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999 Princess Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Reviews

This is my 5th cruise, hubby's 2nd. Although a former cruiser of Carnival, first time on Princess. Port Everglades is a large port, and don't get there too early. We got there around 11 and didn't board until 12:30-12:45. ... Read More
This is my 5th cruise, hubby's 2nd. Although a former cruiser of Carnival, first time on Princess. Port Everglades is a large port, and don't get there too early. We got there around 11 and didn't board until 12:30-12:45. Staff was very uneducated about the boarding process. You can "pre-register" online and in the packet you receive in the mail, but that is useless. You will STILL have to fill out all the forms when you get in line, and we were handed the long forms while walking up to the check in counter. Someone finally brought in a bag of pens for cruisers to use, just very very unorganized. Also, be prepared to stand out in the the hot weather for at least an hour before being let into the terminal. They only let in a few at a time. Once onboard, we could go directly to our cabins, and after having a quick lunch in the buffet, were pleased to see that our luggage had been delivered. We were told that due to the weather, our schedule had changed and we would be visiting Princess Cays on Sunday because of "tropical depressions" in the area. No big deal. The ship is beautiful, but don't expect the high-tech knock-you-off-your-feet decor as Carnival. The theater is very small (we tried twice during the week to see a show, but couldn't get seats.) Apparently you have to show up 2 hours early to see anything. Our cabin was small. Very small. Ladies, be prepared to turn into some kind of contortionist to shave your legs. Not a pretty sight. Bring your own shampoo and shower gel, because the few samples you are given we noticed were not replaced very often during the week. And the bars of soap are so small it's ridiculous. Our room steward seemed very helpful and friendly on the first day, and we didn't see much of him until the day of departure (hmmmm, needing a tip?) We requested extra pillows (that took 2 days) and robes (that took 3 days). Sodas in the room are $1.50, not too bad. On Sunday, we were told that we were switching to the Western ports because of hurricanes around St. Thomas. We were set to go to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I have to take this time to say that this is the best ship captain that I have ever had. He was a constant presence on the ship, very friendly, always informing passengers of changes and the reasons for the changes. We were thankful that he kept us safe and made sure we had some sunny ports to enjoy during our trip. Now, just some tidbits on the cruise that might come in handy. Forget the casino. Nobody wins on Princess. Bingo is also very expensive. Good luck finding your photos in the gallery. Always very crowded and crew changes position of the photos daily. Once you do actually find a photo of yourself, buy it or forget it. You'll never find it again. Skip the dining room. Food in the Caribe and Horizon is excellent, with all you can eat lobster on lobster night. The seafood buffet is great, along with all the other specialty nights they offer. Be warned, however, that ice is hard to get in the dining room (usually out) and the only drink options you have are coffee, water and tea. No lemonade, juice or punch like on Carnival. Movies Under the Stars is wonderful. Our cruise didn't require reservations the whole week. We loved the cute movies during the day when we were in the pool. Splash, E.T. Shrek, Grease, Ice Age, etc. We enjoyed Monday Night Football on the big screen as well. (Note to sports fans...don't expect to get any football scores or info while on board. You have to get online at the internet cafe. All football news info is in Spanish, and the sports bar was always playing soccer or Tom Jones in concert). If you want to see a show, get there two hours early. I guess. I never got to see one. Good luck. If you have the chance, visit Sterling's Steakhouse. Head waiter is pretty full of himself, but the rest of the staff is charming. Best steaks in the world. On excursions, book them yourself. I suggest the turtle farm/ rum factory and shopping excursion at Grand Cayman. $20 per person, and all the information you can handle about the island. It was on a great A/C bus and we were sorry to see it end. Took about 2 hours. In Jamaica, go to the Island Village. Don't go to Ocean Village, as it is full of pushy vendors who are very scary. If you're tempted to get a T-shirt onboard, don't. At least not until Friday. Then they put out all these T-shirts in the atrium (better than the ones they carry in the gift shop) and sell them for $11.99-$13.99 each. Much better than the $19.99 and $29.99 price in the gift shop. They even carry the large sizes, up to 3XL. If you have a problem or even a stupid question, visit the Purser's desk. They are all very informed and helpful. Request a printout of your bill on Thursday or Friday, as you will not be given a copy until 5 a.m. on Saturday morning of your departure, and you only have until 7 a.m. to make adjustments. We got a printout on Thursday night, and had our tips removed so we could tip our servers ourselves. We didn't feel the need to tip for dining room service since we only ate in the dining room one night. And the servers in the buffet area are only interested in getting you out of there to get your table. Pool area - chairs are relatively easy to find, most people just used them to hold a towel while they are in the pool. Bar staff at the pool areas are great and not overwhelmingly annoying. Which reminds me, beware of the annoying woman in the buffet area trying to sell you shots, glasses of wine, etc. She was by far the most obnoxious person I have ever met. You can't avoid her, and her voice is so horror-movie piercing it will give you cold chills. Somebody really needs to push her overboard. Okay, that's about it. Getting off the ship was a breeze, no problems. Luggage is very well laid out by deck and color, and we had no problems finding it or getting a reasonable taxi to the airport. But, I'm going back to Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
We are just off the September 10-17 sailing of the Caribbean Princess. Although my wife has cruised more times than I have, this was my fourth cruise and the third in as many years. Prior to this vacation, we had sailed the Explorer of the ... Read More
We are just off the September 10-17 sailing of the Caribbean Princess. Although my wife has cruised more times than I have, this was my fourth cruise and the third in as many years. Prior to this vacation, we had sailed the Explorer of the Seas in '03 and her sister ship Mariner last year. In addition to cruising we have both traveled the Caribbean many times and have always stayed in upscale properties. We arrived at the dock around 11:00 AM, embarkation went smoothly and we were in our stateroom by about 12:15. A nice touch was white gloved crew members awaiting our arrival and guiding us to our cabin. We were booked into cabin C743 which is the last balcony stateroom on the starboard side of the ship. The balcony is slightly larger than others on the Caribe deck and felt very expansive. The room was nicely proportioned and decorated with a subdued tropical ambiance. We were soon greeted by Elena, our cabin attendant, who turned out to be one of the highlights of our Princess experience. She was friendly, attentive and despite our constant efforts to the contrary, kept our room spotless. As we began to explore the ship, we both found the layout to be somewhat frustrating and confusing due to difficulty in getting from one part of the ship to another. This was due to unexpected dead ends, having to go up or down a level and then return to the original level because of some designed in detour and/or corridors being jammed at peak times with all traffic being funneled into a small space. While we had looked forward to exploring the ship and seeing the different design elements, there was never anything about it that really took our breath away or made us stop and stare in appreciation. We also discovered that we prefer traditional seating. The first night, we availed ourselves of the Personal Choice dining option, we were seated in a traditional dining room just as the first seating diners were finishing their entrEes. The staff had a second seating to prepare for and rushed us through our meal. By the time our dessert was served, we had six waiters hovering around our table like buzzards waiting to remove any dish that looked remotely empty. At one point my wife took a sip of coffee and someone snatched the saucer from the table as she did. We all felt as if we were getting the "bums rush" so they could serve the next set of guests. In regards to the food, the best description would be "Uninspired and Adequate." Neither of us ever had one of those "Honey, you HAVE to try this" moments from any of the food. The buffets were boring and both specialty restaurants were disappointing. There were six of us at Sterling's Steakhouse one evening and the three of us that ordered porterhouse steaks all struggled to cut through the gristle. Our local Longhorn's serves a better cut of meat. On a more positive note, the staff was always friendly and helpful and the pool areas were nice. Pizza, burgers and fries during the afternoon and evening were tasty and convenient. We especially enjoyed the peace and quiet of the terrace pool and the views of the wake it afforded. We didn't do any Princess sponsored shore excursions, so I can't comment on those. We sailed with a GREAT group of people, enjoyed the islands and had a wonderful vacation. I would be happy to answer any questions anyone might have. Overall, this ship reminded me of vanilla pudding. It is okay, but it reminds me of how much I prefer Crème Brulee'. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
This was my first Princess cruise and it was touted by many to be a grand ship so my expectations were somewhat high. Embarkation at Port Everglades went quite well. We did arrive early and navigating the garage/check-in area was a bit of ... Read More
This was my first Princess cruise and it was touted by many to be a grand ship so my expectations were somewhat high. Embarkation at Port Everglades went quite well. We did arrive early and navigating the garage/check-in area was a bit of a circus. We had to drive around several times just to drop off our luggage, but after that the line moved rather quickly and we were on the ship heading toward our room in no time. We booked a balcony cabin with a double bed and were impressed with its spaciousness and efficient compared to other ships. The balcony was large with 4 chairs and a table and the cabin roomy enough not to feel claustrophobic. It would turn out to be one of the highlights of our trip. On the up side we found the staff to be courteous and the ship was kept spotless. Our cabin steward was especially friendly and seemed to be at work 24 hours a day. Unfortunately there were some down sides as well. Dining was the biggest disappointment, with all of the talk of great steak and lobster dinners and fine dining that these cruises offer, the Princess Caribbean was terribly lacking. We chose anytime dining and found out quickly that as a couple if you wanted to eat in the dining room you would have a long wait, must endure eating at a table with 6 strangers or eat every night at 5:30 pm if you wanted a table alone. Unless you were prepared to wait a while for dinner. Once in the dining room we found the staff to be rushed and the food options very limited. The fare seemed no better than any chain restaurant and rarely were the orders gotten correct. After a few nights we gave up and discovered the Caribe Cafe. The food here was much better and the selection greater, including many of the items offered in the dining room. This to be noted is the only place we were ever offered the lobster. We ate at the Cafe buffet for the rest of the cruise. The lines could be long however, especially since this ship houses an extra 500 passengers as compared to its partners and could be the reason they make the dining room so unappealing. Although the food here was better, with two lines going into the buffet area from each side chaos was the norm in peak dining times, with most diners waiting patiently in line only to have others just waltz in front of them for the main course area in the middle of the buffet. The pool areas surround the buffet areas on the Lido deck so even with dinner signs and appropriate dress posted, there were many still there in their bathing suits and towels. The Caribe Cafe did offer a full wait staff with linens which was a nice feature to the buffet - but if the fine dining experience is what you are looking for you will have to settle for the atmosphere and sub par food from the dining room. There were many choices for lounging by the pool many to accommodate families and others for those looking for a private retreat to read and bar service staff was readily available to take orders. The main pool area also offered the pizzeria and grill to fulfill your snacking needs or a needed break from the boring lunch choices of the buffet. On this 7 day cruise you will have 2 days at sea and 4 ports of call. Princess Cays, the ships private island was nice and offered a great first day of beach and sun enjoyment. Ocho Rios was okay, I would note not to purchase the onboard excursion to Dunns Falls as it is only a mile away from the ship and readily available by taxi and a ticket for $15, The other stops of Grand Cayman and Cozumel were run of the mill especially if you are a shopper. If you are not you may want to take a book of places to see since the ships info only pushes its "recommend stores and excursions". There is a library on board with travel books for those islands which provided me with some options other than t-shirts and diamonds. Overall I found this ship to be too crowded, the food awful and our ports of call not very enriching. The ship is clean and the staff respectful and nice. But this is not the ship for you [or me] if you don't like a lot of crowds and expect grand service and fine dining. Read Less
Sail Date July 2005
We have just returned from our Coral Princess 10-night Panama Canal/Caribbean cruise and wanted to share a few items. Itinerary - we loved the 5 ports: Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Panama Canal crossing (Colon/Cristobal), Grand Cayman, ... Read More
We have just returned from our Coral Princess 10-night Panama Canal/Caribbean cruise and wanted to share a few items. Itinerary - we loved the 5 ports: Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Panama Canal crossing (Colon/Cristobal), Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Belize. The Panama Canal crossing was the main reason we chose this itinerary. Ship - The food was very good, both the main dining room and the Horizon Court buffet. The pizza was excellent! We hated the Bayou Cafe. We've been to New Orleans, and believe me, this cafe doesn't begin to approximate New Orleans cuisine. Save your money, as there is a $15 per person cover charge. We did hear that Sabatini's Restaurant (also a cover charge) was wonderful, but we didn't try it. Skip the ice cream bar (extra charge) but note that ice cream was served free at the back of the Horizon Court buffet from 3:30-4:00 or so. The staff was great; our steward went the extra mile to provide robes, fruit, chaise lounges (which fit on our balcony)and extra pool towels. You are only assigned 1 towel per person per day and there are no additional towels poolside. Ask your steward for extras. All the nickel and diming I could do without; you pay for every soda you drink, every "class" you take, every bottle of water,some classes in the gym, etc. etc. etc. I HATED the constant loud music at the main pool. The Lotus Pool was quieter, but the water was on the cold side. The Spa was fantastic and the heated beds there are great. If you book a spa service, you may use them, as well as the steam rooms and sauna. Tours we took: Costa Rica (Limon) - booked an independent tour with Oscar Brown; visited the Tortuguero Canals (saw some wildlife), banana plantation,(not my favorite) and a wonderful Wildlife Sanctuary, where I got to hold a baby howler monkey. These folks rehabilitate animals that have been abandoned or who are in trouble and after nursing them back to health, release them into the wild again. It's called the Marina Rescue Center and you can e-mail Horace at hostcr@gmail.com. Panama Canal- We did Ocean to Ocean. You board a small boat and go through the remaining three locks all the way to the Pacific. They provide a box lunch and soft drinks/bottled water. It's a long day but well worth it! We went through the locks with several small sailboats attached to us, a gigantic freighter and a tugboat. You come so close to the side of the Canal that you can actually touch it. Grand Cayman - We had rough seas and couldn't dock here. We were disappointed not to go to Stingray City. Cozumel - We beached it at Playa Palancar and had a wonderful day. It's a quiet, laid-back beach, with chairs (ask to have a cushion), and shade, parrots and peacocks are there too! Wonderful restaurant. Belize - We snorkeled the Barrier Reef off Belize City. I was quite disappointed in the lack of fish and have found much more beautiful reefs in the Grenadines(Tobago Cays), Grand Cayman, Bonaire and Cozumel. The boat ride out to the reef was fun. One of the guides got stung by a Stingray and had to seek medical attention. This was upsetting. Also, the Tour Desk overbooked and our tour was delayed and cut short by 45 minutes. They didn't apologize, were a bit arrogant, but did eventually refund a small portion of the tour price to us. Generally, the Tour Desk on the Coral Princess is very uninformed about the ports; there seems to be a strong emphasis on shopping. They also seemed very disorganized. There is a general lack of information available to you, so do your research before you sail. Cabins - Very small shower, not much water pressure, and hot water needed to be hotter. Our cabin had various noises in the ceiling (bunk beds that are in the ceiling for extra beds) that were rattling the whole cruise and disturbed our sleep. Maybe they fixed this the last night of the cruise (?), but it was quite annoying. I would recommend this ship/cruise/itinerary, but might have enjoyed it more on another cruise line. we have mixed feelings about booking with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
We decided to travel to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarkation and avoid the hassle of morning arrivals. We booked our own hotel, saving over $100.00 over the Princess package at the same hotel. Free ship transfers were provided by the ... Read More
We decided to travel to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarkation and avoid the hassle of morning arrivals. We booked our own hotel, saving over $100.00 over the Princess package at the same hotel. Free ship transfers were provided by the hotel. Embarkation was efficient, only waiting for 10-15 minutes. The cruise staff onboard guiding you to your stateroom was much less helpful than our prior cruise with Princess. We had a balcony stateroom on Baja which was clean and comfortable. The balcony was much smaller and less private than we would prefer, but allowed us to retreat from the bustle on the ship. Our only complaint is that the cabin steward frequently missed the balcony while cleaning our room. The food on our cruise was a disappointment. The buffet had much less variety than our previous cruise, and the quality was lacking. Trying to get a table in the buffet is nearly impossible. Cafe Caribe food quality seemed slightly higher than that in Horizon Court. We chose anytime dining for our cruise. This allowed greater flexibility when selecting our evening's entertainment. With anytime dining, we had the choice between 2 restaurants - Coral & Palm. There was rarely a wait for either restaurant. The service in the Coral dining room was terrible. Soda ordered from the waiter took 25 minutes to be delivered, dinner plate was taken away while I was till eating (literally, still chewing), water glasses were not refilled and several requests were sometimes necessary for water, waiters did not check to see if we were satisfied with the meal until we were finished, and waiters were usually absent during much of our meal. This behavior was observed both early (6:00-7:00) and late dining (9:00-10:00). The Coral dining room was much louder than the Palm dining room. The service in the Palm dining room was very enjoyable, and it's difficult to comprehend that we were even on the same ship. Wait staff in this restaurant were timely, friendly, attentive, personable, and went the extra mile for us. I cannot find anything to criticize about our experience here - just wish we didn't waste 3 nights in the Coral dining room. Regardless of which dining room we were in, the food was just "above average". Both dining rooms are serviced by the same kitchen, so don't expect a difference in menu or quality. The food did not meet expectations on presentation or quality - definitely not what we experienced on the Grand Princess last year. This ship was much too crowded. Princess states that the ship capacity is 3,150, but we had 3,200 passengers on our cruise (700 more than our cruise on the Grand). It’s obvious that Princess has increased the stateroom capacity – not common area and entertainment venues. When we wanted to go above deck for some sun, it took about 45 minutes to find lounge chairs (on average). Long waits for elevators were common. Common areas were teaming with people. Trying to get a seat in the entertainment areas was nearly impossible. Explorers lounge was usually filled beyond capacity – with passengers sitting on floors and railings. Unfortunately, this also prevented waiters from bringing drinks. Long lines were present everywhere – pictures, bars & various other services. Entertainment was good, but crowded. Bert Stratton in Crooners Lounge (Bert’s living room) was very enjoyable. We took the opportunity to see him 3 times and enjoyed the 3rd show as much as the first. Comedians were average to slightly above average – but again, Explorers was too crowded to fully enjoy the show. Princess Idol was OK, really only enjoyable on the last night. “Movies under the stars” was always booked, but the screen quality didn’t appear to be that great anyway. Entertainment on the ship was simply average. We booked the deluxe anniversary package since it included many of the services we would have paid for separately. The wait for “Lotus Spa” was 30-45 minutes past our appointments. They rebooked one of our massages the next day – then told us the wrong time. Went for the rebooked massage, then sat there for 45 minutes (after checking in) and was told that I didn’t have an appointment. After complaining, they rebooked me the following day and we were forced to return to the ship early while in St. Thomas to get my massage. This is a very poorly managed area of the ship. I would not recommend their services. Disembarkation was better than our last experience. Princess now serves soda throughout the process, so you can relax with a drink while waiting to leave the ship. The airport transfer was crowded with poor air conditioning – not sure if it was just our bus or common for the transfers. This ship has too many passengers, and service suffers. We will not be booking on any ships with a capacity greater than 2,600. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
Let's start off with something positive....the staff. With only one exception (the person that SELLS ice cream to you, but "can't mix flavors"), the service was great. I couldn't have expected better service on a ... Read More
Let's start off with something positive....the staff. With only one exception (the person that SELLS ice cream to you, but "can't mix flavors"), the service was great. I couldn't have expected better service on a higher priced cruise. HOWEVER...This is the first cruise that all of the 66 people in our party thought the food left something to be desired. (I am putting it nicely.) Some I am sure LOST weight on this cruise. They shouldn't serve "succulent shrimp cocktails," 'cause they "ain't". They are small ridiculous excuses for shrimp. Actually, it is appropriate to call their shrimp "shrimps." They are. The cabins are VERY compact, and the "balcony" is smaller than a fire escape . A passenger joked that the room was sooo small that he had to leave it to change his mind. The WORST part of the trip for me however was THE STENCH up in the Horizon Buffet area. Evidently it is an ongoing problem since it has been noted months ago on other reviews and still exists. It's a week later, and I still can smell the sewerage. VILE. Also, the library is open just a few hours a day (I don't know why they even bother). Having been on the Star Princess two years ago, the SUN was a big disappointment and I imagine that this was my/our last trip with them. OK... I warned you. Beware Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
We just got off the Caribbean Princess this past Saturday and it was a very nice ship however it should be, it's new. Three weeks ago we were on the Dawn Princess and I posted our review which was the worst cruise we've ever ... Read More
We just got off the Caribbean Princess this past Saturday and it was a very nice ship however it should be, it's new. Three weeks ago we were on the Dawn Princess and I posted our review which was the worst cruise we've ever experienced to date in 38 cruises. We booked both at the same time so that is why we cruised on the Caribbean Princess two weeks later. This ship was much better than the Dawn. While the ship is beautiful, the design or floor plan leaves little to be desired. Lots of dead ends and elevators that do not go to all of the floors. THE ELEVATORS!! This seems to be a common theme on Princess ships, The slow elevators. If you get frustrated easily don't take the elevators they are painfully slow. We thought the entertainment was just ok. The production shows were not great, There were several comedians and one we thought was very funny the others not so much. The food in the dining room again looked very good but it wasn't what we are used to on other cruise lines. The buffet food was ok and the presentation of that was very nice. The speciality restaurants were good and the service in each of them was fantastic but this is the type of service you get normally on Royal Caribbean. Movies Under The Stars is a nice feature and the pool areas on the ship were very nice. However, we must complain about the adult spas and the smoking areas. There are whirlpool spas that are clearly labeled Adults Only but Kids were in there all of the time. In the open areas on deck around the pools and pizza eating areas there are designated smoking areas and non smoking areas. Many smokers disregarded the non smoking areas. My complaint is that the staff/crew should enforce these things or why have them in place. While this cruise was head and shoulders over the Dawn Princess we experienced two weeks ago, we will not cruise Princess again. When Royal Caribbean treats you like royalty why go anywhere else. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
We had previously traveled on Dawn Princess, and had found that cruise very enjoyable. We looked forward to a pleasurable cruise on Sun Princess, which we had been told was an identical sister ship to Dawn Princess. However, the ship was ... Read More
We had previously traveled on Dawn Princess, and had found that cruise very enjoyable. We looked forward to a pleasurable cruise on Sun Princess, which we had been told was an identical sister ship to Dawn Princess. However, the ship was identical, but the experience was not. We signed up for "Personal Choice" dining because we had found that on Dawn Princess we could show up whenever it was convenient and dine. Sun Princess, in contrast, was "Personal Choice" in name only. Getting into the dining room was a hassle because many diners had reserved the same table for each of the ten nights at the same hour, which was usually 6 p.m. If you did not get to the dining room before 6, you could usually not get in. Finally, after going through the hassle for 4 nights, we decided that if we could not beat them, we had no choice but to join them. For the final 6 nights we also reserved the same table for 6 p.m. The first two nights in the Atlantic was rough sailing, as was the next to last night. We found that our cabin creaked and banged. The noise sounded as if something was rolling across our ceiling. We also heard noises that sounded as if drawers were being constantly opened and shut. The noise was bad enough to keep us awake on those three nights. We checked with fellow passengers and learned that some were experiencing the same problems while others were not. We reported the noise to the "front desk," but they did little about it. Finally, they said they would send a joiner to check, but he did not arrive until a few days later, when the noise had stopped. He said he could do nothing about the problem unless he could hear the noise. They really did not seem very concerned. The food was consistently good, as were the shows. However, the Princess Theater and the Vista Lounge, where the shows were presented, are not large enough to accommodate the number of passengers. Generally, you had to be in the theater or the lounge (especially the lounge) an hour before the show to ensure getting seats. Several times even when I was there an hour early, I still had to sit on the steps! We might cruise Princess again, but certainly not the Sun Princess. The sleepless nights and dining room hassle ruined the cruise. In conversations with other passengers we learned that a good number of others felt the same way. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
Princess has embarkation down pat. We were on the ship within 10 min. of getting off the bus. We had a mini-suite on Dolphin which I absolutely loved. The extra space is wonderful but not always affordable unfortunately. It really ... Read More
Princess has embarkation down pat. We were on the ship within 10 min. of getting off the bus. We had a mini-suite on Dolphin which I absolutely loved. The extra space is wonderful but not always affordable unfortunately. It really didn't bother me that others could look down on our deck & see what we were doing 'cause we weren't doing anything out of the ordinary. Now a newly married couple or someone who likes privacy should not be on this deck or for that matter the 2 or so decks above us as they jut out from the ship in the same manner & give no privacy. The food I thought was mediocre and getting a table was difficult at times. Once when we told a lady that she could come take our table, a man slipped in right under my husband's backside as he was getting up!!! The man simply ignored my husband's protests & unfortunately remained firmly seated. The only places where we never had to wait for a table was in the Palm & Coral dining rooms. The maitre d's (?) were very efficient in both. Cafe Caribe was a nice addition to the beleaguered Horizon Court. I did enjoy the sushi & Chinese food there. It was only open during certain times to take the edge off Horizon though which I thought was unwise since they would close with tons of food still left out. I would have thought that it would be more efficient to at least stay open until the food was mostly gone. Many times I missed out on the entrees because I got salad first & by the time I went back it was closed. I found that this ship had a crowded feel to it. You really can tell that there is an extra 500 or so people onboard. Long lineups were present everywhere. To get a seat in the Explorer lounge to see the entertainment was very tricky & people were often seen at their worst because of this. I had a couple of unpleasant altercations because someone wanted my seat. I wish that they had at least put the main entertainment in Princess Theatre. Leave the piano players in the lounges. Never saw the big production numbers in the theatre but was told that they were okay. The big movie screen which was one of the reasons that I booked was not that big a deal. Most of the time the volume was too low unless it was football & then the volume was on max making it unpleasant to sit by the pool or hot tub. Disembarkation was very efficient again considering there were so many people & we were on the bus to the airport by 10 a.m. We would never book on this ship again, unfortunately. It just has too many passengers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
We just got back from a New Year's cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess. Our family included my husband and myself, both 52, our daughter, 27, and her boyfriend, 26, along with our two sons, 23 & 21. We have previously cruised ... Read More
We just got back from a New Year's cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess. Our family included my husband and myself, both 52, our daughter, 27, and her boyfriend, 26, along with our two sons, 23 & 21. We have previously cruised Carnival once and RCI six times. This was our first Princess cruise and will be our last as well. Embarkation: Extremely smooth for us but perhaps that is because we arrived early. We were processed and onboard by 12:30. This ship is too small for the number of passengers. We were extremely lucky because all of us are fit and healthy as we basically had to take the stairs everywhere we went. The elevators are slow and crowded. It is extremely hard to navigate where you are on this ship. I am used to the Promenade on the RCI Voyager Class ships. I always knew where I was and which way I needed to head based on the Promenade. I gave up trying to figure where I was on the Princess. There is one floor that doesn't go thru the length of the ship. Rather you have to go up and then go back down to get where you want to be. There is not enough seating in the buffet during breakfast and lunch. The layout (traffic pattern) of the buffet is not up to that on RCI. One of the crew told us, "Of course there is enough seating for everyone, they just didn't tell you that you would have to sit on someone's lap!" The service/care of the passengers on this ship is very poor. This began prior to embarkation. We had a problem/concern so we called Princess regarding it. After not getting a satisfactory answer my husband faxed a letter to their headquarters and we still do not have an answer, although the cruise is over. Once onboard we needed some help with a dinner reservation for New Year's Eve. Went to the purser's desk to get help. The girl there said she'd only been on the ship 4 months and did we expect her to know what to do? Uh, yes. We then asked for her manager so he could help us and her reply is that the managers weren't available to speak directly with the passengers. Yep, I want that job. How hard could it be to be a manager when they don't have to deal with the passengers? The stability of this ship is extremely bad. Even on a calm day, the ship never stopped swaying. By the second night of the cruise Dramamine was sold out of the shop on ship. We got to know several crew members and we were told that the ship was built wrong. It is one story higher than the other ships which affects the stability. The crew said that since its inauguration in April, it has been this way. If you're prone to being seasick, I would definitely not pick this ship. The shows on board were very poor. It's hard to understand why the singers/dancers can't sing the lyrics when they only have four shows a week. We attended the first show and part of their singing was dubbed. Perhaps it wasn't that way the next three shows as we didn't go to any more. We will not be taking another Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
This was our 5th cruise and our first on Princess. We had a great time on the cruise, but we were disappointed with Princess. We will not travel with them again, and will return to Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. The buffet food was not ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise and our first on Princess. We had a great time on the cruise, but we were disappointed with Princess. We will not travel with them again, and will return to Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. The buffet food was not very good. We were very disappointed with it. The dining room food and service was good, but not as good as other lines. We encountered rude staff on three occasions. At the buffet, I reached into the spoon container to pull out a spoon. I accidently pulled out several with some dropping to the floor. One dining room worker said to me, "Thanks a lot. I just loaded that tray and now look at the work you caused me!" The entertainment ranged from fair to poor. I saw some of the worst comedy performances ever on this cruise. The Explorer lounge filled fast and is inadequate for the number of passengers. At the Crooner's Lounge, Bert was great. But, seating is very sparse and inadequate. Before the cruise, about 45 days, I booked some massages. The Lotus Spa raised their prices in the interim and would not honor the prices originally quoted without printouts from the booking. I had one and they honored it. But, they changed the schedule forcing us to change the times of our massages for ports-of-call. We had to pay the higher price, even though the change was caused by their changing the schedule. The increase -- $20 a pop. Overall, I would not recommend this line to friends. From the frequent Princess cruisers we talked to aboard the ship, they felt that Princess had gone significantly downhill in the last several months. My husband tried to use a treadmill. He was kicked out of the gym for only having strapped sandals and wearing socks. He was not allowed in the gym until we stopped in San Juan to get some running shoes. When evicted, there were 2 women in the gym in sandals with no socks. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
Where to start....first off the ship is beautiful, but, VERY difficult to find your way around. We didn't start learning our way around it until the next to the last day of our cruise. Our room was fine. We had a stateroom with a ... Read More
Where to start....first off the ship is beautiful, but, VERY difficult to find your way around. We didn't start learning our way around it until the next to the last day of our cruise. Our room was fine. We had a stateroom with a balcony, which we enjoyed very much. However, the A/C in the room was less than adequate. We had our own thermostat, but, possibly, it's just for show. We called maintenance twice to try to get the room colder, but, no luck. I quickly found that the people that loved this ship/cruise were of the retirement age group. I have sailed Carnival prior to this and will go back to them next time. Carnival's activities are geared more toward the younger crowd and they offer much more on a daily basis. There were not enough announcements to let you know what was going on during the day. For instance, I hear they had a sushi bar twice during the cruise, but, we never knew of it and missed it both times. Anyone who talked about it said they found it while walking around the ship. Our cabin steward was great.....Kornel! And our cocktail waitress in Club Fusion.....Hazel was superb! Graham, the cruise director is a hoot and we loved watching his take on the TV each day of the daily activities and drink specials. The Lido deck is too small...if you want a seat near the pool you need to get out there before 8 a.m. to "save your chair," which they say you aren't allowed to do....HAH! 7 day cruise and we didn't get near the pool one time! Also, they kept showing the same movies on Lido over and over again....Splash played 3 times that I know of...geesh. The buffets.......hmmm no direction to go and people everywhere -- totally disorganized and hectic experience. Also, the foods were too exotic for my tastes and I found very little to eat at any of the buffets. Sit down dinner was very good. We had anytime seating which we loved, so that was nice. The shows...some were good, most were OK. Nothing great that's for sure. I can only remember one comedian that I actually enjoyed watching and thought was actually funny and that's Steve Morris. Sorry to say, but, overall I will not book another Princess cruise, I will go back to Carnival for my next one. They know how to have a good time and are much more organized than this ship was. Plus, Carnival had cruise directors on each level and signs to tell you what was going on each day and how to get there! Now that they own Princess, maybe they will make some changes on these ships. Cruising isn't just for the elderly anymore, so they will need to step up to the plate to keep the younger crowd interested in sailing with them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
Our HONEYMOON trip was on September 11-18th (CP was supposed to be to the Western Caribbean). The day before the voyage, Princess still had no clue what they were going to do (neither did my travel agent). They finally gave word that we ... Read More
Our HONEYMOON trip was on September 11-18th (CP was supposed to be to the Western Caribbean). The day before the voyage, Princess still had no clue what they were going to do (neither did my travel agent). They finally gave word that we were rescheduled for Eastern Caribbean due to the hurricane. Embarkation was very quick (onboard within an hour). The ship was beautiful, big, and clean. We had a balcony stateroom on the Caribe deck. The stateroom was small, but did have a huge balcony (half covered/half not). Closet was decent size with plenty of hangers. Shower was super small. Fours pools (I think)....two for adults, one pool with the giant sized movie screen which played day and night (more for the kids), and another pool that had an awesome reggae band and many fun pool games. Many bars and lounge areas around the ship. A cigar bar which blew because they tried to make it too upscale and had CNN playing all day (how about some other channels like ESPN???) A casino that was very nice and had friendly dealers and many different games to play (even though we saw no one win and we were in there three nights). Horse racing and bingo every day which was exciting (participants of all ages which was surprising). Did not see any of the shows but did go to Skywalkers and the DJ was horrible. If you like Madonna and Michael Jackson all night long you will love this club...that's all we heard! Gym and fitness center was pretty neat...had lots of treadmills and weights and a complimentary water fountain (wow, thanks Princess!) Wife said her massage, 80 minute deep tissue was great, although very pricey ($165 with tip included on a sea day). I never saw any trash on the ground and always wait staff to pick up which was important to my wife and myself. The service all around the ship was outstanding! Whether it was getting a drink at the bar, eating in the dining room, room service, or any other aspect we never had bad service. The dining room wait staff (including the specialty restaurants was fantastic). Buffets were gross! Very little selection for breakfast and lunch! Didn't even have juices for breakfast....water, milk, coffee and tea only. Lunch and dinners in the dining rooms were average...Sabatinis' is really good (17 course meal)! no kiddin! If you go on this cruise and have a balcony, you must do the balcony dinner for $50/person. Now I know why they don't advertise this special dinner.......they would have everyone wanting to do this. They will only do two a night and you must give room service 24 hours. My wife (then fiance) and I were served a five course meal including crab cakes, filet mignon and about a 1 1/2 pound lobster (I didn't think they made them this big either). They also included a photographer who came out and took complimentary pictures, a bottle of champagne, and a honeymoon chocolate cake. It was phenomenal and a must if you are celebrating a special occasion. Must also see the Movies under the Stars (but get there early at least 1/2 hour and reserve tickets as soon as you get on the ship). It sells out every night! Despite the unbelievable service, I will never ever take Princess Cruises again. They have no idea what they are doing when it comes to taking care of their guests. We were originally booked for Western Caribbean (Princess Cays, Ochos Rios, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel). Guess what we got because of the hurricane????.........Montego Bay (absolutely disgusting) and Nassau (not much better). Our trip was changed three times! We went to Jamaica (which we should never have been at in the first place....the beaches were a disaster area and three shore excursions were offered and sold out in ten minutes. These were both horrible ports and would not recommend them. So instead of getting four good ports we got two ports....and as a consideration or comp the passengers received absolutely nothing......not even a free drink or bottle of wine......completely unacceptable in my book. There were so many complaints and a line at the Purser's deck out the door.....Princess reasoning for not comping was that they have a right to change ports at any time and it says that on the contract. We had entirely too much time at sea. We were dying to get off the ship (there is only so much time I can spend by the pool and in the casino and same shows night in and night out). I feel Princess was very cheap for not offering the guest anything for the inconveniences. I would definitely try another cruise line in the future before another Princess Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
Let me start by saying the worst cruise is still better than your best day at work and we firmly belive there is no such thing as a terrible cruise. However, with that being said, we felt it was worthwhile to advise anyone who was ... Read More
Let me start by saying the worst cruise is still better than your best day at work and we firmly belive there is no such thing as a terrible cruise. However, with that being said, we felt it was worthwhile to advise anyone who was considering the Caribbean Princess for their next sailing of our recent experiences. This was our seventh cruise in the past few years and our first on Princess. We have recently cruised on Carnival, RCL, NCL, and Celebrity - so we feel we have a well rounded base from which to compare. Embarkation: What a fiasco!! To no fault of Princess the Fort Lauderdale terminal had lost power over Friday evening and consequently, the disembarkation of the previous Caribbean Princess (CP) voyage was delayed by many hours. After nearly three hours standing in line in nearly 95 degree weather, along with 3,100 of our closest friends it was quite obvious that Princess had no back up plan in the event power was lost. However, sometime after 2:00pm we finally made it onboard. Due to the power failure, the last passengers were boarded well after 5:00pm and we finally departed for St. Thomas close to 6:30pm. Onboard: This is an absolutely gorgeous vessel that is tastefully decorated and well appointed with a lot of teak and brass with soft colors throughout. However, it is very important to note and remember this vessel is only four months old and needless to say has a lot of "new ship" kinks to work out. Several times during the seven day voyage the A/C in our stateroom would shut off for hours resulting in a very hot cabin. Also, there are several hot spots throughout the vessel as it is apparent Princess has not quite got the HVAC system to work consistently throughout. Being this was a vessel built for 100% Caribbean cruising, you would of thought the builder would of over-powered the HVAC system to insure a comfortable year round environment - it appears that was not the case. If you like your staterooms on the cool side for sleeping, consider another vessel. Although we did not experience this problem, several guests were complaining about the power in their cabins shutting off throughout the day. Also, it is worth reminding everyone this vessel has upwards of 3,100+ guests with no more public space than that of the Coral Princess. Those extra 500-600 passengers are very noticeable in the restaurants, bars, and other public spaces throughout the vessel. For example, if you are not seated in a venue at least 20-30 minutes prior to the start of a show - you will not find a seat. Searching for an open table at the buffet is similar to searching for a lost ship in the Bermuda Triangle - nearly impossible to find at the traditional eating times for breakfast and lunch. The big screen TV is impressive and has a tremendous sound system with a great picture both day and night. Please note you must make reservations to attend the evening outdoor movie shows. On a positive note, there are more pools on this vessel than you can count. They are everywhere, some in direct sun, some in complete shade and some partially protected by the 17th deck (Skywalkers). Finding a pool and a comfortable lounge chair onboard this vessel was never a problem. The Food: If you are not a seafood lover - DO NOT BOOK THIS CRUISE. The selections for non-seafood eating guests are very limited. However, if you lover crab, lobster, shrimp and other exotic seafood dishes this is a great voyage for you. For the most part, the food is very good but at times a little too gourmet and geared towards the European crowd during breakfast and lunch. Also, in the Horizon Buffet at dinner time, you can get the exact same dishes as being served in the main dining room. For you lobster lovers, you are limited to two lobsters in the main dining room, but can eat all you can shove down in Horizons. Sabatini's and Sterling are well worth the cover charge, but make your reservations as soon as you board as these venues fill up quickly and have very limited seating. Sterling was as good as any Ruth Chris or Mortons I have been too and Sabatini's is about as authentic when it comes to southern Italian food as you can get without flying to Italy. Word of advice, do not gorge yourself throughout the day as the portions at Sterling are what you would expect from Mortons and Sabatini's is an 18 course culinary extravaganza. Other food / drink: The pizza at the pizzeria is out of this world if you like true Italian thin crust pizza. The chef at the pizzeria is actually from Naples and does an absolute wonderful job at making traditional Italian pizza. However, on a cheap note there is no FREE ICE CREAM on this Love Boat. If I recall, Scoops charges $3.75 per serving. This will get quite expensive if you have children traveling with you and you have taken them on other vessels in the Carnival, RCL or NCL fleet that have 24 hour/day soft serve at no additional charge. If you are a drinker, this is the vessel for you. I think they have about 14 different bars not to mention the poolside, theater waiters and others floating about constantly pushing the drinks. available in small, medium and large the mixed drinks are not a bad deal in comparison to other cruise lines. Get the soft drink card on your first day as you will be continually thirsty floating around the caribbean sea / gulf in the salt air. Dining Options: As they say Princess does a lot of things very well but nothing really excellent. That saying definitely applies to the dining programs. Taking the lead from NCL's Freestyle Dining and trying to combine it with traditional dining, Princess has come up with their twist called anytime dining. While on the surface it sounds great and on paper it makes a lot of sense, but in practice it does not work. With anytime dining you can show up at the dining room anytime between 5:30 and 10:00pm with very little to no wait. That is great - except that when you are seated with others no one including the tables around you are on the same course. Consequently, it is very difficult to carry on a conversation with your tablemates while you are waiting for your food and others are eating, while some may be getting ready to leave. Also, the service is very uneven as the waiter who is working multiple tables might be serving three different courses at numerous tables all-the-while trying to please everyone. This is a recipe for disaster. Either go Freestyle or Traditional, but for heavens do not try to develop some hybrid program that does not work. Entertainment: The Las Vegas style shows left a lot to be desired. To put it bluntly, the main singers were flat and the dancers looked like they came from your local dance company revue - definitely not Vegas caliber show stock. However, the alternate entertainers such as the comedians, jugglers, magicians and impressionists were great. Thank goodness for these acts or we would of donated a lot more to the casino. The club bands are also worth mentioning as many were very good (especially exotic in Explorers). Princess should considering dumping the main act and replace them with some of the club acts in the Princess Theater. St.Thomas What can you say? A shopper paradise. The tram to Paradise Point is worth your time as you get an excellent view of the island and the cruise port from atop the mountain. St. Marteen For those who have not been to St. Marteen in many years, I think you will be surprised as the island has built a new cruise ship port complete with shopping and a well organized taxi line, ground transportation and water taxi facility. In Phillipsburg, they are reworking the main street to be cobble stone and improving the store fronts. I was told all of the downtown improvements should be complete by the start of 2005. With 55 jewelry stores on one street there is plenty for the women and the guys are pretty much relegated to a supporting role. The power snorkeling in Divi Bay is well worth the time and cost as the water is crystal clear and with the power unit it requires very little physical energy to enjoy the sites. Princess Cays This is Princess' private beach. It is well laid out, plenty of loungers, shade trees and cabanas, an awesome barbecue lunch and typically Bahamian crystal clear water. Be warned, the drinks on Princess Cay are EXPENSIVE and you must you use your cruise card as cash is not accepted. This was a great way to wind down this cruise and it allowed you to spend 4-6 quality hours on a wonderful man-made beach. Disembarkation: I must admit this was one of the smoothest and most well orchestrated disembarkation I have seen and/or experienced. Princess should be commended for their organization as we were one of the last colors to leave and it only took 1.5 hours once they started calling the color tags. Summary: Overall, it was an enjoyable seven days on the open ocean. We were happy we had the time off together and got to experience Princess. However, as for future cruises on this line, it will have to be a great deal on a vessel that has better public space to passenger ratios. Our experiences over the past few years are further confirming our suspicions with each trip - there really is not much difference between the major operators (i.e. Princess, NCL, RCL, celebrity, and Carnival). Go for the best deal taking into consideration what is important to you in terms of vessel size and age, itinerary, length and cost. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
We just returned a few hours ago from the Western Caribbean itinerary of the Caribbean Princess. We had very mixed feelings. We have cruised as a family of three with a 10 yr old child 5 times. This ship was the least impressive and ... Read More
We just returned a few hours ago from the Western Caribbean itinerary of the Caribbean Princess. We had very mixed feelings. We have cruised as a family of three with a 10 yr old child 5 times. This ship was the least impressive and dynamic of all. I will start with the kids club because that was one of the areas that was greatly lacking. On previous cruises the kids club had a large staff with lots of energy, activities and materials for the kids to be excited about being there. They had few activities and they were boring. The staff had no energy and did not get to know the kids let alone care if they were having a good time and as a result the kids were all over the ship rather than staying in the club. This was in such sharp contrast with our last year's cruise on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the seas. Excellent kids club, as was Disney and even Carnival...lots more fun activities and staff with personalities!! This was the first cruise that my child did not have fun in the kids area. The only interesting and fun thing that they had was a program in conjunction with the California Science Center. The kids got to dissect a squid! That was fun and educational. The food was plentiful and did the job, but was just not delicious! Many people were complaining about food not comparing with previous cruises they had taken. There is no grand midnight buffet, just food put out at 11pm from left-overs of the day and kept at the buffet till 4am. We did not try the two restaurants that charge because we believe that dining room food should be excellent. We selected a fixed dinner time and had eight people in our total travelling party. We would have preferred the early dining time but tried the 8:15 and it was a little too late for our family. We will go back to first seating next time. Many people were complaining about the dining service...acceptable, but not excellent, again! - Same with cabin servicing. No big deal. One nice touch is the afternoon tea! That was pleasant and tasty! Entertainment was lacking. The comedians were funny at times and lounge talent was acceptable. No great theatrical shows. The ship is well maintained and clean but not dramatic and exciting like the Royal Caribbean ships of similar size. We took tours in most ports and they were very enjoyable: snorkeling with the stingrays at the sandbar in Grand Cayman is always fun, Negril beach is beautiful in Jamaica, Princess Cay even had good snorkeling! Cozumel was very, very hot!!! If the ship had stayed later into the evening it would have been more pleasant to go into town as we have done previously. We did not find the ship too big or too crowded in public areas as some have commented. No problem there. Photo staff did a good job with formal pictures, but did not catch as many people leaving the ship or around the ship as they could have. We had an inside cabin which was actually roomier than any basic inside cabin we have had so far. It was a better design/floor plan and allowed for more room to move around and store suitcases or get dressed. I think we got spoiled on the Explorer of the Seas last summer. This ship just did not compare in drama of the ship itself, amenities, food, service, or entertainment. A bit disappointing since this was our first try at Princess. Our cruise was not bad, just okay. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Embarkation went very smooth on the Hurricane Frances cruise. Unfortunately this was one of the better parts of this particular trip. We travelled as a family of 4, however with 3 other families totaling 14 (8 Adults and 6 kids) the kids ... Read More
Embarkation went very smooth on the Hurricane Frances cruise. Unfortunately this was one of the better parts of this particular trip. We travelled as a family of 4, however with 3 other families totaling 14 (8 Adults and 6 kids) the kids ranged in age from 4-12. I will first mention that we have sailed on approximately 7 cruises in the past. We chose Princess this time as we had heard alot about there improvement on the kids program. I don't know what the program was like prior to improvement however it is seriously lacking now. It seemed as though the counselors in this program wanted absolutely nothing to do with the kids. The activities were extremely limited to 1 or 2 board games and an occasional movie. There was absolutely no attention given to the children. They were not allowed to have any food, or drinks while at camp. Except for warm water provided by the staff. We actually had to meet them outside camp just to feed them. After 3 days of seeing no improvement we decided to keep them with us. The breakfast served in the dining rooms was embarrassing as was the service by most of the dining crew. Out of 14 meals they managed to get 2-3 correct. After waiting for 1 1/2 hours for breakfast we decided to go to the buffet. The AM dining staff just did not seem to understand any english at all. When we found Ronald at the Palm dining Room in the evening we made reservations to sit at his table for the remainder of the trip as he was excellent. Unfortunately he was not available for breakfast service. The best food was actually at the outside grill for pizza and burgers. We had a veranda mini suite which was adequate, however it really should have some sort of curtain or wall dividing it as there is no privacy from your children. Unfortunately where as our cabin was comfortable, good friends of ours had a mini suite with no A/C the entire cruise. The casino was large however there also was no A/C there, some of the dealers were quite friendly, some acted as if they wanted to be anywhere but there. The show with the comedian magician (cant remember his name) was very raunchy however was absolutely hilarious, I would recommend that for adults. The itinerary which was changed due to Frances was great, we have always loved Grand Cayman and 7 mile beach, and Montego bay was much more pleasant than expected. Princess cay was much larger than the previous private islands we have been to, there was plenty of beach to find a nice quiet spot. Unfortunately we believe we were the last ones to visit it as Frances wiped it out. The ship in general was very nice, however as we are planning to go again as a group to Alaska next year we have pretty much eliminated Princess as an option as they just did not seem to offer the service that a RCCL, Norwegian or Holland America does, especially for the kids. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
The first cruise I ever went on was last year on the Grand Princess. I loved the trip so much I decided to go again this year on the Caribbean Princess. The Grand and the Caribbean are the same size, but the Grand holds 2,700 passengers ... Read More
The first cruise I ever went on was last year on the Grand Princess. I loved the trip so much I decided to go again this year on the Caribbean Princess. The Grand and the Caribbean are the same size, but the Grand holds 2,700 passengers and the Caribbean holds 3,100 passengers. On the Caribbean Princess I felt the boat was too small for the amount of passenger they had aboard. On the Grand I had no problem going swimming on the Caribbean I had major problems. I could not get near the pool. Once I did there was no room to go swimming. The whirlpools where way over crowded and one did not work for the length of our cruise. On the Grand if you wanted to see a show no problem, always room. On the Caribbean if you did not get there at least half an hour before show time forget about getting a seat for two, and same with the show lounges in the back of the ship, very hard to find seating. The shows where very nice. The restaurant on the fifteenth floor (Horizon Cafe) was not a very good experience. When I was on the Grand they gave you a tray to take your food with you and you had no problem carrying the food or finding a seat to eat (I had breakfast at the restaurant). I had a hard time finding a place to sit because all the seats were taken (never had this problem on the Grand). On the Grand they gave you a tray to carry your food to your table, not on the Caribbean Princess. The plates were very hot to touch so I had to wait until the plate cooled down. When I went to get my food I had to put the silverware in my pockets, balance the orange juice on the plate. One poor guy had to leave his table to get more milk. When he came back they had cleaned off his table with all the food he was going to eat. He had to start all over again to get breakfast. The only bright spot was the food at dinner and the service was just wonderful. Alex and Victor our waiters could not do enough for you. This cruise lines tries to nickel and dime you to death. Ice cream was extra, certain types of coffee were extra. The cabin attendant was just wonderful, gave great service. I do not think I will go on another cruise on this ship again, just not a lot of space to enjoy yourself. Way too many passengers, you had to wait in line for everything. I spent most of my time in my cabin sitting on my balcony. Be very careful when sitting on your balcony. My balcony was on the very top of the ship, but I could look down and see what everyone else was doing on their balcony. One night a couple decided to do their thing on their balcony without realizing that others were watching them from my floor. I would advise a first time cruise to find a small ship to sail on. This boat is way to big. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
I arrived home yesterday after spending 7 days on the Caribbean Princess and had to share my latest experience on our Princess vacation. We have been loyal Princess cruisers for the past 4 years, taking 5 out of our last 5 cruises on ... Read More
I arrived home yesterday after spending 7 days on the Caribbean Princess and had to share my latest experience on our Princess vacation. We have been loyal Princess cruisers for the past 4 years, taking 5 out of our last 5 cruises on different Princess ships and we fully expected that this cruise would be as great as all the rest. Well, not exactly.....when we arrived in Ft Lauderdale we went to baggage pickup and expected that the Princess Rep would be waiting, not the case, I had to go hunting for him. When I found him he told me to "get my luggage" meet him at the "far" end of the terminal (in the past the Rep would get a cart, help us to get our luggage and then wheel the luggage with us in tow to the bus). We were exhausted by the time we got to the "far" end of the terminal. We had chosen to purchase the additional night stay through Princess so that we could begin our vacation fully rested and this turned out as expected. On Saturday, filled with excitement, we were picked up and headed for the ship. We were told that because we had booked a Mini Suite we would have priority check in. Well, that didn't happen. We got in one line that indicated "suite checkin" and were told that our Mini Suite didn't qualify and we needed to get in another line. I would have expected that since no one was behind us that the Princess Rep would have just checked us in but still we were in the wrong line...... Our first look at the Caribbean Princess reminded us of our two previous trips on the Grand. Both ships look the same, have the same feel but both are easy to get around. Our room was wonderful and the bathroom was so much better than what we had in our previous staterooms. Now, finally we were all set for fun and a much needed rest. In all fairness, we did rest and the food was up to the usual standards but we define fun as "evening entertainment". This facet was missing from this cruise. On previous cruises we've had so many things to chose from that we found ourselves going to two or more different things every night. The Princess Theater holds 750 people and you would expect that the big, splashy, Las Vegas type shows that use to be held every night on Princess would still be alive and well, not so! We were "bored" if you can believe it. Every night we searched for a show that would be fun and entertaining and every night (except one)we were disappointed. Princess seemed to think that hosting a "princess idol" contest was something that the passengers would enjoy. One would think that when "no passengers" showed up for the show they would get the hint! We were not alone in our assessment of the entertainment. Our fellow passengers were complaining as well. So, how do we feel about Princess? Good question, we have mixed feelings, we have been loyal to Princess in the past. However, we feel that the Carnival buyout has had an impact on what was our favorite way to travel. Small things that Princess always did put them a leg up on their competitors things like, good airport service and fast check in and let's not forget the big things like entertainment. Nightly entertainment is an important part of cruise travel and quite frankly, a big screen TV is not the answer. For our next trip we will be looking at other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
We felt that this ship needs a bit of tweaking. There is just something that is lacking and others that have sailed before were saying the same thing. We are considering cruising the Panama Canal sometime next year and will probably give ... Read More
We felt that this ship needs a bit of tweaking. There is just something that is lacking and others that have sailed before were saying the same thing. We are considering cruising the Panama Canal sometime next year and will probably give Princess another try for that cruise and hopefully by going on one of their smaller ships the service will be better. We found the embarkation a bit of a problem. We supposedly had express checkin and that meant nothing. The regular checkin was moving faster than our lines did. So much for express! Once onboard we were awestruck by the beauty of this ship. She is massive and gorgeous. Our cabin a mini-suite on the Dolphin deck was just perfect sizewise for our tastes. Plenty of storage for everything. Our balcony was a good size with two lounges and table and 2 chairs. Cabin was perfect! Our cabin steward, Emilio was wonderful and kept things very well for us throughout the cruise. We had signed up for traditional dining with early seating. This was a disaster. The first night we arrived at 6 pm and waited 45 minutes for someone to even ask what we wanted to drink with our meal. Not bar orders just what you wanted to drink. Not a good start for sure. The second night we gave it another shot and just decided to not return. We ended up eating at the Cafe Caribe buffet or Horizon buffet for the balance of our meals. I personally don't consider self serve buffet much of a luxury (which cruising is to me) so was disappointed. My husband kept commenting on how in the world with all the food on steam tables they managed to have tepid at best food. I can't figure it out either. Overall we had a good enough time but found this ship just lacking somehow or other from others we have been on. As I said before, I will consider cruising on Princess again, just not on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
Sailed Western Caribbean on the 5th of May. This was our second Princess cruise and 14th cruise overall. We had sailed the Grand last May and had a great cruise, so expectations were very high. Long lines awiting boarding, but once the ... Read More
Sailed Western Caribbean on the 5th of May. This was our second Princess cruise and 14th cruise overall. We had sailed the Grand last May and had a great cruise, so expectations were very high. Long lines awiting boarding, but once the doors opened it went very quickly. This is a lovely ship (very similar to the Grand with a great deal of public space. We never really noticed the extra 900 passengers, with the exception of the shows. We chose anytime dining, but spent most of our evenings in the Sterling Steakhouse (wonderful) and Sabatini's. Ate in the dining room two of the evenings and found it to be fair to good. The Horizon Court was moderate at best. We had planned to have the lobster dinner on the deck, but the winds kept us from enjoying our balcony much so decided to cancel this. The ship seemed to pitch and rock quite a bit for a vessel her size. We had never experienced as much movement as on this ship, but also note that it was extremely windy on this sailing. Our cabin was on the 9th deck (forward) and the noise and vibration from the waves hitting was difficult to deal with for the first couple of nights. The mini-suite was good sized and well appointed with more than ample closet space and a great tub/shower. We thought that the staff was stressed and not especially friendly on the first couple of days. I guess it takes time for a new crew to gel. Some of the great crew members to mention: Mark and Shampane in the Martini bar - great guys Gabby and Maria in the Lobby bar - a morning ray of sunshine with our morning cappucino. Captain Romano - who is always friendly and making rounds Princess Cays is the nicest private island we have experienced. Beautiful beaches, good facilities and a very enjoyable day. We go early for morning sun and then come back to the ship in the early afternoon to enjoy the ships pools. Not to Miss.... We were booked for two shore tours.... Montego Bay (what a pit) we went on the river tubing. There were biting bugs in the tubes that ate our legs and the guides did nothing but curse at each other. At the end of the tour, we rode in an open truck at very high speeds (one of the tour guides fell out of the truck). Couldn't wait to get away from them. Following the tubing we went to Margaritaville for a beer and burger. Topless girls on the trampoline, overcrowded, fair food and a "hooker/john" dispute in the back of the restaurant led us to a less than good rating of this spot. Never Again for Montego Bay! After this lovely experience we cancelled Cozumel tour. I think the excursion staff needs to do some more work on their knowledge of the tours. Grand Cayman was lovely as always. Spent a day at the beach (Royal Palms is a 6 dollar ride from the ship and $3 dollar admission to the beach). Before going back to the ship we spent some leisurely time shopping. Great Day! Cozumel is Cozumel. Many pushy vendors and so-so beaches. The weather was hot and sunny, so we went to the beach again. We were disappointed in the choice for evening dancing. My husband and I enjoyed the Swing and Latin dancing on the Grand and had a hard time finding consistent avaiability on the Caribbean Princess. The band entertainmenet changed every couple of hours it seemed and the shows were in the main dance lounge as well as in the theaters(quite confusing). The club Fusion was a mess. Couldn't see anything and it was primarily used for Princess Idol every evening (great if you are into that- but not everyone is. Other disappointment was with the Spa Services. We made all of our appointments in advance for treatments, massages and hair/nails. 14 appointments in all. They were on time for 11 (always waited at least 10 minutes). We overslept one morning (time change) and were 10 minutes late. Then it seemed that promptness was essential, since they told us that we could have reduced time for full price or just pay full price and not have the treatment. NOT HAPPY! The staff spoke little english and didn't seem to have much in the way of customer service skills. I think they need to bring Steiner back to manage the salon and spa (you can always say no when they try to sell you something). Gratuity - 15% is automatically included, but you can decline it. On a positive note: The steaming stone massage is great and their prices were slightly lower than on other ships. Overall, we had a nice cruise but not a great cruise. The ship and crew need to work the bugs out. We'll be back to Princess again, but probably not on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
My husband and I boarded the Caribbean Princess on May 29, 2004. This was his first cruise. This was my second cruise. My first cruise was 8 years ago on a Royal Caribbean ship. In a nutshell, we were disappointed with our Caribbean ... Read More
My husband and I boarded the Caribbean Princess on May 29, 2004. This was his first cruise. This was my second cruise. My first cruise was 8 years ago on a Royal Caribbean ship. In a nutshell, we were disappointed with our Caribbean Princess cruise. The highlights were the food and staff at Sabatini's and The Stirling Steakhouse. We also enjoyed our balcony on the Aloha deck. The disappointments were as follows: 1) The crew and staff were unfriendly, appeared ill at ease and stiff and in some cases, lazy. We actually had to have our cabin steward, a gentleman from Romania, replaced because of very poor service 2) The ship was not pristine. It was unsettling to walk places throughout the ship and see half eaten plates of food sitting on tables, fingerprints everywhere, etc. The children on this cruise were totally out of control and running rampmant --- we blame the parents for this --- but, it still impacted our vacation. The ports of call were fine. The weather was great. The private dining rooms were OK. But for the dollars spent, I was truly disappointed. Since my husband had never cruised before, he didn't have anything to compare our Princess experience to. I'm not totally turned off by cruising.......but, I will not return to the Princess cruise line. Our next trip will be on Royal Caribbean. My philosophy is that you can fix the food, sanitary and cleanliness conditions, etc., but you've got a bigger problem than that........it's your staff that impacted our enjoyment. We work really hard to earn the privilege of going on vacation. This was not one of our better vacations which makes me sad. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
Grand Princess, April 25-May 2, 2004 Western Caribbean By Sue Clark Koenig First, a little about us so you can understand the perspective of this review. We are Jim and Sue, in our mid-fifties - all kids grown and gone. We both work ... Read More
Grand Princess, April 25-May 2, 2004 Western Caribbean By Sue Clark Koenig First, a little about us so you can understand the perspective of this review. We are Jim and Sue, in our mid-fifties - all kids grown and gone. We both work fairly high-stress jobs and Jim works out of town much of the time. For us a cruise is a way for us to kick back and relax and have some time together without any cell phones, pagers or radios beeping at us. We book ships that offer an elegant experience rather than casual or high-energy atmosphere. Also, for the Caribbean and Mexico, we tend to book for the ship and stateroom rather than the ports. We spend much of the time in the cabin and on the verandah so for us booking a suite makes sense. Each spring we take a cruise with my Aunt Sherry and Uncle Tom. They are "70ish" and Tom requires oxygen. We usually book suites next to each other, but this time we were able to get both Grand Suites so we were on opposite sides of the ship. It worked ok because there was an elevator hallway almost directly between the suites. This was our first Princess cruise and the first on any ship the size of Grand Princess with 2600 passengers. I should also mention that through the Cruise Critic message board we had become "acquainted" with about 40 of our fellow cruisers and were looking forward to meeting them onboard. We flew from Denver to Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday, the day prior to sailing and stayed at the Howard Johnson's. Since this isn't a hotel review, I won't go into detail, but I wouldn't ever stay there again. I'd give it a very low two-star rating. Sunday morning we awoke about 6:00 and called room service for coffee only to find out that there was no room service available until 7:30 - and no coffeepot in the room. We survived the lack of coffee for the hour and a half and later took a taxi to the ship. We handed our luggage off to a longshoreman and went into the terminal where we were pointed to a special counter for suite check-in. We checked in within five minutes and were pointed to the entryway to the ship. Our boarding picture was taken and we went up the gangway for the Lido deck cabins. Princess staff were located in various areas to point you in the right direction to your cabin. I have to admit that I was surprised that we were not escorted or welcomed onboard in any special way since we were in the top suites on the ship. We have always been escorted on both Celebrity and Holland America and when in a high level suite we are usually welcomed by the Social Hostess or Cruise Director. We headed in the general direction of our suites and ended up at L301, which was ours. After several months of looking at pictures of the suite we couldn't wait to see it - so in we went. It was beautiful, by far the most lavish suite we've had. We took a few minutes to look around and then headed across the ship to theirs, L302. As we were looking around there was a knock at the door and their room steward, Dennis, and his supervisor arrived to say hello. After a few minutes of looking around we decided to give them some privacy and head back to our cabin. When we opened the door Tom's oxygen had arrived thus eliminating that worry! The two Grand Suites are identical except for the art and we all liked the art better in L301. The woods are a rich mid-tone, not too light and not dark enough to make the cabin gloomy. The furniture was in good condition with no noticeable wear. The dining table was nice. It was a drop-leaf design - normally with the leaf down and against the wall, it had plenty of room for two and when pulled out from the wall, it made a nice table for four. The balcony was small, but had room for two lounges, a table with four chairs and the Jacuzzi. The bedroom was nice and we really enjoyed the huge floor-to-ceiling window by the bed. There was a small dressing table in the bedroom, but it lacked any outlets so there was nowhere to plug in my lighted make-up mirror or curling iron. We ended up running an extension cord from a plug many feet away when I needed it. There were many ceiling lights and lamps in each room and so many light switches it took forever to figure out which ones operated which lights. We spent some time checking out the suite and making sure everything was in working order - everything was fine except the door from the living room to the balcony; it would stick and you couldn't open it - the maintenance people worked on it several times during the trip, but never really got it fixed. (Sherry adds that the door problem was the same in their suite.) We managed to get it partially opened most times and squeezed through the opening. Norman, our steward arrived to welcome us and I asked why we had no bouquet of flowers (Tom and Sherry had a beautiful one) and if we were to receive our complimentary glasses of champagne. I also asked him to check on the bottle of champagne I had pre-ordered to be in the cabin for sail-away. Sherry and Tom arrived a few minutes later with Dennis carrying the tray with their glasses of Champagne and we all went out to our balcony to relax and await the Muster Drill. Soon Norman came back with our champagne and a little plate of appetizers. The bouquet arrived a short time later. Room service called and said our champagne would be in Sabitini's that evening [huh?]. After several calls explaining that we were not eating at Sabitini's that night and that I had pre-ordered the bottle for our suite through Princess, we finally received one. It took several calls and trips to the purser's desk during the trip to have the charge for it removed from our account - I had already paid for it by credit card when it was ordered. Our luggage arrived about 3:00 and we all decided to unpack and meet again at the drill. We unpacked our luggage and organized everything; there was plenty of space for everything and I always over-pack. We attended the Muster drill and dropped our life-vests off in the cabin and hurried to the Neptune pool for a sail-away party with all the Cruise Critic's. About 35 people turned out for our party - a really great showing! It's amazing what the Internet has brought to today's cruise experience. After sail-away we went back to our cabin and decided to order dinner to the suite rather than go to the dining room. This is one of my favorite reasons to book a suite - the ability to have the full dinner from the dining room delivered and a table that is actually big enough to eat on. Not long after dinner we called it a night. Monday - Princess Cay Over coffee we all decided to stay onboard even though the island looked beautiful (we often choose not to leave the ship at Caribbean ports). This would give us the opportunity to explore the ship while it was nearly empty. We did a little sunning and swimming at the spa pool and then explored part of the ship. Jim and I picked up lunch from the grill at the Neptune pool and took it back to the suite and then settled on the lounge chairs on the balcony to read and relax. Towards evening we got back together and decided to again order dinner to the suite. Tuesday - Sea Day Jim and I had breakfast in the suite and didn't leave until noon to do a little exploring. This was to be a formal night so we made reservations for four in the Michelangelo dining room for 7:15 and agreed to meet at 6:00 to go for cocktails in the Wheelhouse bar. We browsed the photo gallery and purchased our boarding picture. At 2:30 we met Tom and Sherry and headed to the Oasis bar to meet with the Cruise Critic group again. The turnout wasn't as good this time and there really wasn't a good place to sit for any conversation, so after an hour the party broke up. We all dressed formally - the men in tuxes and ladies in long dresses. We had pre-dinner drinks in the Wheelhouse bar, my favorite bar on the ship. It has beautiful wood paneled walls and many interesting ship artifacts and models. The chairs and tables are well situated in small groupings that make conversation easy. The band was pretty good and tried to play a variety of music. The room was mostly populated by "silver-hairs" (us included) so when they did the big band music, the dance floor was crowded. The Michelangelo Dining Room is nice, but rather plain and with a very low ceiling which made it quite noisy. The food was good and the service, although somewhat rushed, was also very attentive. Most of the people in the dining room were dressed up, but few were actually in tuxedos and gowns. In the public areas there seemed to be the attitude that "anything is okay" for the evening attire - not what we are used to on the other lines we sail. We decided to return to the Wheelhouse for an after-dinner drink. With our luck, as soon as we were served the band said "good night." We decided that their balcony would be a wonderful place to finish the evening. After a couple more drinks we all called it a night. We returned to our suite to find a plate of chocolate covered strawberries awaiting us. Wednesday - Grand Cayman We awoke just as we were approaching Grand Cayman and pulled the drapes on the floor to ceiling window open beside the bed to watch until our coffee and rolls arrived from room service. We took our coffee out to the balcony to watch the rest of the approach and realized there were four ships anchored. We were suffering a bit from the adult beverages of the night before and decided that that was far too many people for us to deal with, even in my favorite jewelry-shopping port! Tom and Sherry went in by tender and had a good time, but also said there were too many people. Jim and I spent the morning [slowly] recovering on the balcony and then went to explore areas we had yet to see. We even played a game of miniature golf! We went up to Skywalker's, the nightclub up in the "handle". It is a beautiful place by daylight; Jim commented that it reminded him of something that should have been on the QE2. We went up one night while it was operational and found that it lost some of its charm when all the neon was lit - but that's just an "old folks" opinion. Thursday - Costa Maya This was a new port for us, but since we had read a lot of pro's and con's we wanted to take a look. We took our time in the morning relaxing over coffee before we went ashore. We wandered around a bit at the pier and looked in the shops buying a couple t-shirts and a shot glass. We watched a nice Mexican Dance Show - the guys especially liked the skimpy attire of the female dancers - and then we all had margaritas and decided to head back to the ship. We decided we'd like to have dinner in the suite again that night and asked if the Painted Desert (the Mexican Restaurant onboard) would serve us. Dennis came back in a few minutes with menus and said it was a first. We ordered and were very happy with the food and the service; a waiter from the restaurant came and put a tablecloth on their balcony table and took our orders. When he returned he had our margaritas and appetizers, about 15 minutes later he returned with the main course. He said it was definitely a first, but that it was kind of fun to serve the Grand Suites because they always wonder what they are like. He came back with our dessert orders and cleared away the main course.... he was tipped well. It was perhaps the best service we had on the whole cruise. After that we called it a night. Friday, Cozumel I love the Mexican Caribbean and have spent much time here so I was looking forward to a lunch of ceviche and a margarita. The Mexican authorities have developed two piers and now have many amenities at each - without going all the way into town. We spent our usual morning relaxing over coffee and disembarked about 10:30. We were booked on the Atlantis Submarine excursion. The boat picked us up right at the pier and took us directly to the sub. Although we had all done similar excursions in the past we enjoyed this one. It's always great for those of us that are not scuba divers to see the fish and coral that are far beneath the surface of the sea. Sherry and I browsed through a few jewelry stores in the area at the pier since I hadn't had the opportunity earlier in the cruise. I found a necklace I liked and did the usual barter thing.... I didn't think they were quite low enough so I said I'd have my husband come back and to give me their card with the price. About an hour later we were all sitting in a great palapa bar having a drink and nachos (I was having my ceviche) and Jim finally agreed to go to the shop... I told him what I thought the right price would be. He came back empty handed - said they came down to within $200 .00 and wouldn't go any further. Oh well, there are always more diamond necklaces! Back to the ship we went because this was another formal night. We had made reservations for dinner in the Da Vinci dining room so we followed the same schedule as we did for the previous formal night - to meet in the Wheelhouse at 6:00. The Da Vinci dining room was actually very similar to the Michelangelo and we had a table in the same location, sadly the service wasn't nearly as good. The meal was good, but after sitting with dirty plates for quite some time and no service or desert menus, we left. Saturday - Sea day We had our usual relaxing morning on the balcony. Then went to the photo gallery and bought several of the formal pictures. The last day is always bittersweet in that you look back on the trip and don't want it to end, but know that it must. They spent a little time in the casino and browsing the shops and we spent much time relaxing on the balcony reading. That afternoon, Princess held a Cruise Critic party for us in the Wheelhouse that was attended by almost every one from the message board as well as Captain Andy Proctor, the Cruise Director, the Hotel Manager and other Officers. They had a wonderful cake and a no-host bar with waiters. It was one of the nicest ship-sponsored Cruise Critic parties we've attended. Later that afternoon we packed so that we wouldn't have to rush in the evening. Just prior to dinner we had a small cocktail party in our suite with a few of our new friends. We ordered extra appetizers by using the suite order card for the appetizers and they were all delivered. Norman made sure we had enough glasses, ice and buckets to chill the wine and champagne. After the party we decided to order dinner to the cabin one last time and spent the evening on the balcony relaxing. Sunday - Ft. Lauderdale There was no priority disembarkation for the suites, but since we had an early flight, we were in "Red-4" the fourth group called. Tom and Sherry were in the next color group so we knew they would be on their way soon. We found our luggage quickly and were in a taxi in about 10 minutes. Airport check-in went just as well and we killed almost three hours in the airport before our flight. And now the fat lady has sung... and the trip is over... but not the memories. Summary: This was a good cruise, but not a great one. We loved the Grand Suite, but felt that the service was lacking for this level accommodation. The suite amenities were "iffy" - we had to ask for some repeatedly. Perhaps this will smooth out in time, but they have already had four months to smooth it out. On other lines in the top suites we have had invites to special parties with the officers, visits to the bridge, or dinner with the Captain or Officers - generally treated as special passengers. Maybe we are spoiled... but we do pay to be spoiled! Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
This was my second cruise, first with Princess. The cruise was average. Nothing in comparison to the Eastern Caribbean on Royal Caribbean, Explorer of the Seas. The service was average. The employees acted like it was torture to be there ... Read More
This was my second cruise, first with Princess. The cruise was average. Nothing in comparison to the Eastern Caribbean on Royal Caribbean, Explorer of the Seas. The service was average. The employees acted like it was torture to be there and certainly didn't act like they were aboard a brand new ship. The nicest person we encountered the entire cruise was our Cabin Steward. He was pleasant, extremely prompt, and always acknowledged us. The food was nothing in comparison to Royal Caribbean. Everything was very repetitive. The Personal Choice Seating was a joke. We were under the assumption the Personal Choice meant you could dine at your leisure; however, they failed to inform us that it meant we still needed dinner reservations. After standing in line for 35 minutes on the first formal night we were turned away and told that everyone with reservations must be seated first. We were extremely unhappy and ate another boring buffet which was pretty much what was on the buffet in one dining room or the other... The entertainment was average. The comedians left a lot to be desired and the shows were average. The huge movie screen was OK, but again, reservations required. Who wants to make reservations when you are on vacation?? All in all, the ports were great. Montego Bay was a bit more than I expected and I would definitely not make a return visit there. The other ports were absolutely wonderful, and I must say that Princess Cays was by far, the most beautiful private island... If you are wanting to do something exciting, and wonderful, make sure you take the visit to Sting Ray Island. It was by far the highlight of my trip and I wish I would have taken the longer trip there. We did not book off of the ship, we used Captain Marvin's tours and they were excellent and much cheaper than the booking from the ship. The crew was excellent!! All in all, the cruise with Caribbean Princess was definitely average and I will definitely return to Royal Caribbean!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
Grand Princess was a general disappointment. Food was mediocre -- never hot, no matter what time/place. Dinner service was noisy and chaotic. One entree arrived having gone through only the first stage of its preparation -- the 2nd was ... Read More
Grand Princess was a general disappointment. Food was mediocre -- never hot, no matter what time/place. Dinner service was noisy and chaotic. One entree arrived having gone through only the first stage of its preparation -- the 2nd was forgotten -- veal chop was grey/white and looked boiled. Food tended to be rather "bland". Specialty and herbal teas were not put out. One had to ask specifically for them, and then someone would proceed down to the "safe" where they would extract 1 single tea bag. This also applied to the provision of soy milk, skim milk, and lactaid milk. Buffet dining area was cramped and poorly designed. Service was provided on four sides facing each other, as so: ( || ), with the result people were crisscrossing back and forth. Specialty items like fresh strawberries disappeared within minutes -- not to be replenished. Decor was tired and dowdy. And, some upholstered chairs in the public areas had stains on them and were worn. Stateroom bathroom fibre-glass was "yellowed" and worn. Sheet had a hole in it. Personal choice dining was preferred mostly by families. Princess advertised this as "eat when you want" -- but they don't tell you that you may present yourself "when you want", but may have to wait up to an hour until they have table ready -- here is your beeper, we'll call you. Public entertainment areas had too few seats for the numbers of passengers wishing to view a show. You had to race to the lounge/ theater at least 30 minutes in advance to get a seat. We missed shows 3x during the week -- simply because we weren't fast enough. Some lounges had posts blocking the view. Movies were shown on dropped down screens which offered poor quality viewing. Ship was hard to get around on. Public washrooms were in "weird" places. And..., on deck 6 with one of the main dining rooms: The Botticelli, there were no washrooms at all. You had to walk up one deck where there was one (one!!!!) single-seat washroom which serviced both the Dining Room and the adjoining Vista Lounge. One morning we were disturbed by loud knocking on our cabin door, and the announcement of "Room Service", even though we had our "do not disturb" sign -- of course, it was the wrong room. We never got an apology or a consideration (e.g. flowers). This was our 5th cruise (1st time on Princess) and we were disappointed with Grand Princess. Probably would not sail this line again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2004
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