Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by ricksimon
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Canada & New England
- Cabin Type: Interior
We had an inside cabin B741 on Baja deck (11), near the rear of the ship. It was comfortable and quiet, with very little outside noise. Everything worked, and our cabin steward was efficient in cleaning and servicing our cabin. The bed was very comfortable, and my wife both slept very well throughout the cruise.
The weather was almost perfect, with only a couple of rainy periods and high temperatures in the 80's during the day.
The ports of call were interesting and welcoming. We visited Charleston, SC; New York City; Newport, RI, Boston; Bar Harbor, ME; Saint John, NB, Halifax, NS, Sydney, NS, and Quebec. All of these ports had lots to see and do with the exception of Sydney, NS, which nevertheless was a pleasant walk around town.
Charleston has a number of well preserved homes, and we simply walked around, enjoying the relatively cool weather in the morning in Charleston.
In NYC, we docked in Brooklyn (Red Hook). This was less convenient than docking in Manhattan, but there is a ferry stop at the cruise terminal which terminated at Wall Street in Manhattan. It was crowded due to the number of cruisers, but we got to Wall Street after about an hour of waiting to buy tickets and then boarding. We visited the 9/11 Memorial, which is very well done. After lunch, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, and had a long wait (90 minutes) in the rain for a ferry back to Red Hook.
Newport was a pleasant surprise. We walked the most accessible half of the Cliff Walk, and enjoyed seeing the estates there. The public transport was pretty good.
We rode a hop-on, hop-off bus to enjoy the attractions in Boston. There is a stop relatively near the cruise terminal that is served by Old Town Trolleys. There is a cheaper hop-on hop-off service which we did not use since it does not serve the cruise terminal and would require a walk of almost two miles each way to access.
Bar Harbor is the gateway to Acadia National Park, and we took a guided bus tour of the park (Oli's Trolleys) that including most of it's high points. It was well done, and a convenient way to see the park. Bar Harbor also has many restaurants and drinking establishments serving the tourist trade.
We took a hop-on, hop-off at Saint John's NB. Highlights here were the Reversing Rapids, in which the river flow changed direction when the tides in the Bay of Fundy ebb and flow. We also enjoyed a flight of beers at the Moosehead small batch brewery, which was a treat since I last time I had Moosehead beer was in college in the 1970's.
There is a lot to do in Halifax, NS. We visited the Museum of the Atlantic, which has a very good exhibit on the Titanic, and the Citadel.
There was not much to do in Sydney, NS, but we had a nice walk about town, coffee and Timbits at Tim Horton's, and a beer at the Governor's pub.
One of the best things Princess did at Quebec was to overnight there, which allowed more time for our visit. We stayed an extra night at the Hotel Chateau Bellevue. As a result, we had a good opportunity to see the sights in the old city, and take a day trip to the Isle d'Orleans, the St. Anne basilica, and Montmorency Falls. We had a great time in Quebec, with great places to eat and drink. The people of Quebec were friendly and welcoming.
Taxis to the airport are a flat rate of C$35, which was cheaper than Uber. We were surprised that there were relatively few flights out of the Quebec airport and they are relatively expensive. A number of our fellow cruise passengers opted to either take a shuttle or the train to fly out of Montreal, which has much better flight availability.
In summary, this was a pleasant, relaxing cruise. Service was excellent, and the ship was well maintained. Although Princess sometimes can be disorganized, such as the tendering to Newport, RI, it still has a good combination of quality and comfort. The biggest complaint I have with this cruise is the relative lack of enrichment activities. Entertainment was excellent, with very good production values, but a lot of people were turned away because the theater could not accommodate everyone.The food was uniformly good, but for the most part not exceptional. We did have an exceptionally good meal in the Crown Grill, which was worth the $29/pp upcharge. Our cruise was good value for the money.
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