Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Caribbean Princess
Sailing Date: November 19th, 2005
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
We just returned from a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean aboard the Caribbean Princess. Below I have organized the review into a few categories:
Embarkation: We decided to heed the advise of other reviews and arrive after 1:00 p.m. It definitely is much easier and faster to wait until that time. On a non-holiday cruise, I am sure the process will run even quicker. Overall it was smooth and easy.
Stateroom: We splurged on a Mini-Suite with a Balcony, E731. Absolutely wonderful. I don't think I could go back to a room without a balcony. It was so nice to relax in solitude. The room was rather spacious and our two girls loved the bunk bed set-up in the sitting room area. This room has a bathtub which made things much easier with the kids. The only drawback of this specific room was that it was at the very back of the ship. One can feel the rockiness of the ship more in the back. But, none of our family is prone to seasickness so it wasn't a major problem.
Recommendation - try the Mini-Suite.
Service: Overall, I thought the service was outstanding. We never had any problems receiving our drinks, food, etc. The Cabin Steward was very efficient. It seemed like he was non-existent in a good way. He always had our room done and did not bother us in any way. Personally, I like a steward that stays in the background. The ship's crew were very friendly and helpful.
Ship Navigation: It took me about 2 hours to figure out the set-up of the ship and how to get there. I will say that I am very good at finding my way around things. So, I will say that it can be confusing for a bit. The ship is divided up to give it the feel of a smaller ship. The elevators do not all go to every floor so be mindful of that.
Funzone (Kids program): Our daughters had a great time in the cruise's kids program. There were over 600 kids on our cruise so Princess brought in extra counselors to help. Overall, the kids enjoyed themselves and had a positive experience.
Entertainment: The worst part of the cruise. I am a musician myself and was thoroughly disappointed by the level of talent in the cruise entertainment. The only solid show was with one of the comedians and that was not even in the main theater. The entertainment on the Caribbean Princess needs to be revamped altogether.
Food: The dining room food was absolutely amazing!
The buffet was mediocre at best.
MUTS: The Movie Under The Stars is definitely a big draw. Our family had a great time watching all the films and swimming at the same time. Very cool.
Ports of Call:
St. Thomas is a decent port overall. The scenery is not the prettiest in the Caribbean. We went on an excursion with the kids - The Semi-Submersible Sub and Coral World Aquarium. This was fun and the kids really had a blast. If you have younger children I would suggest this excursion
St. Maartens is a nicer island than St. Thomas. The beach was small, but we had a good time. In hindsight, I wish we would have done a shore excursion in St. Maartens because it is a much prettier area.
Princess Cays was fun. I didn't think it was as crowded as some reviewers have said. I live in Florida so maybe I'm used to a lot of people at the beach. We took the kids snorkeling and they had a great time. The water is absolutely beautiful!
Disembarkation: Long and unorganized. There has to be a better way to disembark. We couldn't wait much longer than we did because the kids were getting antsy. They did not call our color, but we decided to go anyways. There was no problem after that. Be prepared for a long wait.
Overall: Our cruise was fantastic! I would definitely go on Princess again. There were some minor disappoints but in the end it was an overall success!