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  #1  
Old September 16th, 2012, 12:17 AM
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Starlaker Starlaker is offline
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Default Caribbean Princess TA trip report

Several others have posted trip reports for this cruise, so I thought I would add my thoughts, especially since there have been several questions of late about the Caribbean Princess.

We chose this cruise because of the ports and we were not disappointed. We missed Dublin due to high winds, but based on what we had read about other transatlantics we fully expected to miss a port or two. We are just glad that we only missed the one. The seas were rough most of the trip which we had also expected. The Captain did a wonderful job of steering us around the worst of the weather and keeping us safe. When I looked out at the high seas, I was amazed that we weren't rocking and rolling more. He said that he "put the flippers out" which certainly helped.

Embarkation was excellent. We are Platinum which I am sure helped. We were in our cabin 15 minutes after we arrived at the port. Our luggage arrived soon after. Our room steward, Ricky, was right there on the spot and responded quickly to all requests during the entire cruise.

Falmouth: We took the ship's tour "Falmouth on your own", which was basically transportation to the Cornwall town of Falmouth. It was picturesque and we enjoyed our day there. The bus was very uncomfortable. Small seats and absolutely no leg room. However, I did note that there were several buses for this tour and the other buses were larger and had nice big seats. This was a tender port and the line to get back to the ship was very long as all the tours returned at the same time. The Princess people enlisted local ships to ferry passengers which helped make the line move well.

Dublin: We missed Dublin due to high winds. Disappointing, but better safe than sorry. The Captain was great about keeping us informed.

Greenock: My husband and I did a private tour on our own with Gordon Ross and it was wonderful! David was our driver and guide and he gave us a perfect day in Scotland. I can't say enough about how glad we were to tour with him. We do not like to do bus tours with large groups and loved the flexibility to go where we wanted to go at our own pace.

Reykjavik: This was my favorite stop. We did a private tour with Iceland Horizon that was organized by a member of our roll call. We were on a very nice and comfortable 14 person van with 11 people. The owner was our driver and guide for the day and he was great. We did the Golden Circle and I highly recommend it. The geologic features in Iceland are just incredible. Loved this stop!

Qaqortoq, Greenland: There wasn't much to do here other than just walk around this very unique town. It was a Sunday and there was one gift shop open. The crowd in there was overwhelming. Not much to say about Qaqortoq other than I can now say I have been to Greenland.

St. Johns, Newfoundland: Beautiful scenery along the coast. We hired a cab for two hours and he took us to Signal Hill, Quidi Vidi, the Battery, and around St. Johns. He was a very good tour guide and we liked being able to go where we wanted when we wanted. St. Johns is a pretty town. The entrance to St. Johns is very narrow and we were all in awe of the pilot's maneuvering to get us in and out of the harbor. People were lined up on both banks to watch us leave. The ships in the harbor had a "horn serenade" for us as we left. Pretty cool!

New York: We got up before dawn to see the sail in to New York harbor. Seeing the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty as we sailed in was awesome. Disembarkation was very quick and easy. We made a big mistake in taking the Princess "City Highlights and transfer to JFK" tour. The driver and guide were totally disorganized. We drove around and around with no discernible plan. We felt like we were being held captive. Once we got to the airport, we rode around and around there for one and a half hours letting passengers off at their airlines. We drove past our airline three times before they finally let us get off. Painful!

We did not eat in the dining room. The buffet food was OK, but nothing very interesting. Room service was very good. The hamburgers and pizza up on the pool deck were great. I think that the quality of the food has declined since our last cruise two years ago. Food is very subjective though, so others may have been very happy with the offerings. The buffet is rather chaotic. I don't understand their organization. It would be helpful to have the same types of food together. I would get a meat or vegetable and then go on down the line and find something I liked better. There would be less waste if you could see what your choices are before you select.
The sea days got long, but we knew they would by choosing this itinerary. It was worth it for the wonderful and unique ports. The weather was mostly wet and chilly, but then we are used to that living in the Northwest. The ship seemed crowded and I expect that was mostly due to the weather being what is was so that everyone stayed inside most of the time. All in all, we had a very enjoyable cruise and found it to be mostly what we were expecting.

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Carnival Inspiration -W. Caribbean '02
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Carnival Glory - W. Caribbean '04
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Diamond Princess - Alaska '06
Crown Princess - Baltic '08
Sapphire Princess - Mexico '09
Coral Princess - Alaska '09
NCL Pride of America - Hawaii '09
Island Princess - Panama Canal '10
Oceania Regatta - Amazon '10
Caribbean Princess - British Isles/TA '12
Crown Princess - W. Caribbean '13
Grand Princess - Hawaii '13

Last edited by Starlaker; September 16th, 2012 at 12:19 AM. Reason: fix spacing
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  #2  
Old September 16th, 2012, 06:31 AM
vivavegas vivavegas is offline
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Nice review! Thanks for sharing!
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  #3  
Old September 16th, 2012, 06:51 AM
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More of a Port Summary vs. a Cruise Review. No data provided on the ship, entertainment, activities or really anything other than the weather.
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  #4  
Old September 16th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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Thank you for sharing your trip report. Glad you had a good time!
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  #5  
Old September 16th, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhcruiser View Post
More of a Port Summary vs. a Cruise Review. No data provided on the ship, entertainment, activities or really anything other than the weather.
Would you like something more in depth? Not a TA, but 19 days on the ship this past June/July. Here is the link to the LIVE I did while on board.


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1655510
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Last edited by Pia1913; September 16th, 2012 at 10:52 AM.
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  #6  
Old September 16th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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Great review!
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  #7  
Old September 16th, 2012, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhcruiser View Post
More of a Port Summary vs. a Cruise Review. No data provided on the ship, entertainment, activities or really anything other than the weather.
Sorry that my "trip report" wasn't up to your standards. I was simply giving a report of our Aug 23 - Sept 8, 2012 TA cruise on the Caribbean Princess from Southampton to NYC. I believe that I did report on the Captain, the ship being crowded, embarkation, debarkation, on the food quality, and on the buffet. We did not attend any of the entertainment and the only activities we participated in were trivia and bingo and there is really nothing much to say about that. We were in an AD minisuite and we had the new mattresses which were very comfortable. Our balcony furniture was two semi comfortable chairs with ottomans and a nice size table. We didn't spend much time out there due to the weather. Oops, sorry to be talking about the weather again.
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Previous cruises:
Carnival Inspiration -W. Caribbean '02
Carnival Victory - E. Caribbean '03
Carnival Glory - W. Caribbean '04
Carnival Valor - E. Caribbean '05
Diamond Princess - Alaska '06
Crown Princess - Baltic '08
Sapphire Princess - Mexico '09
Coral Princess - Alaska '09
NCL Pride of America - Hawaii '09
Island Princess - Panama Canal '10
Oceania Regatta - Amazon '10
Caribbean Princess - British Isles/TA '12
Crown Princess - W. Caribbean '13
Grand Princess - Hawaii '13
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  #8  
Old September 16th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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Nice review.

Small correction. We saw CB in Southampton on August 25th, while embarking on Grand Princess for Scandinavia.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 04:15 PM
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You are right. Typo. Darn little keyboard on my IPad!
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Previous cruises:
Carnival Inspiration -W. Caribbean '02
Carnival Victory - E. Caribbean '03
Carnival Glory - W. Caribbean '04
Carnival Valor - E. Caribbean '05
Diamond Princess - Alaska '06
Crown Princess - Baltic '08
Sapphire Princess - Mexico '09
Coral Princess - Alaska '09
NCL Pride of America - Hawaii '09
Island Princess - Panama Canal '10
Oceania Regatta - Amazon '10
Caribbean Princess - British Isles/TA '12
Crown Princess - W. Caribbean '13
Grand Princess - Hawaii '13
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Old September 16th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlaker View Post
Sorry that my "trip report" wasn't up to your standards. I was simply giving a report of our Aug 23 - Sept 8, 2012 TA cruise on the Caribbean Princess from Southampton to NYC. I believe that I did report on the Captain, the ship being crowded, embarkation, debarkation, on the food quality, and on the buffet. We did not attend any of the entertainment and the only activities we participated in were trivia and bingo and there is really nothing much to say about that. We were in an AD minisuite and we had the new mattresses which were very comfortable. Our balcony furniture was two semi comfortable chairs with ottomans and a nice size table. We didn't spend much time out there due to the weather. Oops, sorry to be talking about the weather again.
I really enjoyed reading your report. I love it when people include detail on the ports as well as the ship. Makes it much more interesting in my estimation. The time you took to write it all up and post is most appreciated. Glad you had a good cruise.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 05:14 PM
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a thanks from me too....ill be on her in dec.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 09:16 PM
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Thank you for your review
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  #13  
Old September 17th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlaker View Post
Sorry that my "trip report" wasn't up to your standards. I was simply giving a report of our Aug 23 - Sept 8, 2012 TA cruise on the Caribbean Princess from Southampton to NYC. I believe that I did report on the Captain, the ship being crowded, embarkation, debarkation, on the food quality, and on the buffet. We did not attend any of the entertainment and the only activities we participated in were trivia and bingo and there is really nothing much to say about that. We were in an AD minisuite and we had the new mattresses which were very comfortable. Our balcony furniture was two semi comfortable chairs with ottomans and a nice size table. We didn't spend much time out there due to the weather. Oops, sorry to be talking about the weather again.
What cabin number were you in? We have AD mini E731 booked.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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blueboro, You have a great cabin! That balcony is extra large. We were right next door in E729. It is a great location - quiet, close to elevators, close to laundry, and private covered balcony. Enjoy!
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Carnival Inspiration -W. Caribbean '02
Carnival Victory - E. Caribbean '03
Carnival Glory - W. Caribbean '04
Carnival Valor - E. Caribbean '05
Diamond Princess - Alaska '06
Crown Princess - Baltic '08
Sapphire Princess - Mexico '09
Coral Princess - Alaska '09
NCL Pride of America - Hawaii '09
Island Princess - Panama Canal '10
Oceania Regatta - Amazon '10
Caribbean Princess - British Isles/TA '12
Crown Princess - W. Caribbean '13
Grand Princess - Hawaii '13
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Old September 17th, 2012, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhcruiser View Post
More of a Port Summary vs. a Cruise Review. No data provided on the ship, entertainment, activities or really anything other than the weather.
Sounds like I would enjoy one of your reviews. Do you have a link?
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Old September 17th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Enjoyed the brevity....wondering, curious as to why you never ate in the dining room. First time I've heard that ? We're on the Caribbean Princess this Saturday for New England so your impressions were quite timely, thanks....
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Old September 17th, 2012, 01:12 PM
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We chose not to eat in the dining room this trip for various reasons. Didn't want to dress up for the two formal nights, tired after a full day of touring, offerings that night didn't appeal, didn't want to spend the extra time, and my dh and I both got the flu so didn't feel up to it for several of the nights. We have eaten in the dining room on previous cruises and will do traditional dining on our Caribbean cruise in March, it just didn't work out on this trip.
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Previous cruises:
Carnival Inspiration -W. Caribbean '02
Carnival Victory - E. Caribbean '03
Carnival Glory - W. Caribbean '04
Carnival Valor - E. Caribbean '05
Diamond Princess - Alaska '06
Crown Princess - Baltic '08
Sapphire Princess - Mexico '09
Coral Princess - Alaska '09
NCL Pride of America - Hawaii '09
Island Princess - Panama Canal '10
Oceania Regatta - Amazon '10
Caribbean Princess - British Isles/TA '12
Crown Princess - W. Caribbean '13
Grand Princess - Hawaii '13
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Old September 17th, 2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlaker View Post
We chose not to eat in the dining room this trip for various reasons. Didn't want to dress up for the two formal nights, tired after a full day of touring, offerings that night didn't appeal, didn't want to spend the extra time, and my dh and I both got the flu so didn't feel up to it for several of the nights. We have eaten in the dining room on previous cruises and will do traditional dining on our Caribbean cruise in March, it just didn't work out on this trip.
Funny you should mention that, we are dedicated main dining room usually traditional diners but on this cruise we hardly ate at our table for 2 late dining.
Our reasons included - a very dimly lit table, a table for 2 when we requested 6, rather slow service, timings of entertainment - often though there were 3 shorter shows rather than the two longer shows we were used to on Princess.
And yes sometimes the menu just didn't appeal.
And then we both got the cold/cough which was running through the ship and lost our appetites altogether.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 09:37 PM
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this trip goes down as the worst one i've been on. BUT it was still good, just not great. kind of disappointing. yes the weather was crappy, yes the seas were rough but so were the people. that lovely cough that spread like wildfire was fun. *sarcasm*. i've never been on a ship with so many agressive, rude passengers. i felt so bad for the staff. was it because of the weather that it felt so crowded? i've not been on a ship as big as this before and i wondered if that was part of it. lesson learned.

the ship was good, the staff were great, the service perfect. i did eat most meals in the main dining room and other than the same old princess menu, the food was prepared well. give me the fettucine with salmon any day!

i got bored with the entertainment. most of it did not interest me but that's just me. others perhaps loved it.

i love that captain kent is so forthcoming with information. he kept us abreast of the storms/ weather systems and how he was hoping to avoid what he could.

the ports were interesting. i was lucky enough to be on the cruise before, so i did go to dublin. i felt bad for the people who really wanted to see ireland and we couldn't make it.

my trip had a rough ending as well. i had a princess shuttle to the airport and our driver had to use gps to get us there. once there we drove around for an hour looking for departures. yes, an hour. he finally stopped at a bus stop and said this was where he stopped and we had to walk (waaaay further than we wanted to) with our luggage to the terminal. some people took taxis.

at the airport, i talked to a couple on a different shuttle who were taken to the wrong airport! our flights were all delayed in NY because of tornados!
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Old September 18th, 2012, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdngrl View Post
my trip had a rough ending as well. i had a princess shuttle to the airport and our driver had to use gps to get us there. once there we drove around for an hour looking for departures. yes, an hour. he finally stopped at a bus stop and said this was where he stopped and we had to walk (waaaay further than we wanted to) with our luggage to the terminal. some people took taxis.

at the airport, i talked to a couple on a different shuttle who were taken to the wrong airport! our flights were all delayed in NY because of tornados!
This is worth sending a nicely worded letter to Princess about. For what you pay for a transfer, the driver should know how to get there and know where the proper terminal drop off places are.
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