Caribbean Princess Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Second Mate

Experience
7+ cruises

Reviews
5

Helpful Votes
12

5 out of 5

Princess Preferred: A Review of the Caribbean Princess

Sail Date: April 18, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

From the Norman Love truffle pops at the Welcome Toast to the restaurant-like beverage service in the buffet, Princess is filled with surprises that make it my favorite among the mass market cruise lines.

It won’t blow you away with bumper cars or carousels, but what it does deliver is consistently solid service, attention to detail and an eagerness to please.

The recent trip on the Caribbean Princess, our fourth on the line, proved to be as good as the first. With many of the lines noticeably scaling back, Princess is an exception. Here’s some of what made it special:

Ship shape. Princess’ mini-suite is ideal for those who want more space but not at a suite price. It’s essentially the size of a hotel room with two flat screen TVs, a full-sized couch, large counter, and porch furniture featuring reclining chairs, foot stools and a large table. The closets in the mini-suites—as well as the balcony rooms—are the largest we’ve had on any cruise line, and can accommodate three hanging shoe bags, along with a whole lot of clothes.

The staterooms—as well as the public rooms—were immaculate. You’d really have to look hard to find any evidence that the ship was built 11 years ago.

The piazza, the hub of ship activity, this trip featured a pianist, a we-can-play-just-about-anything band and singer, steel drums and a former circus performer who twirled lighted hoops in a blaze of color and grace.

The only downside to the handsome piazza is that it can’t always accommodate everyone who wants to be there. Getting a good enough view to take photos of the Mardi Gras party or a seat to eat your International Café quiche can sometimes be all but impossible.

Food; themed and otherwise. Speaking of food, it ranged from fair to good, in both the Main Dining Room and Horizon Court buffet. One innovation in the MDR was Caribbean cuisine, a welcome reminder of where we were. And it was nice to see lobster tail still on the formal night menu.

Horizon Court themed nights were a lot of fun and we found ourselves there more than the MDR. German night was alight with a color-changing, larger-than-life beer stein (in ice, not on ice), landjagger bites and German hams, pretzel rolls, red cabbage, sausages, and linzer and sacher tortes. Italian night, with its gondolier-costumed waiters, served up prosciutto and hunks of parmesan, fennel au gratin and pasta many ways.

The bakery stuff is where Princess really excels. The breads are great—from the sunflower-studded rolls to the cheese-topped croissants to the onion-infused focaccia. The chocolate desserts were excellent, rivaling some of the best bakeries on land.

The ship was as generous with its buffet hours as it was with the food offerings. You can get breakfast until 11:30, lunch until 3:30 (if you miss this, there’s “afternoon snack” from 3:30-5:30, which is a scaled down lunch), and full dinner is available until 11. Late dining was an especially mellow meal, just us, a few other night owls and the crew.

Fun and games. While standard fare, the entertainment was generally good; highlights were a juggler/comedian whose not-G-rated shtick brought on belly laughs, and a magician/comedian with same-but-different sleight-of-hand tricks and fast wit.

In fact, everyone seemed to be a comedian on this trip—including the cruise director, Paul Chandler-Burns. The Brit’s quips shot out like sparks—in an understated, under-the-breath sort of way—and made him the ideal emcee. His banter during the “The Marriage Match Game Show” made it easily one of the best we’ve seen on any ship.

There were several themed parties, the most memorable was the “Love Boat Disco Deck Party” held by the pool. The ship’s singers and dancers, dressed officer-like in white pants suits and captain hats, did the hustle and other moves, while the Movie Under the Stars screen revived scenes from the TV show, interspersing its octogenarian cast members somewhat disconcertedly jiving to a disco beat.

Well served. Service onboard was attentive from the room steward to the well-orchestrated disembarkation. Ironically, some of the best service we had was in the buffet. One night, I was asked by three different waiters within 10 minutes if I wanted any water or coffee.

With the generous room space, great service, varied entertainment with plenty of laughs, satisfying food sprinkled with surprises, and four good Western Caribbean ports (seven days of sun didn’t hurt either), we felt gloriously pampered from ship to shore. And felt that Princess did its best—and succeeded—in helping us “come back new.” --musingaboutcruising.blogspot.com

 

Cruise Photos

Ship Quality The ship is in great shape and handsomely decorated in muted colors.
Food and Dining
The breads and desserts were fabulous, and the main dishes ranged in quality. There was plenty of choice in the MDR and buffet, and with the International Cafe, there's something available 24/7.
Cabin / Stateroom
We had a mini-suite, which is unique among the main cruise lines, and offers a really comfortable experience with more space and storage.
Service and Staff
The beverage service in the buffet is a real treat; it makes you feel like you're in a restaurant.
Entertainment
While the usual dancer/singer production shows, magicians and comedians, it was all decent quality and enjoyable.
Destinations and Excursions
A big surprise was Roatan--instead of docking in Coxtown, we were taken to Carnival's private oasis on the island--Mahogany Bay, with its pristine, perfect-for-swimming clear blue water and tropical foilage.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
We didn't stay; just drove from Jacksonville and boarded the ship.
George Town, Grand Cayman
We always enjoy visiting the little fish market on the sand in the harbor. Loved this sign on a beachside restaurant: "You hook it, we cook it."
Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras
We docked instead at Mohagany Bay, Carnival's gorgeous private side of Roatan. The beach and water rival Princess Cays, and offer wonderful swimming, water sports and even a chair lift!
Cozumel, Mexico
Always enjoy the shopping here--the prices are very reasonable and you can get anything from silver to pottery to onyx.
Princess Cays (Cruise Line Private Island)
Blue-green clear water, tropical foliage and a beach all to ourselves--what's not to love?

Tip

The hours of the Horizon Court buffet were particularly generous--breakfast lasted until 11:30, lunch until 3:30, afternoon snack (a scaled down lunch) until 5:30 and a full scale dinner until 11.



Was this review helpful? 2

Be the first to comment


Leave a Comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Anonymous



*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top