10 Day Caribbean Princess Cruise - April 21-May 1, 2018

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 36

Overall rating:

4 out of 5
Verified Review
Caribbean Princess

10 Night Panama Canal With Costa Rica & Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: April 21, 2018

Ship: Caribbean Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: B238

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

As a result of this cruise, we put down a deposit for another. Although it was our first cruise, Princess really surpassed our highest expectations. Looking forward to seeing how they can impress when we sail next! Would highly recommend this cruise line.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Perfect! Very organized and timely.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The ship's main dining rooms were well organized and the food was great. We had anytime dining and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table. Food never ran out at the buffet and there was a nice variety of food options. Very clean and the servers were attentive. It was difficult to find seating during prime breakfast and lunch hours, but otherwise perfect. The specialty restaurants were disappointing.The Crowne atmosphere was welcoming and our waiter, Dushan, was pleasant. The presentation of the food was beautiful but the steaks and side dishes were cold and there was not much flavor. Sabatini's was also disappointing. The food presentation was unique but the menu was limited and unusual. All in all, the steaks and Italian food in the Island dining room was superior. We have no complaints about the service or atmosphere. Drinks were ok - but weak.

Sabatini's

3 out of 5

The food presentation was unique but the menu was limited and unusual. We have no complaints about the service or atmosphere.

Crown Grill

2 out of 5

The Crowne atmosphere was welcoming and our waiter, Dushan, was pleasant. The presentation of the food was beautiful but the steaks and side dishes were cold and there was not much flavor.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
All in all the activities were good. I have to admit, some of the discussion/lecture topics were obviously geared toward an old crowd (back and feet issues, etc.). Comedian was good. If you like music from the way past, then see the shows. The talent was excellent, but the choice of songs a little dated. Too much electric violin dinner music for my taste. The Magnolia steel drum band was great. They really kept the parties alive.

Lotus Spa

3 out of 5

Way too expensive for the service. Spent $159 so my husband could lie on heated ceramic lounges, go to the sauna, and steam room for unlimited times throughout the cruise. The shower was malfunctioning, the hot tub was lukewarm. Be prepared for a lot of up-selling after your massage/treatment. I understand that this is something that they may be required to do, but honestly, after a relaxing massage, the last thing I was interested in was listening to someone tell me that I needed to spend more money. As a result, I didn't go back.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
See above activities comments.

Children's Programs

We didn't travel with children.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Every single member of the staff was very sincere and greeted us warmly each time in passing. We could tell that they took pride in their role on the ship, no matter what it was. There were three people who stood out. 1. Our cabin steward, Rolando, was extremely attentive and discreet. He attended to any requests we had and was always ready to offer suggestions and information about the cruise (it was our first time). 2. Jr. Waiter, Rajesh, was great. We always met him in the morning at the International Cafe while having coffee. We chatted about his life in India and made him promise he would invite us to his wedding! He always had a smile on his face and a smile to share. 3. Another cabin steward, Joe, was on the same floor. We would always pass him on our way in or out and he always greeted us with a smile. At one point my husband and I got separated and kept missing each other. Joe would give us an update on what time one of us had gone to the room checking for the other. It became a running joke each time we saw him.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
There are four pools so none are ever over-crowded. The staff was very efficient in clearing away used dishes and wiping tables. Decks were clean. The only thing that was a little annoying was allowing smoking in the Casinos during some hours. Not cool. We avoided those times because it was so hard to breathe.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The cabin was much larger than expected. The closet is huge and lots of room for folded clothes. Plenty of room to move around. The beds and linens were exceptional. A little disappointed that we didn't get towel animals each night but the specialty chocolates left at turn-down service were delicious.

Ship tip

Plan to relax enjoy yourself!

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida Did not visit port

Just flew in an out.

Falmouth, Jamaica

3 out of 5
The port was ok. There wasn't a lot to do but shop. Most of the shops have the same thing as well. Going out of the gated area requires a local to escort you. Otherwise you won't feel safe.

Cartagena, Colombia

3 out of 5
We hired a private car to take us on an excursion. It was nice, but if you go this route, make sure that the car has permission to drive on the pier to the ship. Otherwise, you will need to take a shuttle to the main terminal and meet up there. Cartagena is a bustling city with lots to see. We went to the fortress, the mission on top of the hill, and the walled city - a UNESCO heritage site. Wish we had more time there...

Panama Canal (Cruise Into Canal)

3 out of 5
We stayed on the ship during the transit. It was interesting, but after you go through one lock, the rest are the same. It is interesting to hear the facts about how the canal was built. We liked how the TVs in the room broadcasted the entire transit.

Colon, Panama

2 out of 5
When we reached the port there was a make-shift tent with some dancers in native costumes and craft tables. Not a really exciting thing to see.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
The port was not very well maintained. We went on an excursion to the Sloth sanctuary. Highly recommend the Insider's tour. You get a behind the scenes peek at the "slothpital" (not too exciting) and the neonatal nursery (highlight of the tour) and a trip down the nearby estuary where howler monkeys shake the trees when you pass by!

George Town, Grand Cayman

4 out of 5
If you get a chance, go swimming with the Stingrays. We took the Alura catamaran with Brian and Michell as the crew. The water is clear, the rays are friendly, and the transport was delightful. Would be a great trip for people traveling with kids. Educational and fun!

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
So organized. You may be tempted to take the shuttle, but honestly the FFL airport is only 15 minutes away. you can probably get an Uber for less than the $40 it costs for two travelers.
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