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George

Age: 41

Occupation:project manager

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Caribbean Princess

Sailing Date: 2010-08-24

Itinerary: Canada and New England

Overall this cruise was good. Not great, but good. As described below, there were lots of pluses and minuses.
Pluses: Weather (we were quite lucky), cost, itinerary, kids area, room size and upkeep.
Minuses: Food, entertainment.

The food was just OK. Not as good as I expect from a cruise. They tried to hype this ship as having been voted the best cuisine for a cruise ship in 2009. I'm not convinced. There were a few dishes that I thought were really good, none that produced the "wow" reaction, but most were just plain good. We found the menu to be a bit limited in terms of the choices you had, and each of the 3 main dining rooms served the exact same menu. If each dining room had its own theme and menu each night we would have been happier. The buffet food was good (about what you'd expect from a buffet). The pizza and burger bars were better than expected. The ice cream station was way too limited in what they served (soft serve in a cone only). The international cafe was very good but only good for a snack (no full meals - just sandwiches, salads and desserts). The alcohol ordering was a disaster. The room key was supposed to be your credit card, but each drink order was written down on paper and later manually entered into the computer for the charge, versus electronically placing the order and swiping the card to complete the transaction. Many other charges on board were like this. Princess needs to move into the 21st century on this. As the ship was only about 60% full we didn't have to wait long for meals (sometimes not at all).

Good size for an inside stateroom. They also had a pulldown bunk bed for my daughter which was a great feature. Our room steward was excellent - seemed like he was in ther 3 times a day to clean, do turndown, etc. And he was very personable and always in good spirits.

Princess needs improvement in this area. The best entertainment we got was comedian Phil Tag who was incredibly funny. The hypnotist was generally dull. The singing/dancing squad was OK. Most other activities - side musicians, bingo, trivia, disco party, etc. - were lame. They need to bring in a consultant to bring them up to speed with other cruises.

The ititerary was generally a plus for this cruise if you're looking to go to places in North America's eastern coast you may never otherwise see. Pluses: Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax. Minuses: Newport, St. John. And don't waste your money pre-booking excursions. Get off the ship and there are a number of other options available to you nearby where you're not stuck to one particular tour or time. And they're a little cheaper this way.

The weather was unbelievable all week - even in Canada - so we were quite lucky. The ship is laid out a little funny in that it was hard to find even the biggest rooms (dining, theater, etc.). Generally comfortable throughout. Because this trip originated in Brooklyn NY, about half of the ship was New Yorkers - I don't mind one or two of them but 1000 on one ship? - you get my drift. Also, and I think beacuse of the itinerary, there were a ton of senior citizens on board - I have never seen so many canes, walkers and wheelchairs in one place. So if you're looking for a cruise with a younger crowd - STAY AWAY!!! The onboard photographers were OK but trying to find your own pictures was a mess. Instead of associating them with your room number and viewing them online they printed them all out and you had to search one by one. Ordering the promotional photo book was a complete mess as only one station could do this. The kids program was pretty good as my daughter enjoyed the kids and counselors. Their activities were fun and age-appropriate. Overall, we probably won't go with Princess next time. We need to see what others can offer first.

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