March 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Houston Roundtrip) Cruise on Caribbean Princess
First let me say that this was our first princess cruise. The ship was very clean, staff was very helpful the food was good. Embarking the ship was a very pleasant experience. The terminal was new, clean and very simple to navigate. From the time we arrived, we were on the ship and in our state room in under 30 minutes. We are sorry to hear that Princess is leaving the Port of Huston but, business is business. After arriving on the ship, we found out that one of the generators was not operational slowing the speed of the ship so Princess cancelled our stop at Princess Cay and replaced it with Nassau, Bahamas. Disappointing since the reviews of their island were so great. Life goes on. After being at Sea for nearly 2 days to reach Key West (another port that we really anticipated since it is the reason we purchased this cruise) with land in sight, the Captain and Harbor Pilot cancelled our stop. I guess the combination of cross wind, narrow harbor entrance and limited power caused the Captain to decide to skip the port so we spent another day at sea. Life goes on but I am getting restless at this point. The next day we made our scheduled stop in Freeport, Bahamas. We found a couple of nice beaches but there is really not much there. It was nice to be off the ship. The following day we made our (re)scheduled stop in Nassau. There is quite a bit to see and do in Nassau and we made the best of it with a walking tour of the historic sights on the Island. However, since the loss of the generator slowed the ship, we were forced to leave Nassau 2 hours early...another disappointment. After 2 more days on the ship we were back in Houston where the process of leaving the ship was very well organized and painless. We were off the ship, through customs and in the car in under 30 minutes.
To be fair, Princess compensated use $50 per person shipboard credit and 25% off our next cruise with them which was a nice gesture. However, Princess knew about the generator at least a few weeks prior to our departure (according to passengers that were on the previous sailing that remained on board) and I think I would rather have been given the option of being advised before we left than the compensation package offered. I read all the disclaimers that said Princess could cancel or change ports of call without notice, blah, blah, blah. But if I had known ahead of time that we would be spending more time on the ship and not going to the two ports of call that were the primary reason for booking the trip, I think I would have probably tried to do something else; that is the only reason I didn't give this cruise 4 or 5 stars. Compared to the other lines we have sailed with (Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Disney) this was hands down the best service and food we have ever experienced (my wife still liked Disney more).
P.S. Princess, I would have purchased more drinks if you had stocked the mini bar.