August 2015 - Caribbean Princess to Europe - Western Mediterranean
Please appreciate that we can only travel during the summer holidays..
This cruise was a Southampton to Southampton round trip.
The positives - very pleasant and hard working frontline staff.
The negatives - This was our second Princess cruise. Our first was on the Ruby Princess a few years ago. We loved it.
We were initially pleased with the Carribean Princess if a little old and shabby.
First evening anytime dining - anytime but! Long queues and waiting times. We changed to set dining after the first few days.
First day at sea. There were over 800 children who literally took over the ship and the two main pools. The rules regarding jumping into the pool, showering before entering, being accompanied by an adult if under 16, taking food and drink into the pool area and running round the decks were completely disregarded. As was the reservation of sunbeds. Princess staff were either conspicuous by their absence or reluctant to apply the rules. Parents were also absent and were quite happy to allow their offspring to run amok.
The public areas, buffet restaurant's and toilets round the pool were filthy. There also seemed to be a permanent smell of sewage.
Adult only areas were woefully inadequate. The one at the back was shabby and almost entirely shaded by the Skywalker bar. Added to which there was a noisy toddler pool in the deck above.
The sanctuary pool area was pleasant but again insufficient for the number of adults who wanted some peace and quiet and th opportunity to cool down in a pool. You could pay a nominal 40 dollars for a sanctuary subbed.
Despite the rule saying that sunbeds should not be reserved this rule was blatantly ignored. One selfish individual bagged ten sunbeds of which only a few were used at any on time.
Customer services acknowledged that there was a problem which they found to be a challenge!.
Dirty glasses, food plates and general rubbish were left anywhere and everywhere. Children running up and down the stairs, through the corridors and messing about in the lifts.
There were so many baby buggies that walking through the ship was like a busy high street on a Saturday afternoon.
Unsupervised children occupied the bar areas which should not have been allowed. Baby buggies in the main dining room at the late sitting.
Senior staff were conspicuous by there absence. We only ever saw the cruise director on the morning TV.
Princess charged for absolutely everything they felt that they could get away with. Shuttle services to and from ports were expensive and unecessary.
We also discovered that Princess charge for the use of a wheelchair and that they couldn't be taken off the ship. Princess take note - five years ago I broke my leg a week before we were due tell sail on Cunards Queen Victoria. A wheelchair was supplied free of charge and it could be taken ashore.
The ship acquired various names over the duration of the cruise. Shabby Princess is the more polite name.
One passenger dubbed the cruise Benifits on the Sea.
So if you like to mix with out of control children and excessively large tattooed people who have no regard for other people this is the cruise for you.