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Planning a Caribbean Cruise for summer '09--Should we choose Princess?


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A little background:

We (the parents of three families) are putting together a Caribbean cruise to celebrate several college graduations. We have all cruised together before (parents and youth) on Princess and other lines; however, none of our party has ever been on a Caribbean cruise.


Are Princess’ Caribbean based ships more fun than their ships on the west coast? We’ve found our west coast sailings on Princess to be lacking in activities. Both ships had very hands-off CDs. Is this typical throughout Princess or just bad luck on our part?



We found Anytime dining to be and an absolutely horrid experience on the Diamond Princess in 2005, but Main dining was wonderful on the Dawn Princess in 2007. In the future we will choose traditional dining.



Does any cruise line do good job in this category? We like the specialty acts and the featured performers, but find the production shows (most have 4 singers plus 8 dancers) rather plastic. Our concern with Princess is that often the show schedule conflicts with meals or only a single show is offered. Other lines offer the same show at two different times so all diners can attend. Again we wonder its just bad luck, or is this true for all Princess ships?


We would like to try Princess again because they offer a large number of new ships with lots of balconies and what seems like lots of amenities, however, we are concerned that Princess as a line may lack that personal touch that we have experienced on RCI and Celebrity.


As a group, we would like to give Princess another chance. Is it worth it?

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I have been on Princess twice and it is my favorite cruise line, but I wouldn't do a summer '09 Caribbean cruise with Princess. Princess will only have 1 ship doing the Caribbean and it will sail from New York. My negative is that you get shortened port times with the itinerary from New York. I cruise for the destinations first, then the ship. Especially in the Caribbean, I'm looking for beach and snorkel time. If you go for the ship first, then I'd say go for it.


In terms of the specific questions you asked. I have not been on the West Coast cruises, so I can't comment.


I like traditional dining on Princess. It's nice to have a wait staff that knows your likes/dislikes.


Both Princess cruises I have been on had shows at 2 times: one for early and one for late seating. The productions are hit and miss depending on the singers/dancers. Most of the other shows I have really enjoyed.


I have sailed on several other lines including Royal and I like the service that Princess provides. I have never had a problem with a Princess staff member. They are very attentive.


Good luck with your decision.

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We cruised on the Caribbean Princess in January (Esstern out of Fort Lauderdale) and we are going back on her for one of the 4 night specials in April. We had the best vacation ever hands down. We really enjoyed the Caribbean Princess (CB), the cruise staff - never had so much fun in our entire lives. So many activities, so little time. We had so much fun with the cruise director and his staff. You can look at some of the Patters from the CB on www.cruisingthecaribbeanprincess.com.


We found the entertainment at night to be great - they offered 2 different show times on the theatre shows and the comedian shows in the lounges. Both would suit either traditional dining time.



Anytime dining on the CB - we did not have any issues with this on our trip.


We are married, no kids, and in our early 30's and we like to party and relax with the best of them. We felt that there were a wide range of activities and entertainment to fit the entire ang range on the ship.

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