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CARIBBEAN PRINCESS Jan 11 2014-Photo and video review

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After dinner it was stroll the Promenade deck time and enjoy a cigarette there.

It's a narrow deck, unlike my favorite ship the Diamond (Coral too) but it was a popular place day and night for strolling and leaning over the rail as close to the sea as you can get on such a tall ship.

 

The evening was rounded off with a beer and some canapés on our balcony.

 

I set the automatic phone alarm to 5 a.m so I could be up before the sun and take his picture. I like being up early as a rule.

 

We turned the lights out at midnight so I had 5 great hours of deep deep sleep lulled there by the dinner and the sound of the rushing wake...

 

Next up- daylight! Our first sea day. Sunday January 12th.

 

Due to the delays in Bayport the Captain had juggled our schedule somewhat so that instead of Coz, Bel and Roa it was now Roatan, Belize and Cozumel with the two sea days at the beginning rather than the end. Fine by me Cap'n!

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The phone alarm went off at 5.00 a.m. I answered and hung up.

It rang again at 5.01, 02 and 03 unit I finally figured how to silence it by dialing 9999. Pulling it from the wall and tossing it over the balcony works too.

 

With a suite you have a curtain to separate the living room from the bedroom, this way one can dress in one with the lights on while the other sleeps in crypt-like darkness. The bathroom also has an entrance from each room so I can easily shower and dress without disturbing "the One who must NOT be disturbed" and within 20 minutes am out the door with a bag of cameras to greet the day.

This is the long corridor on Caribe deck.

 

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Blue-border carpet = Starboard (the side nearest the stars) on ships clever enough to have this. Red border carpet means you are on Port side (nearest to the next port). I think I have explained that pretty well.

 

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My normal route is to the aft elevators and up to Horizon Court buffet on deck 15 where I usually have breakfast number 1 of the day but on this voyage with Noro a concern more than usual the buffet had servers to dole out the number of slices of bacon (for instance) that you require (in my case 24 usually) and that didn't sit well with my improvisatory nature so I just got coffee there each morning. I couldn't help myself as the coffee had to be served by crew but at least it was a one minute transaction not requiring a lot of chat. It's coffee syrup I know but at 5 a.m it tastes good enough. Vishnu from India soon knew exactly how I like my coffee (best described as "tasting something like real coffee") The Viennese among you should know what I mean when I say "coffee".

 

Coffee and a cigarette up by Tradewinds or aft under Skywalkers was my usual start to the day. I was ready for any sun rises. I also met many early risers who would stop for a chat.

 

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Thanks for the great review so far, what time did you finish your meal @ Sabatini's? You had a long first day

 

Meal lasted from 9.30 to 11pm. I think it had been a long day for the waiters too as they were involved in the scrub down. When I spoke to my steward Miguel at 9 pm he hadn't had "lunch" yet and his shift was about to end. Very hard on the crew who need a rest, especially on Turnaround day. My steward had 18 cabins, 2 of which were suites which are really two cabins each but including bathtubs too.

 

Norris

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We had company out at sea...

 

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The deck crew in their blue overalls are up and squeegying the decks and cleaning the pools. Pop music is playing over the speakers on deck at 5.30 am but no one is dancing. The deck lights are still on until sunrise. After the deck crew comes the deck staff in their khaki shorts and white tee shirts. They use dollies to move the stacks of blue and white chairs to the appropriate sun-worshipping positions. Passengers start to show up after 6 a.m with coffees in hand or plates of food. I go back into the buffet for a refill of Jo. Servers are putting pats of butter on waffles that a customer is holding before moving on to meet the syrup guy. Purell is at all entrances.

 

On Dr. Carol's orders I soap my hands with Zylast a proven germ fighter before leaving the room. It lasts for 6 hours apparently.

 

The public bathroom doors had signs advising you to open them as you leave with a paper towel and there were bins by the door for the used towels. The bathrooms are cleaned hourly.

 

Sea air that early in the morning is invigorating, like breathing champagne. 100 million seagulls can't be wrong!

 

At 7.50 a.m I was at the Sanctuary choosing 2 prime loungers for the week. First name on the list. Port side # 35 and 36 and thenceforth they were waiting for us from 8 a.m to 5.30 p.m.

 

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I went back to the cabin and pulled together a bag of laundry (free to suites)-just the things I wore on Friday and Saturday.

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One of the best suite perks is exclusive use of Sabatini's for breakfast. The MDR serves up fine breakfasts but if you have a quieter option like Sabatini's with it's own menu but an ability to order anything from any kitchen on the ship it's unbeatable as a soothing way to start your day.

 

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On this ship, as on the Diamond, there are only a couple of windows in Sab's as she is on deck 7, unlike the expanse of windows on the Crown and Ruby where it is on deck 16 if I recall. There is also no fountain outside the window as it would soak the Promenaders.

 

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Thank you for posting this. My mom and I are going for spring break. Is it easy to get to the terminal? How is parking and embarkation? Also, do they have coffee makers in the room?

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Carol and I met up at Sabatini's for breakfast which always starts with something made by this beautiful piece of machinery...



 

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This is what makes our double cappuccinos

 

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Carol and I usually start with this Granola Parfait

 

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For her the waffles

 

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And me-bacon and eggs

 

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Hmmm...making my self hungry here. I am going to take a break for a while to look at the video I shot-as yet unseen, to see what I should upload for a future post.

 

Back later!

 

Norris

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Thank you for posting this. My mom and I are going for spring break. Is it easy to get to the terminal? How is parking and embarkation? Also, do they have coffee makers in the room?

 

No coffee makers in the room.

Easy to get to the terminal by taxi. No public transportation option. Parking is ample as the lot is huge. It's a flat outdoor lot as you'll see in the photos.

I've only experienced one embarkation which I have explained here.

 

I would sail from Bayport again and take my chances. I was inconvenienced but then I am fit and healthy and carry plenty to amuse me. It was 5 hours of waiting but hardly an ordeal or a "nightmare" and far from "the cruise from hell".

 

Keeping things in perspective I had a really enjoyable week, worth every dollar spent.

 

But that will all become apparent as you read on....

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One of the best suite perks is exclusive use of Sabatini's for breakfast.



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I see "my" table!

That and the wonderful caffeine machine are getting me all sentimental now...

 

 

 

~sent using Cruise Critic app~

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Bimmer, I love your reviews!!! Pouring myself a glass of wine....

 

Melody! Welcome aboard. Just getting started and lots of cool stuff on shore to come and of course a lot of ship photos/food too. Good ports for me.

 

Videos of dolphins getting to know me and doing tricks. An airboat ride in a mangrove. A sub dive. I even have 20 mins of the show Born to Be Wild and some karaoke passengers. Bus rides through 3rd World Countries and sunny days at sea. Tell your friends I have set up shop here for the next couple of weeks so we can get the party started.

 

Glass of wine sounds fine to me!

 

Thanks for stopping by-don't be a strangler ...er, stranger.

 

Norris currently shipless

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Does the Sanctuary have loungers in the sun or is it all shade? Loving your review!

 

It has both but the majority are shaded and that's where you'll find me. The sunny ones are right by the entrances/exits...i.e both sides.

 

Norris

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Dear Bimmer,

 

Really enjoying your diary of events from arriving in Houston, to your first days at sea. DH and I were on the CB when it first arrived at Bayport beginning of November 2013, repositioning from Brooklyn. Getting off the ship was a breeze. I have read about all the dealays in Bayport, due to the fog and Norovirus, but remembering you are still on vacation, you make it a fun adventure and meet your other shipmates. I love your upbeat writing. We were in a Suite also, and LOVED Sabatinis, the laundry and free bar setup. It is a wonderful splurge. We will be taking the Caribbean cruise end of April and reading your log just makes it all the more exciting for us. The photos are great, and we look forward to your continuing updates on the cruise. We can all cruise vicariously through your reports until we actually cruise.

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Did any of the staff at Sabatini's go above and beyond?

 

We had a terrific staff onboard the Golden in August.

 

Mike:)

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It was in June of last year that Dave Walker on this board published photos of the backside of the Royal (the aft in nautical terms) which showed the suite (C 737) I had booked to be without shade or privacy from above. I later learned that apart from pillow chocolates at turndown the room steward left one a small shovel to shovel soot (from the funnels) from one's balcony down onto the balcony below where they would take up the relay.

 

So now I'll get on with the review....

 

Which suite on CB did you book? Have been seriously considering a suite for our next cruise and was considering an aft. Would be interested in your comments.

 

Almost booked a Vista for our March cruise but settled for an aft balcony on Baha.

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Which suite on CB did you book? Have been seriously considering a suite for our next cruise and was considering an aft. Would be interested in your comments.

 

Almost booked a Vista for our March cruise but settled for an aft balcony on Baha.

 

C749 and it's the 4th time we have chosen that cabin (Crown,Diamond-where it was 757, Ruby where it was 749 again and now the CB.

 

I'll put up photos in the morning.

 

There will come along some aft balcony video so you can hear the noise (which we are fine with).

 

Norris, off to bed.

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Dear Bimmer,

 

Really enjoying your diary of events from arriving in Houston, to your first days at sea. DH and I were on the CB when it first arrived at Bayport beginning of November 2013, repositioning from Brooklyn. Getting off the ship was a breeze. I have read about all the dealays in Bayport, due to the fog and Norovirus, but remembering you are still on vacation, you make it a fun adventure and meet your other shipmates. I love your upbeat writing. We were in a Suite also, and LOVED Sabatinis, the laundry and free bar setup. It is a wonderful splurge. We will be taking the Caribbean cruise end of April and reading your log just makes it all the more exciting for us. The photos are great, and we look forward to your continuing updates on the cruise. We can all cruise vicariously through your reports until we actually cruise.

 

Thanks indeed for the kind words. Glad you are reading along as this thing unfolds.

 

Norris

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Thank you so much for taking the time to post such a detailed and amusing review! We are on the CB in March for spring break with our teenage daughter for her first cruise. She was already excited but your pictures are getting her really excited.:D We can't wait for more, and to see what you did on your port visits!

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Norris, I came on over to the Princess board hoping to find you had started your review. I was delighted to find you already had it started! I've got my popcorn ready and I'm waiting for your next installment! :D

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Enjoying your review, we will be on this cruise 3-29. As it will be our 1st. Princess cruise, we are especially interested in what you have to say and to see your pictures. Looking forward to the rest.

 

Doug

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Did any of the staff at Sabatini's go above and beyond?

 

We had a terrific staff onboard the Golden in August.

 

Mike:)

 

Mike I can't say if any went "above and beyond" but to a man (all male staff) they were on their game as a team. Florin was the one who would engage us in conversation each day and also served us when we ate in Crown Grill one evening. He worked each table and there was usually some laughter involved.

 

You'll notice in my bacon and eggs photo that there were salt and pepper shakers on our table.

 

Norris

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You'll notice in my bacon and eggs photo that there were salt and pepper shakers on our table.

 

Norris

 

Lucky you! We were on this cruise and had to ask for salt, pepper, sugar, cream, ketchup, etc. lol

I think I met you on the cruise..........we were the couple with the 8 year old daughter who doesn't look like us!

Enjoying your review and LOVE the photos.

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OMG I am hoping what you experienced getting on the ship was unusual, if not i am dreading it already.

 

The sailing after Bimmer's, on January 18th, did not have the fog delay. But they did have a 2-hour delay for deep-cleaning. Boarding began at 1:55.

 

Our two cruises on 11/30 and 12/07 boarded on time at 12 noon. The one before ours did not (not due to fog, but unusually strong winds).

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Lucky you! We were on this cruise and had to ask for salt, pepper, sugar, cream, ketchup, etc. lol

I think I met you on the cruise..........we were the couple with the 8 year old daughter who doesn't look like us!

Enjoying your review and LOVE the photos.

 

Elsewhere on the ship ( I ate a lot at the Trident Grill) we were given salt and pepper packets.

 

You think you met me? Can you elaborate?

 

Norris

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I've spent 4 long hours this morning trying to upload video on iMovie and am having difficulties. Worst case scenario is that when I come to write about something beyond the norm- Reversing into Roatan and the Dolphin Encounter I had there for instance, that the video might have to follow later.

 

Still working on it....

 

Norris, next step calling Apple Help Line (but short on time today)

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A reader had asked about the suite we were in so here are a few photos.....



 

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The hallway as seen from the couch area. Bathroom door on left, partially hidden.

 

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Bedroom with curtain drawn aside

 

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The couch as seen from the bedroom

 

The free mini-bar had 10 bottles of spirits but I had them changed out for 10 bottles of Beck's beer. The face on the TV screen is Brett Siborne the cruise Director.

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Desk area of bedroom



 

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Bathroom door #2 and mirrored closet door

 

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Balcony, sheltered from the wind

 

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I haven't shown bathroom shots here and unless someone wants to see them I'll move on with the story.

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So we are still on our first sea day and have had breakfast after which Carol likes to take a mile walk around the Promenade Deck (2.7 laps). She gets me to walk one lap with her but we have to be careful not to get trampled by Mr Serious Walker who is wearing a shirt that says he took part in a Marathon or at least bought a Marathon tee shirt. He has no brakes it seems.

 

The Prom deck has stairs up to Emerald Deck which is where the open bow is-one of the unique features on Grand Class ships. Very windy up there as the ship is dashing along. Leaving a port it is an excellent place to be. You won't see the bow wave there as the water contact takes place maybe 30 feet behind this point.

 

Carol, the Queen of highlighting Patters, the ship's daily newspaper/event listing

is set on seeing some fruit and veg carving in the Piazza, the social hub of the ship. I taped that on the Ruby and will pass in favor of relaxing in the sun/shade by the Tradewinds Bar where I met Vlada, the perky blonde deck waiter from Ukraine who became my personal drink-fetcher. She always remembered what I drank even if I couldn't and a raised eyebrow was all that was needed to have her fetch me a Beck's beer. So I taped one of my eyebrows in the raised position with some Scotch tape for the rest of the cruise.

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Norris,

Just love your reviews. DH and I are on the Emerald March 9th for 10 days to the Caribbean. We haven't tried a full suite yet. However, we always get a balcony cabin and love to sit on it in the mornings and evenings. The view of the hallway makes me anxious to be on board as it is about 10 degrees here in Michigan at the moment.:(

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Enjoying your review with the photos. I will be going with a friend of mine on the Caribbean Princess in April and can't wait. Gonna leave the DHs at home. LOL :D

 

Thanks for taking the time for this thread and I am looking forward to hearing more about your cruise.

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Bimmer09 interested in your opinion of Brett as a CD.

 

Personally I think he is the best of the lot. He always speaks to everyone and seems to go out of his way to offer assistance to passengers.

 

Mike:)

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A reader had asked about the suite we were in so here are a few photos.....



 

IMG_1469.JPG

 

The hallway as seen from the couch area. Bathroom door on left, partially hidden.

 

IMG_1457.JPG

 

 

IMG_1456.JPG

 

IMG_1455.JPG

 

Bedroom with curtain drawn aside

 

IMG_1452.JPG

The couch as seen from the bedroom

 

The free mini-bar had 10 bottles of spirits but I had them changed out for 10 bottles of Beck's beer. The face on the TV screen is Brett Siborne the cruise Director.

 

I'm loving your review. I have cruised 16 times but never in a suite. I've done mini-suites but never could bring myself to pay for a suite. Your photos make me want to book a suite!

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Enjoying your review and photos immensely. Especially the food porn: you had me at vitello tonnato.

 

Since the CB is in the Caribbean this summer, and since I'm whined and moaned and just generally been a PITA about no Princess ships in the Caribbean in summer, I guess there's a good chance I'll be sailing on her soon, putting my money where my mouth is and all that. So all the ship photos you care to post will be welcome!

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Bimmer09 interested in your opinion of Brett as a CD.

 

Personally I think he is the best of the lot. He always speaks to everyone and seems to go out of his way to offer assistance to passengers.

 

Mike:)

 

Mike, Brett was only onboard for 3 weeks or so, I imagine filling in, so was likely just going with the program already in place.

 

I have only ever been to one Meet and Greet (Roll Call) and that was my first on the Coral where only 6 of 20 responders showed and Brett came along and stayed for over 30 minutes and he was super enthusiastic and easy to talk to so he got my personal stamp of approval right there. I only spoke to him once on the CB as he was rushing from show to show. He is a dynamo of enthusiasm and very relaxed in front of a microphone or camera. I watched some of his Wake Show segments on MUTS as I walked from deck to deck and he is witty and bright.

So I am a fan. He's off the ship now.

 

Entertainment wise Carol tells me Billy Highgate is the bomb but I missed him on the Diamond in Alaska as I was up at 4 each day and wore myself out taking photos and having wine-laden dinners. My favorite ship/crew/captain etc

 

There was more entertainment on my Ruby cruise a year ago, especially in the Piazza...acrobats, jugglers etc than on the CB where I only saw bands or the lonely guitarist.

 

Norris

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Enjoying your review and photos immensely. Especially the food porn: you had me at vitello tonnato.

 

Since the CB is in the Caribbean this summer, and since I'm whined and moaned and just generally been a PITA about no Princess ships in the Caribbean in summer, I guess there's a good chance I'll be sailing on her soon, putting my money where my mouth is and all that. So all the ship photos you care to post will be welcome!

 

Annie- I have a ship load of photos to show you...over 500. She's a fine looking tub considering she hasn't had much rest in 10 years. You'll see that our balcony furniture needs sanded and re-stained and there are rust spots here and there (mainly there) but the crew were working at every opportunity, painting and varnishing, inside and out. Public rooms are immaculate.

 

I liked these ports and what they offered excursion-wise. The Roatan beach was great and I had a good swim there. Two of the countries are 3rd world and piss-poor, which is saddening. The people there that we came face to face with (i.e people with jobs and probably a toilet at home, maybe even a lightbulb) were joyous, witty people...and wit goes a long long way with me in a world of whiners.

 

Book a ticket. Ever been to Houston? Stay downtown- it's a must-see city for me but then I love the Opera and striking modern architecture and clean streets.

 

I didn't come across any beggars on my trip-until I landed back in Chicago, where according to Carol their radar picks me up on their screens like a beacon of opportunity (which is soon snuffed out by my caustic sarcasm)

 

Go. Get some sun.

 

Norris

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