruise, but was called to ask if we wanted to do a "move over" to the 3 night cruise that did not include Grand Turk. We were skeptical at first because we really did want to go to Grand Turk, however, when we were told that the cruise would be free, except for the taxes, fees, etc., we jumped on the 3 night cruise immediately. Can't beat a free cruise. So, we ended up going to Nassau, and Princess Cay. "Princess Cay" - Private Island. Didn't see any hammocks hanging between trees like some of the other private islands, and their lunch on the island was not as nice as some of the other cruiselines. We just browsed around and took pictures, and then laid in some lounge chairs under a shaded tree and watched the people walk by. Was there only a few hours and then got back on the ship. Really nothing to write home about. DINING: The best. I ate food that I've never had in my life before. Everything was perfect. We ate at the buffet every meal, and loved it every single time. We were really surprised when we went to the buffet one night for dinner, and they had Crab Legs, Lobster Claws, and Shrimp. I'm a seafood lover, and everything was cooked perfectly. The food is so good on this ship, that we're tempted to stick with Princess cruises only, just for the food. ;) ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was wonderful. There were jugglers, a magician, and the production shows were superb. The shows were so good on this ship that we could have watched them twice and enjoyed them both times. DISEMBARKATION: This has been the only cruiseline that we've been on that allowed us to sit in a restaurant to wait to get off the ship when our bus service arrived. All the other cruiselines insisted that we have to get off about the time our eyeballs open. This showed me that Princess Cruiselines really think of their customers. SUMMARY: Out of all the cruiselines we've been on, we definitely rate Princess the best. The food is superb, the service is fantastic, and there was not one thing that I seen that was wrong with anything on this cruise. Absolutely perfect and we can't wait to go on another Princess Cruise coming up this November 2008. We're even thinking of booking another one next year in 2009. Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click