Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by Jerry Bolton
- Sail Date: December 2009
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Pretty good. We were told that embarkation was from 2pm but when we arrived at 1.30pm it was obvious that it had already started, hence we found it very efficient and were in our cabin in no time.
Signs and information around the boat are pretty poor and in some cases, you have to go up stairs to go downstairs to get where you want.
Sunbeds were usually OK to find but the second week seemed to allow a lower class of passenger which affected the enjoyment of everyone else. (E.g. pool diving into a full pool, sitting for minutes on an exercise machine reading a magazine, 'reserving' a sunbed and trying to claim it five hours later, shouting 'WHOOO' repeatedly after sniffing any alcoholic bottle, issuing everyone with a hooter for New Years Eve and them blowing it from 8pm)
Small but expectedly so. Clean and efficiently looked after.
Only found out after six days there was a buffet upstairs, probably because we don't eat every hour as some seem to do. At least that stopped us explaining why we regarded the menu as a choice rather than a tick list.
Menus were a little restricted and predictable. Some good dishes some bad (could have played basketball with one piece of fish).
Eastern European waiters need to know that sarcasm and sneering are not accepted on cruises like this.
And wine waiters need to know how to serve wine.
Three table tennis tables (one broken for half the week), kids clubs that seemed shut when the boat was in harbour (i.e. most of the time) and a well kept gym although more air con was needed and a water fountain that could have dispensed water colder than tepid.
Not big fans of this, so that sways my judgement. The comedians weren't that funny and mostly had 'in' jokes about parts of America (lost). Dance routines seemed tired and the whole shebang seemed debased to the lowest common denominator of visual enjoyment, like the Princess Pop Star around the New Year. As someone aptly put it, "so they let you do your own entertainment then."
Not enough for kids to do as partly explained above. We would have liked to take our child to the bridge and saw that Princess were organising a tour of that, the engine room and other parts of the boat. For $150 each !!!
The giant TV either showed dumbed down movies (no more Abba, please I beg you) or sport which was either American channel ESPN or international ESPN, which was mostly American.
The Princess way is to add a charge to your room bill daily. OK fair enough , but $11 each day and for each person is taking the proverbial, not forgetting that any drinks bill from the bar incurs it's own 15% tip.
We learned that you could waive this, which we duly did and tipped those who deserved it. I understand that the Princess way rewards all the staff by sharing it out, but they need to make this realistic.
Overpriced tat mostly. Wine tasting would have been good but all the bottles were the 'cheapest' only so I didn't bother.
On the whole, having heard from friends about their cruises, I may have another one, but with someone else.
There were twelve ports of call but this forum only allows six so the below picks out the good and bad.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
ArubaThree reef snorkel trip from the ship (v expensive). Water was so murky tyou could not see more than twenty feet and as it was so sandy I doubt this had much to do with the weather. Plus all the other trips were chucking their snorkellers in the water as well so far too crowded. Customer care was not a patch on St Thomas.View All 1,635 Aruba Cruise Port Reviews
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BonaireIsland flat as a pancake. Wanted to go snorkelling again and the isle of Klein Bonaire over the way seemed ideal. However, we were told there was no water, no food and no toilet and the boat would be there until 3 pm. Not good with an 8 year old. Went to Eden Bay instead which is just a run down hotel with a shabby looking beach, but the snokelling is right off the beach and the distance from the ship is not too far.View All 593 Bonaire Cruise Port Reviews
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DominicaTook another local tour as the Princess excursions are very expensive for this kind of simple trip. Found by a bloke called 'Shyguy' . Cost $25 each for a four hour trip around back streets, gardens, sights and the waterfall. Funny bloke and knowledgeable. Recommended.View All 699 Dominica Cruise Port Reviews
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GrenadaTook a boat from the ship to a nearby beach. Very well run and cheap. Inundated by 'helpers' on the beach but this was fair and out sunbeds and drinks when we wanted we good and prices you don't mind paying for that type of service and locality. Beware the 'blind' foot massager who is not blind at all and got very aggressive with anyone we saw who did not give him something.View All 633 Grenada Cruise Port Reviews
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St. LuciaSelf organised road trip to the Pitons. $25 each and we were told we would go onto the beach. Beware this is a very long trip and as the road is up and down hills all the way, you can get carsick very easily. Plus when we got back we were told the beach trip was now extra. Rip off.$65 each will get you a boat trip which sounded much betterView All 1,387 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
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St. ThomasTurtle snorkellingView All 4,647 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
Not the best snorkelling but the staff from the boat did a superb job. Good few shops nearby and the best drinks shack we found on the holiday (yellow shed).
View Cruise Critic's St. Thomas Cruise Port Review