An Enjoyable Taste of Latin America

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 15

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Verified Review
Caribbean Princess

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

Sail date: November 20, 2019

Ship: Caribbean Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: C238

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 10 months ago

Review summary

Overall, the cruise was excellent and can't say enough nice things about the Caribbean Princess and staff. I would say that some of the ports disappointed, but this may may have been more a function of not choosing the best excursions, rather than what the destinations may really have to offer. If Panama is on your bucket list, this cruise may be the one for you!

Embarkation

5 out of 5
The boarding process, with the Princess medallion, was flawless and fast. We were on the ship without any delays and the process took less than ten minutes.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The food and service in the main dining rooms was exceptional, and the buffets were plentiful and generally very good. We particularly enjoyed a special premium wine tasting and Super Tuscany Menu at Sabatini's -- the seven course luncheon, incredible service and wine tasting experience were over the top...and a most memorable event.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Plenty and a variety of places to settle in on deck to catch some sun, swim and just relax. No fancy rock climbing wall, but the fitness center is a very nice facility with plenty of equipment and class options. The ship's schedule had a continuous variety of options, including games, lectures and activities. There was no opportunity to be bored.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The production stage shows were very good, but lacked the spark I have enjoyed on prior cruise. The other entertainment on board, including the musicians, DJ's, comedians and game shows were all excellent.

Children's Programs

No children travelling with us.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
All staff were attentive and seemed to really enjoy their jobs making guests feel comfortable the entire time.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship has been meticulously maintained and was kept clean at all times. The layout of the ship is logical and the Medallion system allows you wayfind if you get lost.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The cabin was more than adequate for me as a solo occupant. The balcony was huge, there was more than enough storage for clothing and the bed (and bedding) extremely comfortable. The cabin is nicely designed and was continuously being cleaned. Indeed, they even steam cleaned the carpet (they asked my permisssion) mid-cruise.

Ship tip

This is a large ship, but not unmanageable. The Medallion is a great innovation, allowing room access, locating fellow travelers, looking at event schedules, navigating the ship and more. You can even track your trip expenses in real time.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

5 out of 5
Fort Lauderdale is a great city and the port is well run.

George Town, Grand Cayman

4 out of 5
The port is fine. One needs to be tendered in. Enjoyed walking (and shopping) in Georgetown and had an incredible excursion on the Allura catamaran to swim with the stingrays on a most beautiful reef.

Cartagena, Colombia

5 out of 5
This may have been the most surprising and enjoyable port. The port itself is a destination in and of itself, with restaurants, shops, bars and an aviary you can walk through to have direct contact with wildlife and birds. The hop on/ hop off bus excursion was very good, and the old walled town of Cartagena exceptionally beautiful and charming (great shopping opportunities). Modern Cartagena was also a surprise, with beautiful new high-rise buildings and a bustling economy.

Panama Canal (Cruise Into Canal)

5 out of 5
While ship traffic was backed up getting into the canal, the experience ultimately proved fascinating and enjoyable, with great commentary from a guest lecturer on board explaining everything we were seeing and experiencing. Did the excursion to Panama City, seeing the ruins and a museum of the old city, walking and touring the colonial part of Panama City (with beautifully restored buildings) and driving through parts of modern-day Panama City. Not enough time for shopping, though, which was a shame.

Cristobal, Panama

3 out of 5
Re-boarded the ship in Cristobal, with nothing really there, except for some tents set up for local vendors (nothing special) and a local band providing entertainment.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

3 out of 5
This port is not very attractive, although there are some limited shopping options. Costa Rica is known for its beautiful rainforest and natural features, yet our excursion did not meet expectations. The beach, small "rain forest" and the countryside bus ride was disappointing. The tour also included an ecological boat ride through some canals, with some wildlife spotted, including sloths, monkeys and dolphins...this was nice, although the canal itself was not visually very attractive. Talking to other passengers, some had great experiences on excursions, particularly those that went deep into the rain forest and more remote areas.

Falmouth, Jamaica

4 out of 5
The new portside facilities in Falmouth are incredible, with beautiful shops, restaurants and artisan stalls. Our excursion to Ocho Rios was disappointing (the town itself is not very nice, but the visit to Konoko Falls and Garden was beautiful , tropical and interesting.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
We walked off the ship and with Global Entry identification, were able to go though customs and the terminal in minutes. Excellent!
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