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Sail Date: December 2014
Cruised on CP to Alaska last year on a wonderful trip with a group of friends and a smaller group sailed with us on this occasion. The ship and staff brought us back for a wonderful sail to PC and the Carribean. 11 day sailing from Port ... Read More
Cruised on CP to Alaska last year on a wonderful trip with a group of friends and a smaller group sailed with us on this occasion. The ship and staff brought us back for a wonderful sail to PC and the Carribean. 11 day sailing from Port Everglades. No need for Princess transfers from airport as cabs are plentiful (except for large groups) and inexpensive. Princess is trying/tried staggered boarding times but they are not mandatory. Embarkation went smoothly. Waited some time in the "lounge area" until the ship was ready for boarding. Activities are typical for a ship of this size. We enjoy the moderate size of the ship. The service was just outstanding save for one episode when a crew member working the ice cream bar must have been having a bad day. The first two days were spent at sea. We had a rough ride the first day. It seemed that Cpt. Austin was trying to outrun some foul weather and get to calmer water. Which he did. Day 2 was okay. Day 4 in Aruba marked our second visit to that country and Oranjestad, its capital. The latter has nothing particular to offer us. We walked through town to a small and relatively secluded beach area and ate at The West Deck which was a great spot with wonderful service and basically light fare. We spent time lounging there and there is a gazebo for shade. The water and bottom are nice as well. A nice way to spend a relatively short shore time. Day 5 was at sea. Sunny and pleasant. 82 degrees Day 6 in Cartegna. Terrible traffic there. Bus drivers have nerves of steel. Took the Highlights of Cartegna tour. A little problem with language - one had to listen closely to our guide who was a school teacher. But all in all a very good tour, albeit with a little too much emphasis on cheap shopping. Day 7 is the Canal. Get up early and get to the bow of the ship for a good spot on the highest deck. We were up at 5 or so. The light was just breaking with mist hanging over the rain forest. There are two approaches. Our cabin was on the starboard side and the ship took the port side cut. That meant we could run down to our balcony and really get a close look at the operation. Once through the Canal we were on Gatun Lake and were tendered to the Embrera Indian Village. Much has been said about the authenticity of the EIV. However, we enjoyed the visit for what it was on its face - informative and fun, even if recreated. (Our guide insisted the villagers do live there and the children must attend school off the island). We then were bused to an observation deck and saw the ship passing back through the Canal to Colon. We then left to return to the ship which was delayed by a faulty anchor. The waiting area in Colon is awful so if the ship is late, as it was, there is little to do or see and the facilities are terrible (both bathroom and seating in the terminal). Day 8 in Limon we drove about an hour or so to Braulio Carrillo National Park for Rainforest Aerial Tram and Tortuguero Canals and Lunch. This was a great excursion. Be sure to take rain gear. It's the Rain Forest and it lives up to its name. Ponchos were handy. The tram ride was awesome and the lunch was delicious and plentiful. But the highlight was the Canals trip at the end. We saw many forms of wildlife and even the guides remarked that it was a banner day for animal and bird spotting. Afterward we were served a light snack of fresh fruit. Day 9 we spent at sea. It was sunny, then rainy and windy. Again, temps in the 80s but the wind made it feel much cooler. Day 10 we docked at Ocho Rios in Jamaica. We took a great excursion to Green Grotto Caves and Dunn's Falls. The Caves are in a National Park and are quite a nice tour. The Falls can be climbed fairly easily and during the climb a staffer is filming the trip. Although they push everyone buying one of the DVDs, you can get one for your group and reproduce it. It's a fun item but not all that great. Day 11 we were at sea again and making headway for Port Everglades and we docked the morning of December 12. Disembarkation went very smoothly. We boarded a cab at the pier and were back at the airport within 20 minutes. We love CP. We were on Emerald Deck (Deck 8) with a balcony. The nicest thing about this is that if you are with friends in adjoining cabins the cabin steward will open the dividers on the balcony on request and you can join together on the balcony and move back and forth freely without having to go into the corridors. Take some rope (a small diameter) to tie back the dividers. The dining was wonderful. The food delicious. Our wait staff, Minino and Brad, at table 97 in the Bordeaux dining room was excellent and we had a good time with them. The Maitre'D, Marius, who we met on our earlier cruise to Alaska, was very accommodating. We had anytime dining but made a reservation with him. Unfortunately, it marked his last cruise on the ship. The entertainment was the best we have ever encountered: Vocalist Jamila was excellent as a Motown style singer. Illusionist Alexander Great (Really?) was excellent on first show, not quite as good the second time. Instrumentalist Craig Richard on sax could rival Kenny G. Comedy and guitar music of Gary Delena was funny and wonderful. We had never gone to shows on a ship before and loved all of them. This was a wonderful cruise and fulfilled a lifelong dream. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2006
Left Nov 12, 2006 for our anniversary cruise on Caribbean Princess out of Port Canaveral. Took the Love Boat Express from Sarasota, FL to the ship. Good experience, left the driving to the bus driver. Arrived about noon and encountered a ... Read More
Left Nov 12, 2006 for our anniversary cruise on Caribbean Princess out of Port Canaveral. Took the Love Boat Express from Sarasota, FL to the ship. Good experience, left the driving to the bus driver. Arrived about noon and encountered a long line to enter the terminal. Fortunately, it took only 20 minutes to enter the processing center. Once inside the terminal, it took about 45 minutes to finally receive our boarding passes. Once on board, trying to get an elevator to our mini-suite was an effort in futility. Walked up to our stateroom. Our room was smaller than what we experienced on Royal Caribbean. Our balcony was as others had stated, open to observation from decks above us. Wouldn't book this room again, waste of money. Food was fair, but Sabatini's and the Steakhouse were very good and the service was excellent. Found that entertainment during cruising days was at best fair. Steve Moris, comedian, was fantastic.Art auction, a Princess feature, was pathetic compared to ParkWest on Royal Caribbean. Buffets on deck 15 were difficult to maneuver through. Finding a table, after going through the buffet line, was always an ordeal. Food was, fair at best, and often times, it was cold. St Martin was an excellent experience due to our personal tour guide Joyce Prince. Recommend her highly, as others have, on the internet. Her fee's were very reasonable and she offered lots of information on St. Martin, history etc., during the tour. Haven't been on Princess for over 5 years. Don't plan to cruise with Princess again. What has happened to you Princess in the last 5 years? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2004
My wife and I have been on 7 cruises in the last 4 years. 6 were with Royal Caribbean and 1 with Celebrity. We were celebrating our 35th anniversary, this past July and had decided to try a different cruise line. We saw that the Caribbean ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 7 cruises in the last 4 years. 6 were with Royal Caribbean and 1 with Celebrity. We were celebrating our 35th anniversary, this past July and had decided to try a different cruise line. We saw that the Caribbean Princess was new and decided, let's try it. We also liked that this ship only stopped in 2 ports, St. Thomas & St. Maarten. How different can Princess be from RCI?? We were wrong!! Even though this was a beautiful new ship, we were disappointed overall. Our favorite RCI ships are the "Voyager" class ships. They carry over 3000 passengers and are just fabulous. The amenities are amazing, ice rink, miniature golf, in-line skating, full basketball court and Johnny Rockets, the 4 deck high and huge Royal Promenade eating and shopping area and more. I only mentioned these, because when we noticed that the Caribe Princess was one of the new large ship, holding over 3000, we assumed that there would be more amenities to enjoy like the Voyager's. We were wrong, they just added more cabins, to fill up the added space, instead of things to do. There wasn't anymore to do on this ship than the smaller ones. Very disappointing!! Here are our some of our likes and dislikes: Likes: 1. There was an abundance of lobster and crablegs and other seafood at the different buffets during the week. Excellent! 2. We celebrated our anniversary at Sabatini's. It was a wonderful evening that lasted almost 4 hours. The food was excellent and was hand delivered every few minutes. The portions were small, but excellent. There were 17 courses, so we were thankful for the smaller portions. We were full at the end of the evening. It was one of the highlites of our cruise. The service was wonderful. 3. The cabins were great and the cabin steward did a wonderful job for us. 4. The band that performed, at the pool, was excellent and we enjoyed them very much. 5. The food was very good, in the dining room and the service was excellent. We never had a problem asking for another dinner, if we didn't like the one we had chosen. Also, we never had a problem getting seconds or 2 different desserts. 6. We enjoyed the fresh water in the pools. Most ships have salt water in their pools. Dislikes: 1. The cruise director was not very funny and was sometimes boring. A great cruise director can make a fun week. This one left a lot to be desired. 2. The shows in the main theater, were very high school and amateurish! And we thought the shows could have had more content. The welcome aboard and farewell shows were terrible. On the "Voyager", these 2 shows were extravaganzas. On this ship, they left us wanting something more. On the last night, our show consisted of the assistant cruise director, thanking us for the week. He then showed the cruise video (had to sell us one more thing) and introduced a comedian, who performed for 25 to 40 minutes and it was over. Where was the cruise director??? On the "Voyager", the farewell show consisted of the cruise director and his staff doing skits, the showing of the cruise video, a comedian, jugglers, singers and dancers. It was great!! Also, the other shows during the week were very entertaining on the "Voyager". 3. The adults only pool was horrible. On the "Voyager" they have an Air Conditioned, glass enclosed area called the "Solarium." They have thick padded lounges and the area is really for adults only. On the Caribe Princess, they stuck the adults only pool, at the back of the ship, outside on the Lido deck, if I remember correctly. No pads on the lounges. It was very uncomfortable. In addition, on the next deck up, was a kid's pool. Almost every day, some kids were doing cannonballs to splash the people sitting at the below pool. Many complained to the kids' parents, but they did nothing. The pool attendants were told, but again, nothing was done. We ended having to move to another pool. 4. The outdoor movie was nice, but they only showed 2 movies and we had seen both. It's not their fault that we had seen both movies, but it would have been nice if they had shown more than just 2 movies. 5. The bar service left a lot to be desired. The bartenders spent a lot of time socializing with each other. So it always took a while to order and get a drink. I guess they assumed, that since the tip was automatically added to the tab, they didn't have to give good service!! 6. The lounge chairs on the pool decks were too close together. Usually 6 in a row and close to the next row behind or in front of them. You sometimes had to climb over people to get to your seat. 7. The shopping area was small and left a lot to be desired. The stores were boring and small. I hate to keep mentioning the "Voyager" ships, but they have a "Royal Promenade" shopping and eating area that is 4 decks high and almost as long as a football field. 8. We had a weird smell that hung around for most of the cruise. Someone called it Sewer Gas. Was very annoying. 9. There was no Grand Midnight buffets, as are on other ships. 10. We felt the Princess theater was not large enough. I asked how many people it held and was told around 1,100 to 1,200 people. Now the ship holds 3,400++. There are 2 shows only a night. What if all 3,400 wanted to see the show?? This caused a problem and you had to get to the theater at least 30 to 45 minutes early to get a seat. 11. Checking in was very tedious. We stood in line outside, in the hot sun for a while and then had to stand in more lines inside. There were other problems, but I think what I have listed is enough. You are probably saying to yourself, that if we like the RCI's Voyager ships so much, then why don't we go back to them? Well we are. We will be back on the Voyager in Jan. '05 and will probably sail exclusively with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean in the future. We will not go on a Princess cruise again. We heard several people say, that this was their 6th or 10th cruise with Princess and they were not pleased and will not cruise with them again. Read Less
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