Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by PandRBarry
- Sail Date: June 2015
- Destination: Baltic Sea
- Cabin Type: Premium Balcony
It's hard to rate this cruise because the itinerary and ports were so amazing but the ship had some issues. The Caribbean Princess is an OK ship. I agree with some that say it needs a sprucing up but it was clean.
Embarkation went very smoothly. It only took about an hour. This was a very port intensive itinerary so we spent a lot of time off the ship. The “entertainment” on this ship was very disappointing. Ninety percent of the activities involved Princess trying to sell you something! The sea days were very boring. Some of the shows were ok and we particularly loved the Elton John impersonator. Our room steward Richard was very good with a great personality. The customer service was far better than our last Princess cruise on the Coral Princess. The food was also just OK. Nothing spectacular but we ate all our meals on the ship because restaurants in Norway are outrageously expensive. We had late seating at 8:15 which worked well for us as it gave us time to wind down and relax after a day in port. Our waiters were very good. by the way, as a New Englander, the lobster tails were a joke. Tiny white tails that looked and tasted like they'd been boiled for an hour! Our tablemates from Scotland and England wanted to know if they were typical lobster tails!! HECK NO! Also, the steak I got one night was horribly tough. My jaw got an excellent workout!
With the exception of Olden, we did DIY. Also, there was supposed to be only one tender port (Lofoten) but there ended up being three (Andalsnes, Lofoten and I think Tromso) . That must have been very disappointing to people in wheelchairs who were told they could not go ashore.
Stavenger... Sunny about 50F We took the Rodne Fjord Cruise (Lysefjord cruise, Pulpit Rock). I purchased our tickets ahead of time but it was very confusing when we got there. No line – just people crowding around the one person behind a table. The cruise was supposed to leave at 10:00 but ended up leaving at 9:30. Because of the way they “collected” the pre-paid tickets, there was no way they could determine if all the people who prepaid were present. So, get there early! The trip itself was lovely. It was chilly out and pretty cold and windy on the water. I was glad I wore my packable down coat (a must in Norway in my opinion). The scenery was pretty but not astonishing. Was very similar to parts of Alaska. Pulpit Rock was impressive but probably more so looking down from the top.
Olden..Mostly rainy. took the Lovatnet Lake & Kjenndalen Glacier ship excursion and I wish I’d saved our OBC for something else. This trip was a total fabrication from the Princess description for the most part. The “hike” that was supposed to be moderately strenuous and 45 minutes long was actually about 5-10 minutes flat depending on how fast you walk. It also was not “guided” although the “guide” also walked. The glacier was a little ways off and you could walk closer to it if you wanted to but there wasn’t much time. Walked back the same way to wait for the bus to come back. Bus then took us to a lodge where we had some delicious waffles. The boat trip left from the lodge but we had to wait about 15 minutes for it to come. We opted to sit on top mostly because all the sheltered seats were taken. It was a one hour un-narrated boat ride from one end of the lake to the other in the off and on pouring rain. The water was just a regular color but maybe it was the “brilliant turquoise” advertised when it is sunny out. Definitely would not recommend this excursion. Although the town is very picturesque, there literally is nothing to do in this port – It is a small village with a few souvenir shops right near the ship. We went back on the ship early.
Flam..SUNNY and in the 60s..We pre-purchased our Flam rail tickets for the 9:45 trip. The ship was on time so this early time was not a problem. It’s only a couple of minute walk from the ship. People with pre-purchased tickets could just get in line by the trains. I had heard that this was “the most beautiful train ride in the world”. It was really nothing spectacular in our opinion (and the opinion of our tablemates also). The waterfall was nice and entertaining but the crowd of people and the short time you have there really took away from it. We went back to the ship for lunch then the afternoon was spent on one of the highlights of our trip – the Heritage Fjord Safari rib boat! What a blast this was. Even though it was a beautiful warm day, we definitely needed all the gear they gave us to wear. The guide would drive the boat then stop and come to the front of the people (about 10) and narrate what we were looking at then we were off to the next site. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow but the scenery was out of this world. The boat went up a fjord that large ships can not. We then had an adrenaline enhancing ride back!! NOT good if you have a bad back though I would imagine. It's also a little tricky getting in and out of the boat with all the gear you have to wear. Probably not good if you are handicapped. Definitely recommend this over the rail trip if you can only do one. It is also located right near the ship.
Andalsnes: cloudy and rained on and off about 50F. We rented a car from Hertz at this port and we had a little bit of a hard time finding it. It was up the hill near the hotel located in a gas station. We had planned to drive to Geiranger but due to the tender and difficulty finding the hertz, we only made it to Vallidal before turning around. We went over the Troll Road and back the same way whic
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