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Review - Caribbean Princess 8/14


mary07054

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What a wonderful cruise.

Traveled with my husband, daughter 19 and son 16; my brother, sister-in-law and niece (11) from NJ. We never cruised before. My brother cruised on Princess 10 years ago with his wife.

 

Pre-cruise: Stayed at Mariott Marina night before cruise. Very nice hotel. Right across from port. Free shuttle & breakfast for AAA.

 

Embarkment - only problem we had. Electrical problem in the port - had to wait 2 1/2 hours in line to board the ship. But as soon as we got on and saw this beautiful ship it was all forgotten. Definitely worth the wait in line.

Bought the soda cards for the kids as soon as we got on). (definitely well worth the $20)

 

Ship is absolutely beautiful. Our room was B250 and B246 . 11th deck. Room was very nice. If you have 4 people I would definitely recommend getting 2 rooms. Bathroom was small (like everyone said) but after a day we got used to it and it was really fine. Lots of shelves for toiletries etc. My daughter loved the shampoo and conditioner. Steward was Samuel who was really nice. Anything you asked for you got immediately.

Balcony was great. Definitely a must if you smoke. (I do - my husband does not - so he was happy about that) It was very hot during the day but at night there was a nice breeze. My husband and I sat out there every night. And in the morning when we got to port it was beautiful seeing the islands.

 

Room service - i like my coffee first thing when i get up. I called and it was there within 2 minutes. And personally I thought the coffee was fine. Ordered room service on port days. Left order on door and it was there by 7:30 a.m. Never a problem.

My kids ordered more from room service than us - son ordered two cheeseburgers one night at 2 a.m. and it was there within 15 minutes. And the chocolate cake is so good (My sister-in-law did that a few times).

 

Ship was full but never seemed crowded.

 

Pools: There were alot of people in the two pools on deck 15. We liked it best at these pools because there was always action going on and plus it was right by the Horizon Court Buffet. Chairs by the pool were definitely taken by the time we went up which was usually around 11 but if you walked around a few times you always seemed to find one and then shortly thereafter you got a few more. This was definitely not a problem for us.

The pools were very nice. This was definitely a family cruise so there was alot of kids but it never seemed to bother me. And everyone on the ship was so nice. I couldn’t believe all the people i met from NJ. Always was chatting with someone new.

 

Dining: We had anytime dining. As soon as we boarded we made a standing reservation for 6 pm every night in either the palm or coral dining rooms. Always had the same waiter. Food was very good. We ate way too much. You could order as much as you wanted.- some nights we ordered two dinners. Horizon Court and Caribe were typical buffet food but good. Most mornings we ate in the Horizon Court Buffet.

Pizza was very good. (but of course not as good as Star Pizza in Orange which is the best pizza in Jersey). Burgers, hotdogs and fries by the grill were also good. My kids did have ice cream at Scoops which they loved. Was kind of pricey. Small sundae for $3.75 but they said it was worth it.

Our travel agent treated all 7 of us to Sterling Steakhouse. (my sister-in-law used to work with her at AT&T and then she moved to Florida to become a travel agent). Better be hungry when you go there. It was really good. I had a 10 ounce filet which you could cut with your fork. We were so stuffed that night we couldn’t have desert. And oh the deserts were to die for. We had the Love Boat Dream every night.(chocolate moose in a heart shape). It was the best desert. And the baked Alaska and cheesecake were so good too. (boy i am making myself hungry).

(Also our travel agent had different trays sent to our room: chocolate covered strawberries, little canapes, cookies, etc. - it was really nice.

There was always something on the menu for picky eaters. My son is one of those. He loved the steak and spaghetti & meatballs (always available).

Sabatini’s - we did not go to.

 

Drinks: . My daughter wanted the coke cup (so she could fill it with soda and vodka). (where there’s a will, teens will find the way - LOL). Anyone under 21 cannot order drinks. They do check the cards. So basically if she wanted a drink I or my husband had to order for her. At dinner it was no problem for anyone to drink in the dining room. The waiters did not really care. We usually allowed my daughter a glass of wine with dinner. And one night a couple bought our whole table after dinner drinks (nice shot glass to take home - $5.00 filled with anything you wanted) ( My niece had made friends with their daughter)

 

Activities: We played Bingo - alot of fun - $20.00 for (i think) four games. I won $150.00 but had to split with four other people. We also played Family Feud - we were the Jersey Cruisers. But of course we didn’t win. But lots of fun.

Games at the pool were also fun. My daughter played Battle of the Sexes. She was the one with the light blue flowered bikini with tons of fruit stuffed in her suit. She had a lot of fun. There was always something going on at the pool. Even if you didn’t participate it was alot of fun to watch.

Horse racing was also fun.

 

Portraits: Definitely have your portraits taken. They come out so nice. We had quite a few taken on the 2nd formal night. They also take them getting on and off the boat at all the ports, dinners, etc. 8 x 10 were $20.00. I bought 6 pictures. (Family, individuals of my kids and one with my two kids together). And also a group 5 x 7 of the seven of us (which was also $20). I thought they were very professional. My daughter also had the black and white taken. Since my sister-in-law spent close to $300 they gave me my daughter’s black and white proofs for free (cost for those proofs was $39.95).

 

Entertainment: We tried to see everything we could. We had dinner at 6 and caught the 8:30, 10:45 and sometimes midnight shows. We were very tired by the end of the trip.

Comics were good (Sarge was the best - we saw him 3 times and each show was different). My husband loved the cigar bar. Got quite friendly with the bartenders.

Casino was very large. My sister-in-law won $150 on the slots. The last night someone won pretty big at the crap table.

Cruise Director (Graham Seymour) was a riot. If you have him you will really enjoy the cruise. He was always joking and making fun of someone .I laugh when i think of him.

 

Ports: Did not book any excursions prior to going on cruise.

St. Thomas was nice. We took a cab into town to do some shopping. As soon as we got out of the cab a local came up to us (Pasquale) and offered us a tour and then to Sapphire Beach for 2 1/2 hours. $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for kids. We met him at 12:00 and he took us in a open bus on a nice tour. stopped a few times for pictures - then stopped up at the peak looking down at Megan’s Bay for more pictures. There was also some shops there with a bar and food. Very nice. Then dropped us at Sapphire Beach and picked us back up at 4:00 pm. and took us back to the ship. We decided to go to Sapphire Beach because of all the reviews on these boards and mainly because my kids wanted to jet ski.

It was very pretty to look at but there was alot of seaweed and it was very rocky. You definitely need water shoes. And there was only one vendor there with 4 jet ski’s so we never got to do that. Everyone said Megan’s Bay was really nice and they also had jet ski’s there. We even had Pasquale (the tour guide) making some calls to see if he could get us to jet ski since he told us we would be able to do that. He was really nice. He wanted to take us over to the Mariott Hotel where he could get us jet ski’s but we decided to stay at Sapphire Beach and jet ski in St. Martin the next day.

St. Martin - we loved this the best. Took a cab from the ship $3.00 per person to Phillipsburg and shopped in the morning. My daughter had her hair braided at a Salon - $60.00 - 57 braids. Nice job. Then we went over to Little Divi Bay around 12.($3.00 per person cab fare) That was so nice. Water was so clean and no rocks. We could have stayed there all day. My kids finally got to jet ski and they loved it.

Princess Cays: Had a great time. Water was great - lots of chairs. Nice barbeque. We were the last tender at 3 pm My kids rented the snorkeling equipment and did see a lot of nice fish.

 

As far as smell: we did notice a smell on certain parts of the ship. You would walk by, smell it, and then it was gone. Really not that big of a problem. My husband thought the smell was coming up from the drain in the sink in the bathroom. He filled sink and then plugged it and smell seemed to go away.

 

It was such a wonderful trip. I can’t think of one thing to complain about except having to come home. Also my kids loved it and would go again in a flash.

Now I am doing research for our next cruise.

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What a nice travel agent you have!! My travel agent made a big mistake with our booking (put us down for personal choice dining when we wanted traditional dining) and she said there is nothing she could do about and people make mistakes. She did not do anything to try and compensate us. This is our first cruise and we are celebrating our 25th anniversary and we were looking forward to the traditional dining.

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Mary, Great review! Thanks for giving us your teen's perspective, as we are taking our two teens with us (18, 15) on the Christmas cruise. Glad to hear they enjoyed it. Ours want to jet ski in St. Martin, so looks like we will be going to Little Divi Bay also. Is it close to the ship?

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cruzfvr - as soon as you get off the boat there is a little watersports booth where we got the jet ski tickets (there is a pamphlet on the table with a $5.00 coupon in it - make sure you get the coupon) $40.00 with coupon;

we took a cab after we were done shopping - cost $3.00 per person; not very far from the shopping area there.Little Divi Bay is a resort. you will love it.

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What a nice travel agent you have!! My travel agent made a big mistake with our booking (put us down for personal choice dining when we wanted traditional dining) and she said there is nothing she could do about and people make mistakes. She did not do anything to try and compensate us. This is our first cruise and we are celebrating our 25th anniversary and we were looking forward to the traditional dining.

It's easy to change from Traditional to PC once on board! Good luck, have a great cruise and don't sweat the small stuff!

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Thanks for taking the time to post your review. I've been hearing so many good things about Caribbean Princess, I can't wait until my cruise! Still have 4 months to go, but maybe it will go by fast.

 

Terri

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Frostola - when are you cruising? Your TA can change your dinner request at any time before sailing. The worst that could happen would be that you would be waitlisted for traditional and still get PC. Ask her to do this IMMEDIATELY.

Bill- Hi, Bill! Why no more cruises? We are looking forward to the Diamond next month-

Mary- Thanks for your well-written review!

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