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Caribbean Princess 11/10-17/2012 Review


eastoftheboston

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I will post the patters tomorrow, I need to scan them at work.

 

The pools are not drained, they are open on port days.

 

The ultimate ship tour cost $150. You would definitely need to be able to walk stairs, and in some cases steep stairs, because you go under the stage in the theater, up into the funnel, and there are stairs to get to the bridge. There is a lot of walking involved, and not really many places to sit, and the tour lasts more than 3 hours.

 

We took the elevator from the lower level to when we were going up to the funnel, but other than that, it was all stairs.

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Really enjoyed your review, and loved that it was illustrated. Great photos (loved the one of the CB in Curacao with the prisms of sunlight, and the one looking back at FLL as you sailed away). You managed to make it look like no one else was on the ship; it's always too bad when those pesky other passengers disrupt one's "brochure" photos. That said, I'm just a little disappointed there was no food porn . . .

 

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fantastic review- we are on the 12/1 CB trip. Definately interested in doing the Sanctuary for the week- we are going to splurge and try this for the 1st time. We are platinum so we get early booking- i'm planning on going up and getting reservations as soon as we drop off bags in the room. Do you recommend getting chairs in shade or sun- are you able to move the lounges around so that sometimes you have shade and sometimes you get sun?

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Really enjoyed your review, and loved that it was illustrated. Great photos (loved the one of the CB in Curacao with the prisms of sunlight, and the one looking back at FLL as you sailed away). You managed to make it look like no one else was on the ship; it's always too bad when those pesky other passengers disrupt one's "brochure" photos. That said, I'm just a little disappointed there was no food porn . . .

 

 

Yeah sorry about that... I never take photos of the food, although I love food porn! I'm normally not self conscious at all about photos... I'll get right up in some weird places if I think it makes a good shot, but when I see people sitting at dinner snapping away with their cameras, I feel like it takes away from them enjoying the food, and I'd rather just enjoy the meal. Plus, I keep forgetting stuff on the tables, and I wouldn't want to forget my nice camera!

 

I have a bunch of other sunset/wake/ship-from-different-angles-at-princess-cays-shots, but I thought it would be overkill! I also have about 10 other shots of that Curacao one, trying to get the sun just right LOL

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fantastic review- we are on the 12/1 CB trip. Definately interested in doing the Sanctuary for the week- we are going to splurge and try this for the 1st time. We are platinum so we get early booking- i'm planning on going up and getting reservations as soon as we drop off bags in the room. Do you recommend getting chairs in shade or sun- are you able to move the lounges around so that sometimes you have shade and sometimes you get sun?

 

In all honesty, I wouldn't even drop your bags off in the room, just get your butt up to the Sanctuary ASAP. Like I said, I sprinted up there with a 45 pound suitcase and full backpack, and by the time I finished reserving mine, and I was the first one up there, there was a line of five people behind me waiting to do the same. They really fill up fast. I don't mean to put the fear of God in your, or cause you to freak out immediately upon boarding, but better safe than sorry.

 

As for moving your loungers, some people moved them *slightly* but no, you really cant move them all around the sanctuary, they're kind of meant to stay in their own general area. Also, most of the area is covered with these mesh canopies that allow sunlight in, but also shield you from direct sunlight. So if you're in that area, you won't be getting full-on sunlight ever. There are loungers that are completely in the sun, but those ones don't have the mesh cover, so you'll only get shade if the sun goes behind part of the ship's structure, and you're not really protected from the rain.

 

I think the best thing for you would be if, when you're in the sanctuary looking forward, there are two cabanas for massages, if you go outward from each cabana, any lounger to the outside of the double loungers will have a good combo of sun and shade. If you're between the double lounger and the cabanas, instead of mesh, you're mostly covered by a solid ceiling, which is great when it rains, but not otherwise.

 

I hope that wasn't too confusing!

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Every time I read a review like yours, which obviously took you a while to write,and to post those lovely photos..and to scan the Patters tomorrow..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..How nice of you to do that for people you do not even know.

 

I am always impressed at how so many folks on Cruise Critic will take the time to go this for others who have not yet sailed or perhaps might be thinking of a cruise on the Caribbean Princess.

 

We sail on New Year's Dec. 29, I think..and my husband started getting together the things he needs professionaly cleanned today.

 

We have sailed on the Crown..twice..the Star once and had great times. We enjoy Trivia on Princess.and I do wonder..do they have a lot of games..trivia type stuff on Celebrity?

 

Again...Thank you.

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Every time I read a review like yours, which obviously took you a while to write,and to post those lovely photos..and to scan the Patters tomorrow..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..How nice of you to do that for people you do not even know.

 

I am always impressed at how so many folks on Cruise Critic will take the time to go this for others who have not yet sailed or perhaps might be thinking of a cruise on the Caribbean Princess.

 

We sail on New Year's Dec. 29, I think..and my husband started getting together the things he needs professionaly cleanned today.

 

We have sailed on the Crown..twice..the Star once and had great times. We enjoy Trivia on Princess.and I do wonder..do they have a lot of games..trivia type stuff on Celebrity?

 

Again...Thank you.

 

My Celebrity cruise was 2 years ago, but if I remember correctly, they had trivia going on in the theater or some of the lounges during the day. I think if you're looking for trivia, you'll be OK on Celebrity.

 

As for taking the time to post on here, I have to say I spend SO MUCH time on here benefiting from what everyone else has posted to help make my cruise the best it could be, returning the favor by posting my experience was the LEAST I could do. Pay it forward!!!

 

My husband makes fun of me because I spend so much time on Cruise Critic, yet when we set foot on that ship, and even though I had never been on it, I knew EXACTLY where to run to reserve our beds in the Sanctuary, he realized there was a good reason behind it after all. I may have converted him LOL.

 

And I promise I will post the patters. My work scanner is infinitely faster than my scanner at home, and with a weeks worth of Patters, that's a lot of time saved!

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Embarkation

 

 

 

 

 

When it came time to go upstairs to get the welcome aboard photo taken and get on the ship, even though I’m not elite and should have gone after them with the rest of the suite people, I ended up being probably one of the first 10 or 15 people on the ship because I kept chatting with the security people (what else is there to do in that terminal?) and when they opened the doors, they motioned to me to go through with the others. I wasn’t about to protest that!).

 

You have ever right to go right away. They never seem to call Suite people up but call for platinum and elite. I don't know why but I have never heard them include suite people but it is one of your perks so don't feel bad about getting up.

 

Question? we have gone up to the Sanctuary a couple times while in a suite but we love the peace and quiet on our own balcony. Why did you feel that it was better up there? I do wish they would add the furniture from up there out on our balconies - now that would be a great suite perk!!!

 

Great review. thanks for taking the time.

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We were on the same cruise!

 

This was our third Princess Cruise having gone on the Emerald & Crown in the past 5 years. We have had Rivera Balcony cabins on all 3.

 

WHile this ship was the oldest of the 3 I saw no real difference in the condition.

 

The food in the dining room Was the best of the 3 cruises.

 

The entertainment was very good as well. Hats off to Princess for adding a late night 10:15 show each night.

 

Our only complaint was our group of 3 couples had to pay extra to get the rear Rivera cabins we have had in the past because our wives really love the rear pool and rear upper deck area. On this cruise there was a large group of over 500 and Princess pretty much called that area closed for a private party and we were unable to use it other than eating Breakfast.

 

On the bright side the center & front pool areas were not too crowded and there was very few kids so I guess it was a trade off but I did really miss using the rear upper hottub at susnset.

 

We have now been to most of the ports in Caribbean and I would not put the Southern ports at the top. I am not sure who decided than Aruba has the most beauitful beaches but I would say it is no better than Destin FL.

 

I would love to do the tour at some point in the future & I love your pictures.

 

I wanted to put in a plug for the extended stay on 17th street. We decided to stay there because of location and they offered free airport and cruise terminal shuttles. The shuttle were a little slow but they did get us to the hotel & ship. The room were decent especially for $98. The big thing was location. We were able to walk to a great sports bar, Publix & Liquor World to pick up needed supplies for our trip. Love that 17th steet area for a pre cruise stay.

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Oh my, I couldn't believe I came across your review and pictures. Awesome.

 

We are planning on cruising this coming spring on the Caribbean Princess and I wanted a "current" review, and FOUND yours.:)

 

We have never been to Aruba or the other stops, so this will be new for us.

 

Are there Taxi's that we can take to tour around if we wish?

 

Is there any "bargaining" there, and if so, where abouts?

 

We are not into scuba diving, so we just love the beach. Any recommendations?

 

Any recommendations of something to see/do that you liked?

 

Is the buffet area on the 9th floor or higher up? I know you recommended the pizza which was probably on the same floor as the buffet area. Any other recommendations of eateries on "this" floor?

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They're on my other thread, starting on page 2:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=36119967#post36119967

 

As to why go in the Sanctuary when you have your own loungers on your suite balcony... well the loungers are wider and more cushioned in the Sanctuary. Plus, I had someone waiting on me bringing me drinks without me even moving! In a suite, I'd have to listen for a knock at the door and then get up and open it! Plus it was great getting to know the staff up there. Also, it's a VERY short walk to the adult only pool and hot tubs. And, there's more sun than there was at least on our aft balcony.

 

There are taxis right at the terminal in each port. I didn't take any of them so I can't really comment.

 

In terms of bargaining, you can do so in the floating market in Curacao, and in the market next to the swinging bridge. In Aruba there was a marketplace set up across the street from the terminal that also would be a good spot.

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We are not into scuba diving, so we just love the beach. Any recommendations?

 

Any recommendations of something to see/do that you liked?

 

Is the buffet area on the 9th floor or higher up? I know you recommended the pizza which was probably on the same floor as the buffet area. Any other recommendations of eateries on "this" floor?

 

In Princess Cays, I would walk down the beach until you're in front of the cabanas if you want a quieter area, most people tend to stick near the food buildings. As for Curacao I didn't go to a beach so I can't help there. We went to De Palm Island in Aruba for the excursion and the beach was nice, but small. I would defer to those with more experience in these ports.

 

The Buffet is on Lido, Deck 15. The Pizza and Burgers and Ice Cream are also on the same deck. Pizza and burgers are side by side at one end of one of the mid-ship pools. Really convenient. And I can't overhype the Pizza enough. It is the best pizza I've had at sea. They make it right in front of you, rolling out the dough etc so you know it's not some frozen pre-formed pizza that's been sitting around.

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They're on my other thread, starting on page 2:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=36119967#post36119967

 

As to why go in the Sanctuary when you have your own loungers on your suite balcony... well the loungers are wider and more cushioned in the Sanctuary. Plus, I had someone waiting on me bringing me drinks without me even moving! In a suite, I'd have to listen for a knock at the door and then get up and open it! Plus it was great getting to know the staff up there. Also, it's a VERY short walk to the adult only pool and hot tubs. And, there's more sun than there was at least on our aft balcony.

 

I know what you mean about the wider and more cushioned loungers. As I said before - I'd love those loungers on the suite balconies. I'd give up some of the worthless perks for those. And you are correct about not hearing someone knock at the door. I love that wake noise! When we are expecting someone, we leave the dead bolt out and they just knock and come right in.

Glad you had such a good time.

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Thanks so much for the wonderful review. I sail on her this Saturday. I plan to run up to the Sanctuary to book it as soon as I get on board.

 

Were there any areas in the Sanctuary where you could get both sun and shade. I want to work on my tan, but when I've had enough I'd like to be able to move in to the shade. Thanks!

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I have an unusual question. My husband and I are Platinum so we get priority boarding - so we will be on ship early and can head up to the Santucary right away. However we are traveling with another couple who do not have priority boarding. They really need the Santuary reservations since the husband has cancer and can't spend a lot of time in sun. Is there anyway we can make reservations for us and for them at the same time. I'm worried that by the time they get onboard the week passes will be all gone

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I have an unusual question. My husband and I are Platinum so we get priority boarding - so we will be on ship early and can head up to the Santucary right away. However we are traveling with another couple who do not have priority boarding. They really need the Santuary reservations since the husband has cancer and can't spend a lot of time in sun. Is there anyway we can make reservations for us and for them at the same time. I'm worried that by the time they get onboard the week passes will be all gone

 

Regarding an area on the Sanctuary with sun AND shade, I'm not sure. If you get loungers facing the front windows of the ship, but farthest away from the center cabanas, they'll have more of the mesh ceiling and less of the metal ceiling, so you probably have more of a chance of getting both.

 

As for getting Sanctuary reservations for your friends, unfortunately I don't think it's possible. They take your cruise card and write down your folio number when you book. I was thinking if there was a way to somehow sneak their card on with you, you could reserve two and your husband could reserve two by using their card, but I honestly don't know how you could do that since they need their card to board the ship. I suppose you could also ask them nicely about it when you got there?

 

Also, if they get to the port early, they'll get an early boarding group, and get passes that way? And finally, does princess do early boarding for wheelchairs? I know having cancer doesn't mean someone is in a wheelchair, but maybe if they need wheelchair assistance that would get them on early? Perhaps someone with more experience with the Sanctuary will have a better answer than me. Sorry I'm not of more assistance!

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Thanks for the great review!

 

I do have a couple of questions - how early did you get to Sanctuary, do you remember? Also, you mention suite/elite embarkation, disembarkation lounge, and the special drink area - do those not also include platinum members?

 

Sounds like you had a great time!!

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