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Caribbean Princess Review 4/23 sailing


ajdegumbia

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Just got home last night. I had been posting on this board during our cruise and hopefully answered many questions. (Got to love free internet for Platnium/Elite!!!) I brought my patters home so here is what I can tell you all first off:

 

Caribe Cafe Menus for the week:

Saturday - Sailaway Buffet (Seafood)

Sunday - Welcome Dinner Buffet (basically same menu as dining room) (this was 1st formal night)

Monday - Bierfest (We ate up at the Buffet on Monday night since Monday in the D.R. was Caribbean Night and didn't impress us) The food was actually quite good, the beer selection pretty decent.

Tuesday - Rijstafel Rice Table Buffet

Wednesday - Down Island Hunter's Spread

Thursday - Same as Dining Room (this was the 2nd formal night)

Friday - Creole Cookery

 

In the dining room, they had the following theme nights: Caribbean, French, Italian and final "landfall night"

 

Now onto the my review:

 

The ship is beautiful...Big but beautiful. For those who prefer a smaller ship this ship is quite intimidating. The extra passengers did not seem noticable except on Saturday during disembarkation (people everywhere) and sea days when people were trying to find chairs (As I mentioned the "Chair Patrol" was out in force...it was also mentioned in the Patter about reserving chairs)

 

Embarkation was o.k. The ship when we embarked was late clearing customs, thus, people were still getting off when we got on about noon. I do wish that they had a "private embarkation" line for Platnium/Elite/Suite cruisers as this may cut down on everyones wait time (Princess are you listening???) It took us about 45 minutes from the time we stood in line to the time we got to our stateroom.

 

We had an inside (1st time for my husband who always said "No inside" previously was pleasantly surprised. Said for a short cruise this is the only way to sail..since we were up at 7:00 and came back to the room around 4:30 with the rest of the time spent up at the pool...more drink money!!!) We were on Baja, very nice cabin, excellent room steward, Joel.

 

I can tell you I spoke with many of the crew and a number of them when there contract is up don't plan on returning. Don't like the hours, because they are getting paid in American dollars they are taking a 30% hit against the Euro off the top. The crew is expected to work 11 hours a day 7 days a week. (How many Americans are willing to work 77 hour weeks!!!)

 

The food: Well depending upon what your likes and dislikes are it's all subjective. I can tell you I think the food and menu was sub-par compared to other Princess Cruises we have sailed. The menus had very limited red meat except for the anytime steak. We did have a nice selection of fish and the pasta was o.k. Overall I think the food quality has declined but I was on HAL last June and thought the same. I can tell you the lobsters were decent size and my husband still at 5 of them on lobster night (Hey $100 a day in food I told him he needed to eat!!)

 

The Shows: The comedians were:

Steve Morris (Saturday..good)

Murray (Sunday - he was a magacian and comedian...excellent)

Steve Morris (Monday)

Rick Novel (Tuesday...good and very talented)

Phil Tag (Wednesday...didn't get to see him)

Troy Thirdgill (Thursday...very good...kids listen to what he has to say...)

Troy & Kimika (Friday...Troy was very good, Kimika didn't fit my tastes)

 

BTW, Anyone going to a show in the lounges...get there 30-40 minutes BEFORE the show...Your not going to find a seat...That's why we didn't see a show on Wednesday, we got to Explorer's 20 minutes before and no seats. We did the International Crew Show was OUTSTANDING in the Princess Theater. It was "SRO" and absolutely terrific. For those who have sailed before and have seen "The what I would do if I weren't upon a ship" the cast is delightful and don't miss the finale. James (CD) is a Character.

 

Weather was great...Actually tooooo much sun. About 85-90 everyday had about 2 hours of overcast on Sunday and about 2 hours of overcast on Thursday. Other than that what can I say...It's the Caribbean in Springtime..

 

The ship was in an oversold position and a number of people we spoke with got very generous offers to sail at a later date. Either we were offered and my TA declined (since she knew that we needed to go this week or we weren't one of those selected)

 

Well if anyone has any specific questions, please feel free to post and I'll try to answer. Again, I was posting throughout the Cruise and may have answered your questions or given more thoughts than here.

 

I can tell you we are sailing her again on the Holiday (12/24) sailing and am looking forward to it (actually now counting the days!!!)

 

You will all have a great time and remember a cruise is what YOU make it...We did exactly what we wanted...Relax, Read, Cocktails (Only 1 bad...negative thing....The casino was NOT nice tooo me!!!)

 

Anita

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Embarkation – we entered the first line at 12:30 PM, which is the line where you fill out the Norwalk Virus certification. This was the longest line and there is no way around it. Kudos to Princess for forcing passengers to sign a statement certifying that you have not experienced the noro-virus symptoms in the last 72 hours. I’m not sure what happens if you say you have, but they certainly made you think twice about getting on the ship if you had.

 

Once you turn in your certification, you enter the security line. There are two lines; one for first-time Princess cruisers and Gold Captain’s Circle members, the other line for Platinum and Elite Captain’s Circle members. The former line reminded me of Disney, snaking around a confined area. The latter was a direct shot to the security check point. All we had to say was the magic word “platinum” and we were through the security check point in less than 2 minutes.

 

You then proceed to the line for your deck or the Express line for your level of Captain’s Circle. This process took less than five minutes. After the obligatory picture, we were in our cabin by 1:10 PM.

 

Chris

 

Anita,

The above is from someone recently off the Caribbean Princess. Below is what you experienced.

Embarkation was o.k. The ship when we embarked was late clearing customs, thus, people were still getting off when we got on about noon. I do wish that they had a "private embarkation" line for Platnium/Elite/Suite cruisers as this may cut down on everyones wait time (Princess are you listening???) It took us about 45 minutes from the time we stood in line to the time we got to our stateroom
I am due to sail shortly and was confused by your comments regarding the embarkation process. Could you clarify that.

 

Thank You.

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Chris, no problem. When we arrived at port I asked if there was a separate check-in for platnium/elite passengers. I was informed "NO". The only separate check-in line is once you get through the "snake-line" then they have a separate counter where you actually get your cruise card that is marked "Platnium/Elite/Suite" passengers. These 2 counters are "dead-center" from the other counters which are broken up by floor (i.e. Aloha, Baja, etc) I too, was quite surprised when I was told "no" because I saw a sign that stated "handicap" and "platnium/elite" when we got to the front of the line coming off from a side entrance, however, no one was using it and there were many other "platinum/elite" members standing in front of me and behind me in the snake line. Further, in the "snake line" they actually did the inspection of your tickets.

 

If someone knows of a separate check-in please advise because I asked the Princess woman (who was in a white uniform so she was actually some level person from Princess).

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Chris, one more thing, once you did turn all your "stuff" in and went through inspection, yes there was a sign for "plantium/elite" however, that line had the same amount of people as the line for non-plat/elite. Zero people. This is right before you go through security. So I guess what I'm trying to say in a round-about way...there should be a separate "snake-line" for platnium/elite/suite passengers which there was not.

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Chris, no problem. When we arrived at port I asked if there was a separate check-in for platnium/elite passengers. I was informed "NO". The only separate check-in line is once you get through the "snake-line" then they have a separate counter where you actually get your cruise card that is marked "Platnium/Elite/Suite" passengers. These 2 counters are "dead-center" from the other counters which are broken up by floor (i.e. Aloha, Baja, etc) I too, was quite surprised when I was told "no" because I saw a sign that stated "handicap" and "platnium/elite" when we got to the front of the line coming off from a side entrance, however, no one was using it and there were many other "platinum/elite" members standing in front of me and behind me in the snake line. Further, in the "snake line" they actually did the inspection of your tickets.

 

If someone knows of a separate check-in please advise because I asked the Princess woman (who was in a white uniform so she was actually some level person from Princess).

 

Apparently, you must have contacted a Princess personnel who wasn't aware of the Platinum/Elite line. We were in line when they opened the doors to the embarkation area two weeks ago (Apr. 17, 2005) for the Star Princess behind several hundred people (see photo below). As soon as we reached the door entering the building, I showed my plastic cruise ticket folder with the Platinum Check-In sticker attached and asked where we go. At first the attendant looked puzzled, but another employee quickly came over and escorted us to the right to the beginning of the Platinum/Elite snake line to security. They told us to wait until they brought the handicap passengers through security and then allowed us to move through the line to security and straight to the Platinum/Elite desk to check in. Once inside the building, it took less that ten minutes before we were on the ship.

 

In our case, I really think that no one had asked about the Platinum/Elite check-in until I did, because soon after us the snake line began to quickly fill up when people discovered there was a separate line before security. This is one of the few useful perks of Platinum/Elite status. I'm really sorry they fouled it up for you.

 

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