Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class

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#1
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
We took advantage of a 5 day, very reasonably priced cruise on the Caribbean Princess on March 2-7. This was our first cruise under 7 days so we really didn't know what to expect in terms of entertainment, food and service. We are new to jumping on board ships with little notice when sales are tossed our way. We usually take longer cruises booked months ahead of time. Needing to be close to home this year has led us to discover that we can have a great cruise on short notice. So we have done 2 Royal class 7 day trips and this Caribbean Princess 5 day trip.

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale at 11:00 am and used Park and Go to park our car. It came highly recommended by CC cruisers and we too will add our recommendations. Good price, good service and we received two bottles of water when we went out the gate.

We were in the terminal checked in and seated by 11:35. We were onboard and in our cabin by 12:15. We booked a cabin on Baja deck, B629, for the first time because Caribe was booked. This was also the farthest aft we ever had a cabin. We generally book Caribe or Dolphin mid-ship cabins on Grand class ships, but booking last minute means the prime choices are gone. The cabin was comfortable and familiar with a standard size balcony, smaller than the Caribe and Dolphin balconies and comparable to the standard size balconies on the Royal/Regal ships.
We noticed the shower was smaller than on Royal class and I missed the lights on the sides of the mirrors. They are great for makeup. The toilet paper roll was in a handy position however so that made my day Princess, you need to upgrade the mattresses on CB. This one was only slightly better than the one we had on CB in the British Isles three years ago. Have you ever read "The Princess and the Pea"?

The TV is small with not much of a selection, but this did not matter to us as we didn't have time to watch it. Perhaps on a longer cruise, the big screen HD TVs that are on Royal/Regal would be missed.





Back to the balcony, I had forgotten that they had blue mats on the floor, something I do not care for on the Grand Class ships.I prefer the smooth decking on the Royal Class ships. The new furniture was on each deck and each cabin, no matter the size of the balcony, had 2 chairs and a round table. The tables were taller on Caribe and Dolphin and shorter on the other decks. There were foot stools on Caribe and Dolphin. While in port in Costa Maya, we were docked next to the Emerald Princess. She still has some old furniture on her balconies. The Caribe decks still had 4 chairs and a table. The Dolphin deck had the new furniture and only 2 chairs and a table. This is surprising since the Caribe deck cabin sleeps 2 and the Dolphin min-suites can sleep more. You would think the Dolphin deck would have the 4 chairs too.
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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#2
3,734 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by Mom33
The Caribe decks still had 4 chairs and a table. The Dolphin deck had the new furniture and only 2 chairs and a table. This is surprising since the Caribe deck cabin sleeps 2 and the Dolphin min-suites can sleep more. You would think the Dolphin deck would have the 4 chairs too.
Great stuff so far. Thanks for doing this comparison. Dolphin deck balconies have been reduced to 2 chairs for a couple of years now, but we have always gotten a third upon request, though one time we had to be very persistent about it.
#3
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
The atriums on the CB and other Grand Class ships are much smaller than the Royal/Regal atriums. There is less seating and less venues, but we never had a problem finding a seat or enjoying the International Cafe. The CB doesn't have an Alfredos or a Seafood Bar and I especially missed my Crab Margarita. The atrium on CB could be described as cozy while the atriums on Royal/ Regal are huge with an "open concept". The entertainment in the CB atrium is scaled down while the entertainment in the Royal class atriums is frequent and draws a lively crowd.

After lunch in the IC on embarkation day, we went up to Lido deck to check it out. We had been on Caribbean Princess 3 years ago doing the British Isles, but the weather was so cool, we never used the pools or MUTS. We expected it to be like Emerald's Lido and it was. Calypso pool and Neptune Pool are separated by a bank of elevators.This pleases those that don't have any use for MUTS. The Royal class Lido deck has an "open concept" where you can see the MUTS screen from anywhere on the Fountain Pool deck. To escape MUTS, you need to use the Retreat Pool, or on the Regal, the Terrace pool.

While walking by the Neptune Pool, we saw a large group of Spring Breakers. We had one of those "duh", what were we thinking moments. A 5 day cruise for this low sale price would of course be perfect for hard working college students to afford. Well, we didn't have a problem personally during the cruise. They got drunk, sick, and sunburned while we stayed healthy, happy and covered in sunscreen. None of the college groups were in cabins by us. Others reported some noise issues, but nothing ear shattering. We avoided the Lido pools and since we were aft on the CB, we used the Terrace pool to cool off.
NOT! Someone decided it should be a giant hot tub without jets. Warm is warm, hot is hot. Princess needs to turn off the heater and let the sun do it's job.

Neptune pool



Spa pool



Aft pool



Calypso pool

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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#4
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
The passenger demographics on this 5 day cruise were much different then on longer cruises. There were many age groups besides the college crowd. There were newbie cruisers, new to Princess cruisers, couples and singles of all ages, families and many repeat cruisers. We enjoyed the energy they all brought to this cruise.

The food and service were on par with our longer cruises. There was an occasional employee that needed a Princess refresher course, but most were doing their job with a smile and a pleasant greeting. I had my best Frozen Mocha to date at the IC on Caribbean Princess. Kudos to the staff! We ate in the dining room, the buffet, and International Cafe as well as the Crown Grill on our last evening. The Crown Grill has never disappointed before, but service was slow in this one. The food was good except my husband found too much fat and grizzle in his steak and we were served cold coffee.
It should be mentioned that the ship was on code red for noro when we boarded, but the code was lifted the next morning.
The entertainment was plentiful and we came away feeling that there is no difference in the quality of entertainment no matter the length of the cruise.
We especially enjoyed the comedy of Troy Thirdgill, the production show "Born to Run" backed up by the Princess orchestra, the movie "The Theory of Everything", and The Disco Deck Party and singing the Love Boat Theme.
We also enjoyed a trivia game called Complete the Lyric and an amazing steel drum performance by Wilson John-Baptiste. His rendition of "Time to say Goodbye" was very moving.

There was much more, but we just chilled some of the time on our balcony. We were thrilled to sail on a full moon and the moon rose on our side of the ship 2 of the nights coming back to Ft. Lauderdale. When we were en route to Costa Maya, the moon was setting in the very early morning hours. What a pretty sight. We had glorious weather and great seas.

We used the Promenade deck to walk only once on this cruise. I never thought of it as narrow before experiencing the Royal class ships. We tried walking next to each other but had to move to single file to let a jogger pass a couple of times. On the Royal class ships, the joggers and walkers have separate tracks on a course made just for them.
On the CB Promenade, people were reading in deck chairs sitting in one chair with their feet up on another chair. On the Royal class, the Promenade deck that is available to the public is extremely wide and accommodates a padded full lounger making reading and relaxing more comfortable.
We found wind to be just as much a factor in walking the Promenade deck as it is on the track on the Royal class ships.
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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#5
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
There were 2 ports on this cruise, Costa Maya and Cozumel. I'll start with Costa Maya, a port built for cruise visits. There is a pool, shops, bars and a dolphin encounter. There is no beach at the port for swimming. You need to go to Mahahual, a small town a mile or so away, to find a beach for swimming. We stayed in the port area, window shopped and took some pictures before returning to the ship.



pool



Shopping plaza



Sisters side by side

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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#6
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Our visit to Cozumel was the second one although we never actually set foot on the island the first time. We did a Tulum excursion on the first trip and were picked up from the ship by the ferry. This was 2007, before the port expanded, and the ships mostly tendered in.
We were quite impressed with the new port shops and found them much better than Costa Maya. We spent the morning on Isla Pasion, (passion Island) on an excursion. The beach was beautiful, the water divine and the drink service was excellent. The lunch buffet was simple and set back in a grove of palm trees. There were several small huts to shop in, but no one pressured you to purchase anything and they didn't come near you on the beach. We very much liked this excursion and would definitely repeat it.







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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#7
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
This Norman Love treat deserves it's own post

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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#8
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
In conclusion, I found no difference in service, food or entertainment on this short cruise. It was just as satisfying as our longer cruises
I will say that Caribbean Princess is looking a little tired and could use some new carpeting, bedding and TLC. However, maintenance is an ongoing process and she still looks good for her age. Although she is missing some of the things I enjoy on the Royal/Regal ships, I quickly got in the cruising groove and appreciated what she did have. As the first day came to an end, I felt right at home. For us, Princess always delivers.
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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#9
Cape Coral, Fl.
2,036 Posts
Joined May 2014
Do you recall the numbers for the most traveled couples? We found the ship in need of some TLC. Although everything was keep clean, there were many items that need updating and replacement on their next dry dock.

Park-N-Go is definitely the way to go when in Port Everglades. I was parked & almost on the ship when an emergency arose & I had to leave the leave Park-N-Go in a hurry and didn't return that day. There was no charge since I hadn't stayed overnight. Try doing that with any of the port garages who also charge double the rate and see if they wave the fee. Good luck.
#10
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by Lovetocruiseprincess
Do you recall the numbers for the most traveled couples? We found the ship in need of some TLC. Although everything was keep clean, there were many items that need updating and replacement on their next dry dock.

Park-N-Go is definitely the way to go when in Port Everglades. I was parked & almost on the ship when an emergency arose & I had to leave the leave Park-N-Go in a hurry and didn't return that day. There was no charge since I hadn't stayed overnight. Try doing that with any of the port garages who also charge double the rate and see if they wave the fee. Good luck.
Sorry, we missed the Captain's party. i didn't hear anything else about the most traveled. We actually missed a few things because there was so much to do and not enough time.
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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#11
18 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
Originally posted by Mom33
Sorry, we missed the Captain's party. i didn't hear anything else about the most traveled. We actually missed a few things because there was so much to do and not enough time.
It was someone with close to 2000 sea days. Not sure if that is right but I know it was a huge amount.
#12
342 Posts
Joined Dec 2014
Hi...love the review so far!! i was on the ship with you and you got me in a few pics...your "pool Pic" thats me (red hat) holding our son!! and the "Spa Pool" pic i am the 3rd person on riht side of pool with legs in water (red hat)...lol...i was on the 4 day before this cruise as well....i will add some color to your already great review!!!!! in the coming days...!!!!

thanks for letting me re-live the wonderful experience so far!!
-M
#13
Cape Coral, Fl.
2,036 Posts
Joined May 2014
Originally posted by Mom33
Sorry, we missed the Captain's party. i didn't hear anything else about the most traveled. We actually missed a few things because there was so much to do and not enough time.

I know what you mean. There were lots of things to keep us going.....my wife participates & I shoot the pix & video's.
#14
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by takeadip
Hi...love the review so far!! i was on the ship with you and you got me in a few pics...your "pool Pic" thats me (red hat) holding our son!! and the "Spa Pool" pic i am the 3rd person on riht side of pool with legs in water (red hat)...lol...i was on the 4 day before this cruise as well....i will add some color to your already great review!!!!! in the coming days...!!!!

thanks for letting me re-live the wonderful experience so far!!
-M
I promise I wasn't following you around Glad you enjoyed yourself. If you post any pics and I see us in them, I'll let you know.
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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#15
Upstate NY
20 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by wrm1701
It was someone with close to 2000 sea days. Not sure if that is right but I know it was a huge amount.
From Pescado Amarillo's Blog (March 4th)

We're #3 MTP this cruise, a nice way to end the winter season. #1 MTP Joyce joined us, and John and Kathy (our first runners up ;-)) and then we saw Marion and Howard from England, who we know from the Emerald Princess last year, and the Jordans, and...well, we had this whole row of Princess cruisers who all previously knew either each other or had one degree of separation, having common friends. It was fun! Captain John Foster is a comedian who commented that all the young people on board were in the Medical Center getting their stomachs pumped (yes, it really is that bad). And we're in Cozumel tomorrow. Pray for THEM!

Hope this helps
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#16
Orange County, Calif
22,010 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Thanks for your nice review.
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#17
10,818 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Originally posted by Centsless_Cruiser
From Pescado Amarillo's Blog (March 4th)

We're #3 MTP this cruise, a nice way to end the winter season. #1 MTP Joyce joined us, and John and Kathy (our first runners up ;-)) and then we saw Marion and Howard from England, who we know from the Emerald Princess last year, and the Jordans, and...well, we had this whole row of Princess cruisers who all previously knew either each other or had one degree of separation, having common friends. It was fun! Captain John Foster is a comedian who commented that all the young people on board were in the Medical Center getting their stomachs pumped (yes, it really is that bad). And we're in Cozumel tomorrow. Pray for THEM!

Hope this helps
Joyce had just over 1300 days (1340?). She was staying on for two more cruises. #2 had high 900s and was #1 for several cruises preceding this one and they were staying on until the end of March; I think. We ranged from #4 to #2 over the course of several cruises with low 700 days.
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1203 days ~ 121 cruises ~ 29 ships ~ 20 years ~ 6 continents ~ 5 cruise lines
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#18
Pittsburgh, PA
4,588 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by PescadoAmarillo
Joyce had just over 1300 days (1340?). She was staying on for two more cruises. #2 had high 900s and was #1 for several cruises preceding this one and they were staying on until the end of March; I think. We ranged from #4 to #2 over the course of several cruises with low 700 days.

Hi Jeanne,

Missed seeing you and G this winter. Maybe next year? Alice
#19
3,559 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by PescadoAmarillo
Joyce had just over 1300 days (1340?). She was staying on for two more cruises. #2 had high 900s and was #1 for several cruises preceding this one and they were staying on until the end of March; I think. We ranged from #4 to #2 over the course of several cruises with low 700 days.
Gosh, I don't think we'll ever sail that many days. We are just approaching Elite this year and that in itself is a major feat for us. At our pace, it would take 20 years to even come close to 700 days. Congratulations to you on your cruising achievements.
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Royal Princess Cruise…. A Royal Treat - Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2023448
From Royal to Regal...review Dec. 2014
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2144543
Caribbean Princess Review-Revisiting Grand Class after Royal Class
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2179869
Regal Princess-Nov. 29-Dec.13, 2015, Notes and Pictures
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2294724

Home Lines, Doric (7 days)
HAL, Noordam,(7 days)
Coral Princess (10 days)
Emerald Princess(42 days)
Crown Princess, (21days)
Star Princess,(48 days)
Caribbean Princess, (17 days)
Royal Princess (7 days)
Regal Princess (21)

Future- Regal Princess Dec. 10, 2017
#20
10,818 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Originally posted by AliceS
Missed seeing you and G this winter. Maybe next year? Alice
Hi Alice! We missed you, too! Quite possibly next year...

Originally posted by Mom33
Gosh, I don't think we'll ever sail that many days. We are just approaching Elite this year and that in itself is a major feat for us. At our pace, it would take 20 years to even come close to 700 days. Congratulations to you on your cruising achievements.
Thank you! Not an achievement, though. Just fortunate to be able to travel right now. This won't last forever.
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1203 days ~ 121 cruises ~ 29 ships ~ 20 years ~ 6 continents ~ 5 cruise lines
1 happy cruiser!!
My travel diary from Winters spent at sea: