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Quick thoughts on CB


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With over 300 Princess days we are now on our first  CB cruise (Greenland).  Main theater holds  738 and ship holds 3600!  A real mess with only two shows.  Bottom line is that Princess “blew it” when they added an additional passenger deck to the original Grand Class design.  This ship feels very crowded with too many long queues.  We will never set foot on this vessel in the future.  Princess solution is to simulcast some shows into Explorers where it is also standing room only!  Even Carnival ships feel more spacious.

 

As to the highly touted Medallion it is hit and miss.  Bar waiters have given up trying to use the Medallions and simply ask for cabin numbers.  Even sitting at a bar the Medallion often fails and staff needs to ask cabin numbers.  Argh

 

 

 

Hank

 

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7 minutes ago, kitty2264 said:

We also are fans of CB. Passenger capacity is 3,140.

You are correct stating the capacity is 3,140 and not the 3,600 the OP stated.  Even adding in the 1,100 crew doesn't make that number.  Maybe they confused the capacity of the Royal Class ships which are closer to 3,600.

I'm glad the OP only had a couple of things to pick on for a reason to not being seen again on the Caribbean Princess.  We have at least two voyages booked on her and look forward to it and having one less complainer on board with us.

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1 minute ago, Grego said:

I'm glad the OP only had a couple of things to pick on for a reason to not being seen again on the Caribbean Princess.  We have at least two voyages booked on her and look forward to it and having one less complainer on board with us.

 

We also have two upcoming cruises on CB in November.  We have cruised on CB at least 6 times.

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In general, I agree with the OP.  We have a special spot in our hearts for the CB - we got married on her in 2006.  But we much prefer the original Grand Class ships.  Agreed, the capacity of the CB is not 3,600 but the 500 additional passengers from the original Grand Class ships do make the "Super" Grand Class ships more crowded.  In addition, the elimination of the covered pool Conservatory area makes them much less desirable than the original Grand Class, especially on a cool weather cruise.  At least the Emerald, Ruby and Crown did add the Adagio lounge which helped a little.  The sad news to us is that the original Grand Class ships are rapidly disappearing from the fleet.

Edited by mreasier
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The only time we've been on the CB was 6 years ago on a British Isles cruise.  We loved our Window Suite and on that itinerary there were 3 shows a night which worked out great.  The early show was 6:30 (for late traditional diners), the middle show was 8:15 (for early traditional diners) and the late show was 10 (for late traditional and those that just stay up late).  I don't think we've ever had that schedule on another ship and I always wonder why - it seemed to work very well.

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We have sailed on the CB several times with the last being this past November with the OM.  We will sail again on the CB next August.  While the CB is not our favorite ship nor has it ever been, we do not mind sailing on her.  We did notice the simulcast in the Explorer's Lounge of the show and used it several times on our last voyage.  I believe it was new and the lounge was not that crowded but I can imagine it crowded.  We do not go to the theater all that often for evening shows.  We did like the latest transformation of the CB with its WFM, specialty restaurants and other changes plus the new OM experience.  We did notice our waiter ordering food the old fashion way by paper while the waiter next to us was using his tablet in early TD. 

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1 hour ago, stoneharborlady said:

Love the CB, but do agree about the theater.  Found that problem to be no different on the Ruby.  

 

I go to the late nite shows on the Ruby and Emerald.  If I go 15 -20 minutes early, I have no problem finding a good seat, down front, lower left.   I concede it may be different at the earlier show.

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We are on the CB right now docked in St. John’s Nf. 

I agree with the OP that the ship has felt crowded. That’s primarily because the weather hasn’t been good so everyone is inside. When that happens you’re much more aware of the limited public space.

 However, the crowded feeling is exacerbated by some very rude passengers on this cruise who are deeply into the “me first” mode. The seating in the buffet area is usually adequate for lunch but this cruise finding a table has been a challenge because of the card & game players including one couple yesterday taking up 2 tables for a jigsaw puzzle.!

 On this cruise there are 3049 passengers (not 3600) with 919 of them platinum and 1086 elites. I’ve been on many cruises and for the first time observed some of the bad behaviors by elites that others have written about. Worst was the elite tender lounge. OMG think of Kindergarten room with a 4th of the 5-year olds having simultaneous tantrums. Then picture them as elites getting tender tickets. One guy was screaming because he couldn’t get 13 tender tickets for his friends! A woman complaining because she’s elite and was promised priority service and now she has to wait!!!😮 ... and so it went.  It would have been funny if it hadn’t been so absurd to watch people make absolute fools of themselves and denigrate staff who didn’t deserve it. 

 We’ve been on for a few cruises and I can tell you from my perspective that the service and crew on this ship are phenomenal. My admiration for them has only gone up during this cruise as I’ve observed them dealing with some pretty rude, cantankerous people plus the crowds inside at the same time. 

 But with all that I’ve still got to tell you that I’m really enjoying this cruise and this ship. The CB is right up there as one of my favorite ships. 

 You can’t go on a cruise with 3000 people in the Arctic with cold, fog, rain and limited shore services and not be prepared to share your space and just roll with weather and mechanical issues. (The aft elevators have been weird). 

 We’ve enjoyed this cruise and the ones prior  so much that we’ve already booked them again for next year. We’re also sailing on the CB again in December. 

 So for you folks that are booked on the CB, don’t worry 😉 My take on the CB is that you will have a wonderful time. 

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4 hours ago, mreasier said:

In general, I agree with the OP.  We have a special spot in our hearts for the CB - we got married on her in 2006.  But we much prefer the original Grand Class ships.  Agreed, the capacity of the CB is not 3,600 but the 500 additional passengers from the original Grand Class ships do make the "Super" Grand Class ships more crowded.  In addition, the elimination of the covered pool Conservatory area makes them much less desirable than the original Grand Class, especially on a cool weather cruise.  At least the Emerald, Ruby and Crown did add the Adagio lounge which helped a little.  The sad news to us is that the original Grand Class ships are rapidly disappearing from the fleet.

 

I totally agree with the transfers (and non replacements) of the Grand Class ships.  It is truly a disappointment and (in my humble opinion) demise of sailing a decent size ship.  Going to really miss my window suites.

 

I was booked on this Greenland voyage.  I canceled when I realized that all three ports would have to be tendered in.  Did some research to find that the villages were very small with limited harbor capabilities.  I would be extremely interested if someone would comment on their time in Greenland (prices, things to do, excursions, money, etc).

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Ok, let’s add to the info.  Yes, the capacity is about 3100 when only counting lower berths but can swell to over 3500 with 3 and 4 in some cabins.  We have just over 3000 on this voyage because of so few children.

 

Show times are 6:30 and 8:30 and one must usually arrive about 45 min early to get a seat at either show.  We have been on many Princess Cruises and never experienced this kind of early crowding.  One senior crew member agreed and thought it had something to do with the passenger demographics on this voyage.  Bottom line is you have over 3000 souls trying to fit into about 1500 seats (2 Shows).

 

As to Greenland we did dock at Nuuk with no problems.  We tendered at Quaquatok in perfect conditions with some passengers complaining they waited over 1 1/2 hours to board a tender.  But Nanatorik turned out to be a tender nightmare because the port could only handle 1 tender at a time.  We met folks who gave up going ashore after wAiting over 2 1/2 hours for a tender.  The crew did their best but could not overcome the single tender pier.  No ship of this size should ever call at Nanatorik!   The blame for the tender fiasco goes to the home office for poor planning.  Under perfect conditions it would take 5  to 6 hours to tender 3000 ashore in that port.

 

Hank

 

 

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12 hours ago, Hlitner said:

With over 300 Princess days we are now on our first  CB cruise (Greenland).  Main theater holds  738 and ship holds 3600!  A real mess with only two shows.  Bottom line is that Princess “blew it” when they added an additional passenger deck to the original Grand Class design.  This ship feels very crowded with too many long queues.  We will never set foot on this vessel in the future.  Princess solution is to simulcast some shows into Explorers where it is also standing room only!  Even Carnival ships feel more spacious.

 

As to the highly touted Medallion it is hit and miss.  Bar waiters have given up trying to use the Medallions and simply ask for cabin numbers.  Even sitting at a bar the Medallion often fails and staff needs to ask cabin numbers.  Argh

 

 

 

Hank

 

I'm going to agree with the OP.  I always been able to get a seat for the "late" show on previous cruises, but I didn't see a single show on my CB voyage in late July, even arriving 25-30 minutes beforehand.  I found the ship more crowded than I've experienced on the Crown -- or even on the Regal.   She's in good shape and her crew was fantastic -- there wasn't a single staffer who wasn't pleasant and efficient.  But I just didn't like the experience.  I wouldn't say I'd never sail on her again, but it just wasn't great, so it would have to be a special or unique itinerary. 

 

And not a single waiter ever used the medallion on my cruise, either -- they all asked for cabin numbers when I was onboard.   We're apparently going backwards to the old days of cruising, pre-cruise cards & folio numbers.   Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose . . .

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7 hours ago, rdsqrl said:

I'm going to agree with the OP.  I always been able to get a seat for the "late" show on previous cruises, but I didn't see a single show on my CB voyage in late July, even arriving 25-30 minutes beforehand.

 

 

I would agree about the shows (and I did state this on our combined ‘live from’ thread back in July/Aug) . We still didn’t get to see the last performance after them having 3 lots of technical issues. Having said that, we thoroughly enjoyed our itinerary and would definitely take it again. We did have excellent weather, which obviously helps disperse pax in many more venues.

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I've not been on a Princess Grand Class ship but have sailed twice on a sister ship with P&O - Azura.  She is one of the 'augmented' Grand Class with the extra deck and has the same capacity - approx 3000 lower berth and 3600 if sailing full.  On both cruises I took on Azura I found it to be horribly overcrowded and would not choose to sail on that class of ship again.  Every entertainment venue every night was rammed and difficult to find a seat in.

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