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Short Review of Caribbean Princess January 3-13, 2018

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We sailed with friends (three other couples) on the January 3, 2018 Caribbean Princess Panama Canal cruise. This was a 10-day itinerary with scheduled stops at Princess Cays, Cartagena, Panama Canal, Costa Rica (Limon), and Grand Cayman. The weather was apparently unsuitable for stopping at Princess Cays, so Ocho Rios was substituted. This was my 14th cruise, second cruise on Princess. I am 59, my husband is 63. One of the couples with us had never cruised before. They LOVED it.

We flew down to Ft. Lauderdale the day before the cruise from frozen Iowa (-14 degrees F the morning we left) and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites on State Road 84 the night before the cruise. We enjoyed a meal at the Old Heidelberg German Restaurant and Pub that evening, then went across the street to Winn Dixie to buy some wine to take on board.

We paid for a shuttle bus transfer to the ship at the Holiday Inn. The shuttle left the hotel shortly after 11:00 and we were onboard by noon! Our room was a standard balcony cabin on Aloha Deck. Our steward did a wonderful job for us.

I thought the food was good, if not excellent. I am not a foodie, so YMMV. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants. There has been a lot of debate about the pizza lately; It was only okay In my opinion, but there were certainly enough other tasty things to eat. My husband and I thought the burgers were good. I preferred eating in the dining room because the World Fresh Marketplace was packed most of the time and it was often hard to find a table. We had some really good sandwiches in the WFM though. I went to afternoon tea once and it was nice. I loved the creme brûlée on the always available menu in the dining room. We had anytime dining and only had to wait for a table once for more than a few minutes, and only then because we went early at 6 p.m. The dining room service was good, though a little slow some evenings. We did not utilize the International Cafe much, though one of the couples with us had a room on Plaza deck just steps from the IC. They got food there every night before bedtime and really liked it.

I enjoyed most of the entertainment. The production show Bravo was particularly good. Cruise Director was Michael (AKA Micca) Reitano; I didn't see much of him. Our group of eight managed to get a turn in the “Escape Room.” We had never done this before and it was fun. We escaped with only seconds to spare.

I was a little disappointed to find that to get a seat in the Princess Lounge you had to show up very early; many shows were SRO. We enjoyed a cooking presentation by the head Maitre d’Hotel and tour of the galley. I also really enjoyed musician Oli Nez, the Princess Orchestra, and the Estrella String Trio.

We didn't use the spa, Sanctuary, internet, or casino, and didn't buy any photographs.

Ports: We had been to Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman multiple times before. We didn't get off the ship in Ocho Rios (weather was rainy and foggy all day), and in Grand Cayman we just got off long enough to check email and walk around town a bit.

Cartagena: We arranged a 2-hour tour for the eight of us on the pier. We liked our guides (a married couple) and enjoyed our visit. Our time in port was shortened due to the CB's propulsion problem.

Panama Canal: Everyone in our group but me took the full day Princess tour of the old locks. I was not feeling well that day and just did not feel up to it. I enjoyed seeing the ship go through the new locks.

Costa Rica: We didn't do a tour here, either. We waited too long to make a decision as to what to do and ultimately didn't do anything. I really regret that now, but perhaps someday we can return.

Overall, it was a relaxing trip and we had a good time with our friends. If anyone has specific questions I will try to answer them. Oh, and one other thing I have seen asked here recently: the CB never had the buy one, get one for $1 bar special. Or if they did, it wasn't advertised in the Patter.

It's still cold in Iowa (1 degree F as I write this).

 

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Nice Review. You hit all the things Folks are interested in. We did a Repo on CB in 2015. It had

 

 

Propulsion problems back then. We made friends with some of the Crew, so we also did Canada

 

 

that year too. Never did Panama Canal. Glad your Friends enjoyed the Cruise. Thanks !!!

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Thanks for the feedback!

We too had difficulty finding seats at WFM. We sometimes ended up seated at the Steamers and Planks area at lunch.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Thanks for posting your review. The CB did not have a BOGO drink special in August either when we were on it for a British isles cruise.

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We were on the CB in 2016 on a west TA and it had problems then but we made every port on time. We are on the CB again this fall so I don't hold much hope that the propulsion problems will be fixed then either. It really is a nice ship other than the propulsion problems. We are going to try either Steamers or Planks out of curiosity. Thanks for the review.

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What did your WFM mean?

 

WFM

 

 

Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Category filter: Show All (22)Most Common (1)Technology (6)Government & Military (2)Science & Medicine (4)Business (6)Organizations (6)Slang / Jargon (4)

AcronymDefinition

WFMWorks For Me

(chat)

WFMWorkforce Management

WFMWhole Foods Market

WfMWired For Management (Intel)

WFMWorkflow Management

WFMWorld Federalist Movement

WFMWaveform Monitor

WFMWork from Home

WFMWestern Federation of Miners (radical labor union in 1890s-1900s)

WFMWait for Me (chat)

WFMWorkflow Manager

WFMWomen for Men (personal advertisements)

WFMYoung Women from Minorities (Sweden)

WFMWomen's FIDE Master

WFMWhite Frequency Modulation (ANSI)

WFMWord-Faith Movement

WFMWhat Freakin' Manual? (response to RTFM)

WFMWide Frequency Modulated

WFMWings of Faith Ministries (Conley, GA

)WFMWest Fraser Mills (various locations)

WFMWildland Fire Management

WFMWAY Fund Managers (UK)

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We (my husband, myself and another couple) were also on this cruise and had a wonderful time! While we have all cruised with several other lines, it was our first with Princess. It won’t be our last!

 

The food was delicious, the cruise staff was amazing, and there were lots of activities to choose from. My husband played pickle ball 5 days—there was a group of 8-12 who played regularly.

 

We did eat at Steamers one night and we were all underwhelmed with the food. Been there, done that. Probably wouldn’t try it again,

 

There’s always a question of formal night attire. In my opinion, the Caribbean Princess was more formal than the other lines I’ve sailed with (HAL, NCL, and Carnival). There were a handful of men in tuxes; the majority wore dark suits OR khakis and sport coats. Not every man wore a tie. Many women wore long dresses (think mother of the bride type dresses); there were lots of dressy pants/sparkly tops and short cocktail dresses, too. I felt like the women dressed up more on the second formal night than they did on the first. There were also lots of what I would call Sunday dresses/pantsuits and smart casual outfits. In short, there was a little bit of everything. If you are the type who likes to ‘fit in’ (for lack of a better term), then I would wear a coat and tie for men and something dressy/sparkly for women. Again, this is just my opinion based on what I observed on one cruise!

 

We enjoyed the Caribbean Princess very much. We were sad to miss Princess Cay, but you can’t control the weather, and we would have liked to have been in Grand Cayman a little longer.

 

We arrived home to find that our family had all been worried about the earthquake/tsunami warnings that had been issued for the area we were in on Tuesday, January 9th! Thank goodness, we were blissfully ignorant of these events!

 

In short, it was a wonderful cruise. The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel. The Caribbean Princess is a beautiful ship. I would do the same itinerary on the same ship in a heartbeat!

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We (my husband, myself and another couple) were also on this cruise and had a wonderful time! While we have all cruised with several other lines, it was our first with Princess. It won’t be our last!

 

The food was delicious, the cruise staff was amazing, and there were lots of activities to choose from. My husband played pickle ball 5 days—there was a group of 8-12 who played regularly.

 

We did eat at Steamers one night and we were all underwhelmed with the food. Been there, done that. Probably wouldn’t try it again,

 

There’s always a question of formal night attire. In my opinion, the Caribbean Princess was more formal than the other lines I’ve sailed with (HAL, NCL, and Carnival). There were a handful of men in tuxes; the majority wore dark suits OR khakis and sport coats. Not every man wore a tie. Many women wore long dresses (think mother of the bride type dresses); there were lots of dressy pants/sparkly tops and short cocktail dresses, too. I felt like the women dressed up more on the second formal night than they did on the first. There were also lots of what I would call Sunday dresses/pantsuits and smart casual outfits. In short, there was a little bit of everything. If you are the type who likes to ‘fit in’ (for lack of a better term), then I would wear a coat and tie for men and something dressy/sparkly for women. Again, this is just my opinion based on what I observed on one cruise!

 

We enjoyed the Caribbean Princess very much. We were sad to miss Princess Cay, but you can’t control the weather, and we would have liked to have been in Grand Cayman a little longer.

 

We arrived home to find that our family had all been worried about the earthquake/tsunami warnings that had been issued for the area we were in on Tuesday, January 9th! Thank goodness, we were blissfully ignorant of these events!

 

In short, it was a wonderful cruise. The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel. The Caribbean Princess is a beautiful ship. I would do the same itinerary on the same ship in a heartbeat!

Tsunamis don’t affect ships at sea. In deep water the surface rises a little. The danger of the tsunami is when it reaches the shallow water near the shore. This is where it builds up and can become a moving wall of water.

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We also did this cruise. There is lots of outdoor public space to experience the canal transit. Lido deck out front, promenade deck and rear areas. Each gives a different perspective of the transit. One note, the upper forward areas are locked until about 6am. I could have gotten a little more sleep that morning.

 

The CB has the hottest cold water in the Princess fleet. A cold shower or tap water ain't to be had on this ship. The hot tubs around the pools leave alot to be desired. If the water temperature was warm to hot, then the jets didn't have any pressure or visa versa. I only found 1 hot tub that had good water temp and good jets. There is a nice area for laying out aft on deck 17. There is a pool under SkyWalker's walkway that was refreshingly cool.

 

We had a good cruise and enjoyed going through the new locks.

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World Fresh Marketplace, AKA buffet

 

In other words, the new name for the Horizon Court.

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We were also on this cruise. My wife had dietary restrictions so we ate nearly exclusively at the Coral for breakfast lunch and dinner, with a few exceptions. My mom and sister ate a lot more at WFM and found that they could generally find seating pretty easy in Planks or Steamers at breakfast and lunch time but supper was a bit more challenging with Steamers and Planks not available.

 

I found the pizza just fine. Wasn't my favourite, but wasn't terrible, either. I never actually ate a burger on board this time, but did try the veggie burger which I thought was pretty decent in spite of the many negative reviews. But we all loved it. The kitchen and wait staff were amazing at accommodating my wife's quite restrictive diet she was put on a month before the cruise. Antonio (the headwaiter) made sure she had dessert most nights, as well as special bread without yeast, egg, dairy or sugar at each meal.

 

Nice to see that others enjoyed the cruise as much as we did.

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Tsunamis don’t affect ships at sea. In deep water the surface rises a little. The danger of the tsunami is when it reaches the shallow water near the shore. This is where it builds up and can become a moving wall of water.

 

That is certainly good to know and a fact I will store away if I’m ever in that situation again:D To my landlocked family on shore, the news reports were very upsetting to them! As I said earlier, we were blissfully unaware!

 

Thanks for sharing!

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That is certainly good to know and a fact I will store away if I’m ever in that situation again:D To my landlocked family on shore, the news reports were very upsetting to them! As I said earlier, we were blissfully unaware!

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

We were also on this cruise and we were aware of the earthquake as I checked the news before we went to bed. Silly me. I can understand your family's concern after reading several news reports. Although it is correct about a tsunami having no effect at sea, we were heading for Grand Cayman which had tsunami warnings for the period that we were scheduled to be in port. I looked on cruise critic and the forums had a fair amount of discussion by passengers on ships in the same vicinity and the lack of announcements. Fortunately, the warnings were removed shortly after they were issued. Although I had great faith in the captain, the continued propulsion issues on this ship don't make for a quick get away!

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