March 2016 a great trip but too many ports in a row
Caribbean Princess Cruise Review to Caribbean
The Carribean Princess was a well designed and appointed ship. The style and layout is very pleasing. The entertainment was the best I've ever seen on a cruise ship. The crew was extremely nice and helpful. This was true of every Filipino that we met, however the Ukrainian crew were abrupt and not so helpful or friendly. I was surprised how apparent the differences were between nationalities. We specifically wouldn't sit at certain tables with Ukrainian servers because of how we were treated early in the cruise. We are not complainers, I just want others to know what we experienced so that they can enhance their own experience by avoiding some of the concerns we found. The maintenance around the ship was
lacking a bit (cracking or falling out ceramic tiles in many of the public bathrooms, Windows needed washing, rust spots needed painting and general cleaning on the pool decks in most of the corners. Overall, these didn't bother me too much but in comparison to other ships, they lacked attention to detail. The food was best in the main dining rooms. The buffet food was pretty good too. Let's talk about Ports...
Houston was a nice building but that's all the good I can say about it. I will never sail out of Houston again. 2 days of sailing before we got to warm weather. The fist day of the cruise essentially was spent in a dirty channel and then once in the gulf we were going through the many buoyed channels for the next day before getting to the pristine waters of the Caribbean. Then, on the way back to Houston they informed us that we may have to be delayed due to fog in the bay between Galveston and Houston and we should prepare for changing our flights. Thankfully that didn't happen and we did not have to go through that hassle. In all my years sailing out of Florida we have never encountered any of the issues that we did sailing out of Houston, not to mention that immediately we are in warm temperatures and pristine Caribbean waters from Florida ports.
now to talk about the ports we sailed to...
Too many ports in a row (6). We got really burned out from arriving early and only had a few hours to spend on each stop. After disembarking and getting through the many pushy vendors and bus/taxi drivers we came to mostly just broken down towns that were quite dirty and everywhere we went the locals told us to be careful. We had too many cab drivers lie to us about fares and wouldn't give us US Currency as change and we were not aware of each ports exchange rates and monetary denomination values anyway. Even the employees at the Margaritavile told us not to drink the water, so we were stuck to having a soda or beer. Neither of these tasted like ours in the states. I'm assuming they re-bottle their own. So basically if you stayed in the cruise ship suggested and built areas it was nice, but basically just an extention of the cruise ship with cruise ship prices and you really don't get to experience the local culture at all (might have just as well stayed on the cruise ship. If you were out celebrating the previous night at all, it was easy to become burned out after the first two ports. I wish they would visit fewer ports for longer periods with a Sea Day between port stops. So basically I had an amazing time but see some definately improvement opportunities that would have made this cruise perfect.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Anytime Dining was by far the way to go. Other people that we met on the cruise told us that they wished they had done anytime seating because there were other activities, shows, karaoke and scheduled things that they couldn't do because the times conflicted with their seating time.