I am thinking of booking a southern carib. cruise on the Caribbean Princess. I have cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival before. I really want to try Princess, but I can't seem to find a good review of this ship. We are in our early thirties and will be traveling with another couple so we are not interested in the children's activities. Just want to know if the ship is really overcrowded with extra small balcony staterooms and bad food as all the reviews have stated. Any help will be appreciated.
Aventura Spa Palace-04/25/04
Rccl Explorer of Seas-04/17/05
Hi spyder209, I sailed on the Caribbean last May. I thought the cabins were very spacious. I had an inside on the Riviera. We did have a balcony on the Emerald, which is a sister ship, and did not think the cabin was too small. There was plenty of closet space, the luggage fit under the beds, our beds were configured to queen size, there is a nice dresser with additional storage, and two night stands with storage. The balcony has two chairs and a table.
The food on the Caribbean was just as good as on other Princess ships. Sometimes you get better chefs than other times, but that's on any ship. I certainly didn't go hungry.
Usually, no one takes time to write good reviews, they like to take something minor and blow it out of proportion. We truly enjoy Princess, they are our favorite line, so far. We've sailed on HAL, Costa, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, and soon Celebrity. The Caribbean, Emerald, Grand, and Ruby are all beautiful and huge. Princess ships are always immaculate, the crews are great, the service is usually impeccable.
"Just want to know if the ship is really overcrowded with extra small balcony staterooms and bad food as all the reviews have stated."
I too have cruised with Royal Caribbean and Carnival, but since cruising twice with Princess and looking forward to my up-coming cruise on the Ruby Princess in January, I can tell you that you will never feel overcrowded on their ships. There are so many things going on that the people are spread out everywhere. And as far as the food being bad...that's impossible! Everything is fresh, and there are many healthy choices to choose from. Even the food from room service is tasty. The reviews you read are probably from those people who complain about every little thing because they feel guilty spending so much money on a vacation!!
If you pick Princess, I'm sure you will have a wonderful cruise. The staff are fantastic. What itinerary are you looking at?
Hope this information helps you.
I agree with Penny. We sailed on the Caribbean Princess in May of '08 and had a balcony on the Aloha deck which was wonderful. I was impressed with the open closet space. (Our closets on the RCCL Brilliance of the Seas were ridiculously situated next to and across the front and bathroom doors so that when you opened one door, you couldn't open any others -- and the worse part was you really needed a flashlight to see inside the closet with all those doors in the way.)
As far as service and food, I enjoyed the food on this ship more than I did on RCCL or NCL, esp. the variety and quality of food. Desserts were excellent, esp. the souffles. Service was excellent -- our headwaiter Riccardo went out of his way to please us not only in the dining room but in other areas of the ship as well.
As far as overcrowding, I really couldn't comment on that since we traveled in May and not during your typical vacation months when kids are out of school.
If you plan to spend lots of time by the pool, then I have to say go with Caribbean Princess. You will have four pools and seven hot tubs to choose from, the two larger pools being the Neptune pool where there's live music and lots of fun things going on, and the MUTS (movies under the stars) pool. If you prefer more privacy, there's a small pool right off the spa and a decent-sized pool at the back of the ship.
I'm not sure about other RCCL ships, but the Brilliance has two pools and three hot tubs to choose from -- one large outdoor pool and a beautiful indoor solarium pool.
Keep in mind though that our vacations were very different: a nine-day fun & sun cruise to the Caribbean on the Princess where the pool experience was important; the other a twelve-day whirlwind of daily excursions in five European ports on the Brilliance where the pool issue was of secondary consideration. We enjoyed the pool on both ships, just more options with Princess.
I would recommend continuing to research other ships (and reviews) to the Caribbean as well. Hope this helps.