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  #1  
Old October 5th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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Gaynors Gaynors is offline
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Default 9/27 5 day Caribbean Princess Review

As a start I would like to say our group consisted of 9 people. My inlaws who have sailed once before, my BIL it was his 1st cruise, my parents who have sailed on over 30 cruises, myself 15 cruises, DH 6 cruises, 3 year old and 1 year old children.

As a somewhat experienced cruiser (I know many of you have sailed more than I have) we traveled to FL on Thursday to have extra time to relax before the cruise. We never received any correspondence from Princess regarding our cruise. My father called Friday at 1 pm and there was no change (they actually still told him we were going to Princess Cays??? ). We saw on the TV about 4pm that Port Everglades and Port of Miami will close at 3am Saturday. Called Princess again, they were having a meeting to determine what to do. Called again about 5pm and were told we would be leaving on Monday night at 10pm and going western, Costa Maya, Cozumel. They were offering a full refund or 30% refund and future cruise credit.

We spoke with the rest of our group in New York, who were suppossed to fly out Sat. morning. They were able to change their flight to Monday morning. Since we were already in FL we decided to go.

I have no problem with the fact the cruise had to be shortened to 5 days (even though I was very disappointed) it is not Princess' decision to close the port. BUT I find it very disappointing that they could make the decision as late as Friday afternoon and then not offer us the same thing the people who were delayed by Frances. I know this subject is getting old for some.... but maybe not for those of us involved.

We arrived at the pier at 12:45 pm, checkin was wonderful.. in less than 20 minutes we had dropped off our bags, filled out the health form, checked in, scanned our luggage (2 bottles of wine, 2 liter of soda, no problem) and were on the ship!!!

We had an inside room, D520, and was very pleased with the size. We even had a crib in the room, it was at the foot of one bed in front of the refrigerator. The shower was very small, reminded me of the Costa showers, but the closet was HUGE!!! Even with 4 of us in the room we had plenty of shelves, drawers, and hanger space. Our room steward Willy was very good.

We had traditional 1st sitting dining, at a table for 9, Luminata was our waitress and she was excellent!!!! She took excellent care of our 1 and 3 year old (had both the booster seat and high chair ready every night). Everybody enjoyed the food in the dining room, it was excellent!!! My personal favorite was the rack of lamb. Thank you everyone on the board for telling me about the Love Boat Dream, yum, yum....

My 3 year old was in the Princess Pelicans kids program and enjoyed the program. He colored a T-shirt, did finger painting, had his face painted, played on the bikes, loved Ice Cream time... I'm sure there was much more.

We spent most of our day times up on Deck 17 were there was a hot tub, small pool, and kids pools with a small slide. The only day this area was crowded was the last at sea day.

Continued....
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3 Carnival - Early 80's, Song of America 8/85, Song of Norway 10/86, Sitmar Fairwind 87, Sovereign of the Seas 6/88, Song of America 12/88, Costa Riviera 90, Celebrity Zenith 5/92, Costa Allegra 4/94, Costa Victoria 11/96, Celebrity Horizon 4/99, Splendor of the Seas 12/99, Norwegian Star 11/02, Caribbean Princess 9/04, Radiance of the Seas 12/04, Caribbean Princess 10/05, Voyager of the Seas 1/07, Costa Fortuna 12/07, Independence of the Seas 11/08, Costa Atlantica 12/09, Celebrity Mercury 3/10, Celebrity Mercury 11/10, MSC Poesia 12/11, Celebrity Summit 5/12, Grand Princess 11/12, Freedom of the Seas 4/13, Brilliance of the Seas 11/13, Celebrity Constellation 1/14, Celebrity Summit 6/14
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  #2  
Old October 5th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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Continued...

One feature, or lack there of, on this ship was that it was NOT stroller friendly. There were areas of the ship that you just couldn't get there, one notably was Deck 16 AFT behind the kids area. We enjoyed this space since it was shady and they have a small wading pool under a roof that we liked for our 1 year old. We had to carry the stroller up or down the stairs to get there!!!! There were also other areas around the ship that just dead ended. I just found there were too many areas on the top decks that you couldn't get from one end to another without running into stairs or trying to find an elevator!

I had never been to Costa Maya, so when I found out we were going Western I was open minded. Well, now that I have been there I won't be in any hurry to go back. We were there and the Explorer of the Seas were there. 6,000 people is WAY more than you need at this small compound. Basically it is a horseshoe of shops around the pool, bars and waterfront (I would by no means say beach, beach means sand to me and there is no sand, only rocks )
The shops are much more expensive than Cozumel where we went the next day.

Cozumel, there were 6 ships in that day, so it was very crowded. I've been there done Cozumel many times before. We went to the grocery store, bought 2 six packs of beer, and some more Pepsi. We drank 1 six pack of beer outside the store and carried the other back on the ship (no questions asked). Were else can you enjoy a six pack of corona in a barrel bottle for only $3!!!! It was very hot, but that is to be expected.

We didn't go to any shows, since we had small children with us.

My husband very much enjoyed the Monday night football on the Movies under the Stars, it had quite a turnout. Didn't see to many other movies full during the rest of the 5 days. Also, for those you who have been waiting one night at 11:45 they had the Rocky Horror Picture Show on the Movies under the Stars. On our shortended cruise we didn't have the Wizard of OZ though .

Have questions just ask.

Penny
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3 Carnival - Early 80's, Song of America 8/85, Song of Norway 10/86, Sitmar Fairwind 87, Sovereign of the Seas 6/88, Song of America 12/88, Costa Riviera 90, Celebrity Zenith 5/92, Costa Allegra 4/94, Costa Victoria 11/96, Celebrity Horizon 4/99, Splendor of the Seas 12/99, Norwegian Star 11/02, Caribbean Princess 9/04, Radiance of the Seas 12/04, Caribbean Princess 10/05, Voyager of the Seas 1/07, Costa Fortuna 12/07, Independence of the Seas 11/08, Costa Atlantica 12/09, Celebrity Mercury 3/10, Celebrity Mercury 11/10, MSC Poesia 12/11, Celebrity Summit 5/12, Grand Princess 11/12, Freedom of the Seas 4/13, Brilliance of the Seas 11/13, Celebrity Constellation 1/14, Celebrity Summit 6/14
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  #3  
Old October 5th, 2004, 10:14 AM
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Penny, it is a shame your cruise had to be shortened to 5 days, especially the not knowing and travelling with young children. I am cruising with a 3yr old (at the time of the cruise) and would be happy to hear any other information you have. Did he/she really like it? How was the staff in there? I am concerned that mine will be afraid and cry and will not want to stay since he is only with me so far.
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Caribbean Princess 07/03/2004
Caribbean Princess 05/21/2005
Radiance of the Seas 04/16/2006
Caribbean Princess 07/15/2007
Caribbean Princess 05/11/2008
Adventure of the Seas 07/06/2008
Celebrity Summit 07/24/2011
Oasis of the Seas 07/21/2012
Norwegian Breakaway 08/11/2013
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  #4  
Old October 5th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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spongerob spongerob is offline
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Sounds like you had a great time! Good for you!

I think Jeanne was a rather rude surprise for everyone involved. You bring up some good points, though, about communication. People who are answering the phones should have the correct information as soon as a decision is made. In this day and age, getting the word out isn't very difficult.
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  #5  
Old October 5th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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One thing I wanted to add, One afternoon we ate in the dining room for lunch and I asked for apple juice for the children to drink. The staff rushed off to get the juice for the children. When he returned with the juice my father asked if he could have a glass of cranberry juice. The staff told my father he would have to charge him for the juice only the children get the juice for free... Come on Carnival give me a break!!! Talk about cheep... In the old days there was a juice course at every meal in the dining room!!!

Roe2Ship - Concerning your 3 year old. Our 3 year stays home and has never been a group (daycare/camp) setting. We were worried how he would like it. The first day at sea we took him there at 9am (when they open) and he was excited. About an hour later we got beeped (they give you beepers if they need you to come). My husband went and got him, he was crying that he was looking for us and we weren't there and he had a scratch under his eye. He told us a girl did it. The staff was unable to tell us exactly what happened, but I believe the kids were playing in the padded area and just got a little to rough. We weren't sure if he would want to go back, but he did. The last night he even wanted to leave before desert to go to the FUN ZONE!!

We only got beeped one other time during the cruise and it was just because he was tired and wanted us. He normally at home doesn't take naps but on the cruise with so much activity (he really enjoyed the pool with the slide) he took a nap for an hour almost everyday!!!

He is a very outgoing kid though, but he loved the FUN ZONE, now we will compare RCI's program in December.
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3 Carnival - Early 80's, Song of America 8/85, Song of Norway 10/86, Sitmar Fairwind 87, Sovereign of the Seas 6/88, Song of America 12/88, Costa Riviera 90, Celebrity Zenith 5/92, Costa Allegra 4/94, Costa Victoria 11/96, Celebrity Horizon 4/99, Splendor of the Seas 12/99, Norwegian Star 11/02, Caribbean Princess 9/04, Radiance of the Seas 12/04, Caribbean Princess 10/05, Voyager of the Seas 1/07, Costa Fortuna 12/07, Independence of the Seas 11/08, Costa Atlantica 12/09, Celebrity Mercury 3/10, Celebrity Mercury 11/10, MSC Poesia 12/11, Celebrity Summit 5/12, Grand Princess 11/12, Freedom of the Seas 4/13, Brilliance of the Seas 11/13, Celebrity Constellation 1/14, Celebrity Summit 6/14
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  #6  
Old October 5th, 2004, 11:05 AM
Green4me Green4me is offline
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Hey Penny,
Thanks for the review. Sorry you had to get stuck with a shortened trip. I can't comment on the stroller issue as we have been out of them for about 8 years now . We too stopped in Costa Maya on the Grand Princess last March. I learned from this site to by pass the tourist pool area and explore Majahal. We loved this place, plently of sandy beaches, cheap food, cold beer etc. It was a 5 minute taxi ride south. DW and I walked back along the beach bar hopping along the way. One place had grilled shrimp tacos that were to die for (three for $5.00). If you do get back that way check it out.


All the Best
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  #7  
Old October 5th, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Penny, thank you. I hope mine will be just as happy. I would to love hear the comparisons between Princess and RCL programs. Do you plan to write a review when you get back from the Radiance cruise on the RCL boards? I just booked the Radiance myself.
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Caribbean Princess 07/03/2004
Caribbean Princess 05/21/2005
Radiance of the Seas 04/16/2006
Caribbean Princess 07/15/2007
Caribbean Princess 05/11/2008
Adventure of the Seas 07/06/2008
Celebrity Summit 07/24/2011
Oasis of the Seas 07/21/2012
Norwegian Breakaway 08/11/2013
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  #8  
Old October 5th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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faithpath faithpath is offline
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Hi Penny! It was great fun meeting you and the other "Hurricane Chasers" at Skywalkers. Your children are adorable!

I have to say, I never want to be in another Roll Call that will use HURRICANE in it's name... I think it jinxed us...

Have a great cruise this Dec. We will be going back out in Feb.

~Kathi~
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  #9  
Old October 5th, 2004, 02:57 PM
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Gaynors Gaynors is offline
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Kathi it was good meeting you too. I agree maybe our group name was in poor choice, but then again who would think 4 hurricanes would hit FL in just over 1 month!!!!

Green4me- thanks for the tip on Costa Maya. I guess if I had known more than 2 days ahead that we were going there I would have done some research and found out more about the ports. Since we didn't find out until Friday afternoon and with the Hurricane going through on Sat. (lots of power outages where we were in Palm Beach Co.) doing research on a new port was not possible.
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3 Carnival - Early 80's, Song of America 8/85, Song of Norway 10/86, Sitmar Fairwind 87, Sovereign of the Seas 6/88, Song of America 12/88, Costa Riviera 90, Celebrity Zenith 5/92, Costa Allegra 4/94, Costa Victoria 11/96, Celebrity Horizon 4/99, Splendor of the Seas 12/99, Norwegian Star 11/02, Caribbean Princess 9/04, Radiance of the Seas 12/04, Caribbean Princess 10/05, Voyager of the Seas 1/07, Costa Fortuna 12/07, Independence of the Seas 11/08, Costa Atlantica 12/09, Celebrity Mercury 3/10, Celebrity Mercury 11/10, MSC Poesia 12/11, Celebrity Summit 5/12, Grand Princess 11/12, Freedom of the Seas 4/13, Brilliance of the Seas 11/13, Celebrity Constellation 1/14, Celebrity Summit 6/14
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