Brad and Laurie
Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Caribbean Princess
Sailing Date: May 20, 2006
Itinerary: 14 Day back/back East & West Caribbean
This was our first cruise experience. It will also probably be our last. I am not a fan of public pools and the pools on this ship were basically used as big wading areas. There was really no room to swim or even to get a stroke in.
Each bar had a set menu of drinks. unfortunately, as the week went on my wife and I discovered that the prices listed on the menu were not always the prices charged for the drink. For example, we both ordered a large Mai Tai on the same day. Different bartenders, same bar. Her drink with tip was 10.80, mine was 6.80. Prices varied by which bar you went to too.
The music on the boat was so bad that we could not sit through the show. I am a fan of neighborhood bar bands but really not sure if either band could play the neighborhood circuit. Also, the volume was incredibly too loud in every venue. Again, I like loud music, but to sit on the isle seats and not hear the person next to you is kind of ridiculous.
We ate at the formal dining room twice. Not impressed. Felt like we were being stalked by the wait staff and rushed through dinner. Speaking of dinner, we chose anytime dining and many times when we chose to eat at the buffet our room attendant would question us over and over when we were leaving the room again, this is after we put out the do not disturb sign. When we first arrived he must have knocked on our door or entered the room unannounced at least ten times. Always felt like we had to check in with him when we were leaving.
The cruise line decided that this trip was a good time to varnish the rails so 4 of the seven days our balcony was all but unusable because the rails were wet and tacky.
Do not mail anything on the ship. We followed the posted rules on times when to mail from which port. We still have not received much of the mail and postcards that were mailed from the ship. The ones mailed from the ports did arrive.
On good notes, the buffet always had some appealing food, never did we starve or could not find food we liked. It is a little confusing which buffet is open at what time but they are all in the same place so it is not really a problem. There was always seating in the buffet areas (the ship was sailing at capacity) and the servers (a lot of them) were on top of cleaning off the tables.
The Luau party was cheesy as was most of the deck games. Too much like camp. Guess my wife summed the whole cruise experience up the best as the typical wedding reception, so-so food, forced fun and laughter, over priced drinks, and bad cheesy music.
Club Fusion was sparsely attended whenever we went to it as was the sky walker lounge. the art auction was questionable as we attended on Monday and were told by Billy that any artwork that went up for auction and did not sell would not be seen again this cruise. Much of this artwork was again available by the end of the cruise.
It would also have helped to get a full week's listing of events instead of the day by day tactic of the Princess Patter. We missed two comedians that we would have liked to seen because I was under the impression that they would be there all week. Wrong impression.
Tendering to shore was not a problem. shore excursions were lacking especially private beach after Dunn's River Falls in Ochoa Rios, (felt like we were captured) and the airboat ride in Ft. Lauderdale. Princess Cays is really just like any other beach (did we really leave the states?) And all of the tours seemed very rushed.
Final note, everyone talked about the over the top food, the fun sculptures with towels the porters do in your room, the stars at night (too much light from the ship) and the relaxation. We felt none of that. It was either crowded and loud outside our room or if we chose to stay in the room the steward was constantly knocking on the door.
Next vacation we will definitely choose another mode of transportation