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Found 231 results

  1. What exactly are they doing with the drydock for almost a month. Haven't read into it.
  2. Does Caribbean Princess now have on demand TV's in the cabins? If yes, did they upgrade to the large TV's on the wall like on Regal a d Royal?
  3. I’m on the Caribbean Princess now and very diasappointed that they took away the mailboxes when they installed the medallion electronic entry system. Now most of the notices, including the Patter are shoved under the door. So, when you enter, often you’re stepping on top of some notice and need to pick it up off the door. I feel like it’s Motel 6. I hope they’re planning to install new mailboxes. For some people all of this bending may be difficult as those with back issues, etc.
  4. A little background: We are Platinum on Princess, Elite with Celebrity and a jumble of cruise with NCL, Royal and Carnival. 40 total. We chose this Caribbean Princess cruise for the great price and we went through the Panama Canal on this ship when new. It’s 15 years old now but it is amazingly well preserved. Food: As always a subjective topic we found the food offerings everywhere exceeded our expectations. Planks bbq has an interesting menu and well worth the $12. Very happy with the Marketplace’s offerings and all beverages are served to you tableside; a nice convienance. Of course it’s crowded at times but what’s the rush...we’re cruising. All the way aft has an extension of the buffet The was never crowded: omlettes, Mongolian stuff. No one goes hungry on any cruise we’ve been on. Entertainment: ummm was not as extravagant as the other cruise lines offer. I do believe the parent company cut back on that expense.Unfortunately you need to arrive at the theater 30 minutes early since it seems every show is sold out...and the seat savers were in full force. Excursions: Princess Cays was fabulous and not to be missed. There were plenty of lounges so no problem finding open ones. We did book a Kon Tiki ferry to Water Island/Honeymoon Beach.Our thought was to avoid the crowds going to Megan’s Bay etc since there were 3 ships in port. Our mistake. The brown sand is covered in stones and the walking in the water was the same. Oh well. Medallion: The Medallion was sent to us 8 days before embarkation and the set up was easy. If you do it beforehand then the pier experience is a 5 minute breeze. We didn’t down load any Princess apps and we used the Medallion ever where without any problems: food, drinks, casino stores etc. The pursers desk told us cruise cards won’t be issued starting next week. Cabin:The balcony cabin we had was underwellming.1 small chair for us both and I’m sure the mattress and pillows haven’t been replaced for a long long time.The tv didn’t access our cabin summary but you can on your app....I assume. Next to the pursers desk is a kiosk that you can use to easily print your room charges.Bring your own shampoo and conditioner. Had water dripping out of the smoke detector in the hall at our door...that was fun to watch.We didn’t use it but the self serv laundry was empty whenever we walked by. Of course every staff person we interacted with gave excellent customer service which we do expect from Princes. Yes we ran into some small problems last week but after 40 cruises....Hey, that’s cruising.
  5. We are just back from the 7-night Western on the Regal Princess (3/10-3/17). This was our first Royal Class ship and quite honestly, if we can choose to do this class of ship, we will always pick it over the other ships. Here are just a few random thoughts: - I had heard lots of discussion about the small size of the balcony. Personally, I didn't find the balcony size to be an issue at all. - I had also heard about the Royal class buffets being "better", however, I wasn't expecting just how much better they are. The buffet on the Regal was fantastic, especially when compared to the almost inedible buffet we had on the Emerald last year. The selection and quality was just heads and shoulders better that it was on the Emerald. I can go into more detail if necessary, but we LOVED the buffet (and, quite honestly, I've never been much of a buffet person...) - I loved the Medallions. At first, I though "Meh", however, as the cruise went on, we came to appreciate all of the new technology on the ships. The best has to be the ability to locate your "shipmates" anywhere on the ship in real time. I could find my wife or daughter easily. - I had read an earlier review about the older age of cruisers on that reviewer's cruise. I had someone comment to me that they had been on the prior cruise and that this cruise (our's) it seemed as if the average age dropped 20-30 years. We had wondered what the age mix would be, and while the cruise does skew older perhaps, there was a good mix of ages on the cruise. For instance, the Teen Club (Beach House) had 92 13-17 year olds registered for our cruise. (My daughter really liked the teen club, BTW. They have their own lounging deck and hot tub) - Didn't go to many shows, but they seemed to be well attended. - Loved the smoke-free nights in the casino - I had wondered if our stateroom on Marina deck (M702) would be too noisy being right under the back Horizon Court deck, but we really liked the location and only heard the scratching of moving chairs/tables a couple of times. We would take this stateroom again. - Yes, chair was gone from the stateroom, but the table is still there. We had 4 in our stateroom, so it would have gotten in our way, but I think that if there are only 2 in the stateroom, then they should think about putting the chair back in... - Princess Cays, while fine, could use an update... Also, since the new Disney Private Beach area will be practically next door, they may want to spruce it up as you'll be able to see both areas from the ship... - When we were taking the tender back to the ship on Grand Cayman, the Carnival Vista was in the same area to board as we were. They had a line probably 1,000 yards long (I am not kidding, hopefully someone else who was on this cruise can vouch for me on this.) and there was LOTS of grumbling, especially as we walked right by to our no wait for a tender with our cold water and cool towels 🙂
  6. Traveling next week Western Caribbean on the Caribbean Princess. I have celiac disease and must avoid all gluten and any cross contamination. Having used Princess several times, I'm familiar with their MDR precautions. Anyone have any feedback on GF options in the new World Marketplace? The BBQ and burger places? Recommendations or things to avoid? Thanks for any help and advice.
  7. So I thought I'd post a quick review of the sailing and stops/excursions of the Caribbean Princess. I'll have photos to post later when I do a picture review but for now I thought I'd whip up a quick review of the ship and how things went. Due to the propulsion issues this was the shortened Eastern itinerary - Princess Cays, St Thomas and St Maarten. This was our 26th cruise. Embarkation: I was a little unsure how the embarkation process would go with the medallions but it was quite smooth. We arrived at the port a bit later than we normally do, around 11AM and walked right into the terminal. I received my elite medallion in short order and proceeded upstairs to the lounge. I would say we waited no more than 10 minutes and were directed to board the ship. We were on the ship exploring by 11:30. Dropped our bags off at the room and headed for lunch. Very smooth embarkation. Food: I was a bit surprised by the food on the Caribbean Princess for different reasons. We ate at Steamers one night. It was very good and the service top notch. Really worth the $12. Didn't get a chance to try the $12 Planks meal - maybe next time. I enjoyed the lunch and breakfasts in Planks - they're free. The Mongolian buffet was really nice - I had that twice. Made to order eggs dishes are always great. I also like the fact that you can cook your own toast in the buffet areas in the morning. It might be picky on my part but nothing I hate more than cold stale bread masquerading as toast. Lunch was also good with lots of options in the Marketplace Buffet. The deserts were awesome all week. The dining room - well, I hate to say it but it was not up to Princess standards IMO. First off, they've removed the option to pick a free steak from the nightly menu. For those nights when the nightly offerings didn't appeal it was always nice to have the option to pick a steak instead. One night my wife chose to try a filet mignon from Crown Grill while we were in the MDR but the waiter did everything he could to discourage her from doing so. He said it would be a 20 minute wait and he didn't know if the Crown Grill would be busy and he suggested other options that didn't appeal to her. Certainly its mysterious to me why they have this option but then discourage its use especially where one is spending extra money on it. Also, the menu selections didn't seem to be as good as usual in the MDR. We spoke to one of the head waiters as he was circling the room and asked about the menu changes. The long and short of it was that its a cost cutting measure. When the bean counters take over, service and quality declines are sure to follow. I did have the Curtis Stone option 3 times in the week. They always seem to hit the mark and are quite good. Breakfast in the MDR - not bad. I like my eggs benedict. They're not the best on the high seas (RCI makes the best) but they pass my test. One thing - you have to ask for them - they're not shown on the breakfast menu. One last odd thing abut the MDR - there wasn't Limoncello offered any night in the MDR that I was there. On the Regal and Royal (our last 3 cruises) it was offered nightly and during lunch as well. This was disappointing. I did mention it to the head waiter one night and kudos to him for rounding it up for me that one evening but I missed the nightly drink and the glass that goes with it. First time I have seen this happen. Another penny pinching opportunity? Am I the only person who would love to see a scent free area in the MDR, especially on formal nights? Some of them old gals, they really pump the perfume especially on formal night. Crown Grill - just ok. Didn't get my fries or mushrooms and started eating my steak figuring they'd arrive eventually. They didn't. My Wife's steak wasn't cooked properly. Too bad, I typically enjoy Crown Grill. They seemed rushed even though it wasn't all that busy. Can't give them a passing grade here unfortunately. International Cafe - awesome deserts here and great coffee and service. Crew: Good service by our room attendant all week. I sensed that she was new as she seemed tentative most of the week but she did a great job. Had a few cigars in Churchill's and the bartenders down there were awesome all week. Left them a little extra on the last night in their tip jar. CD staff did a good enough job. We didn't attend as many events as normal but they seemed to be well organized and attended. The comedian was pretty good - we went to both his shows including the R rated one which was packed. For any shows not in the main theatre, make sure you get there early. It was like it was 2 for one day or something. We went to the comedian's show in Explorers and it was packed to capacity 30 minutes beforehand. We only got a seat by sheer luck as we were walking by early and noticed it almost full at 8:30 for the 9PM show. We got the last 2 seats 30 minutes prior to showtime! We went to one show in the theatre - the second last night. They had the guest Soprano in. I'm not much for opera but she was able to carry that show. We stayed for the entire show that featured songs as wide ranging as Queen to Puccini. Good show. Ports: Princess Cays - despite the fire from a couple weeks previous, there were no visible signs of issues anywhere. They served the typical BBQ fare they always do - burgers, dogs, salad, cookies, small cakes etc. Weather was fine and we rented a clam shell which came in handy. Nice first day. Hot and sunny! St Thomas - We arrived late at noon and decided to do the "Saint John on your own" excursion from the ship. There wasn't as much there as I expected but we wandered around, stopped for a beer at a local watering hole, picked up a few items in a spice shop and had time for a swim. The ride over in the boat was worth the price of the excursion. Lots of opportunities for pictures. St Maarten - We did what we always do here. Rented chairs form Miguel and enjoyed a day on the beach with interludes of shopping on Front Street. This area is now 95% restored from the hurricane damage and is still easily my favourite stop. I was disappointed to see that the Belgian Chocolate shop is no longer owned by Beatrix and is only available at the port now. I didn't find the service or quality anywhere near what it used to be pre-hurricane. Ship Layout and Condition: Although we travelled previously on the Crown it struck me how similar they are to the Regal and Royal. Just smaller. Smaller dining rooms, smaller Piazza smaller theatre etc. I do like the pool layout on these ships. One can always find a nice quiet area (if that's your thing) at the back of the ship. Finding chairs is no problem and the back pool is something I enjoy. The other pools were busier with activities and MUTS but there were lots of places to enjoy a nice sea day. Ship condition was very good - clean and well maintained. I enjoyed Churchill's Cigar Bar. I only smoke cigars on vacation and this is a nice spot to enjoy one and get great bar service. Disembarkation: Quick and efficient although the tag was ripped off our suitcase at one point and we had to spend some time looking for it. I was getting a bit concerned since we had to get to West Palm by noon to catch a flight but things worked out in the end. We were there with lots of time to spare. Summary: We enjoyed the cruise, the weather was great and we met some great new friends. Was it 10 out of 10? No, not close. I'd give it an 8 as it was not as good as the Regal was and I have a fear that the bean counters have begun to infest Princess especially in the MDR. Lets hope I'm wrong. But overall, we enjoyed our time on the Caribbean Princess and we're looking forward to out next Princess sailing next March - 2020. Once I get through my pictures I'll post a picture review of the same cruise. l8r
  8. So at the suggestion if another passenger on the roll call, I'm starting a “live” thread so everyone can read about the ship/activities/excursions and so very much welcome other passengers recommendations on activities and restaurants. Awesome 👍😀 The more I think about it, the more I'll look forward to the margaritas/gin & tonics & Pina coladas at the social events! My work supervisor mentioned margaritas today, so let's get this started! ⛴️🛳️☸️⚓🚢🍹
  9. Hello fellow cruise critic members. I am onboard and ready for this cruise. We sail in two hours. Had lunch in worldpkace market. And I have to say they had a lot of choices. After lunch walked back to steamers and planks and had another lunch because; well that had a lot of different choices than in world place. Then had a slice of pepperoni. I loved the crust. Chewy but crisp. That was great. Had a little issue logging into medallion net but once I got online the service is good. This is a sold out cruise so we will really test the bandwidth this week. Stay tuned for more updates and I will let you know how things are going. Have reservation for Crown Grill tonight. That will be awesome.
  10. Anyone else excited And wondering about the 2020 Caribbean Thanksgiving cruises? When will they post them?
  11. Hello Folks! Well, the snow, wind, and cold got to us and we’re thinking of making a late decision to sail on the March 23 eastern Caribbean on the Caribbean Princess. The ports sound interesting and we will already be in Florida ending a WDW vacation. Turks and Caicos and Amber Cove will be new to us and San Juan is our favorite Caribbean port, so why not? We’ve never sailed on the Caribbean Princess, but it has a real promenade deck which is important to us. Can anyone offer any tips on the Caribbean Princess? What is the status of the propulsion problems that she was experiencing? Thanks for any wisdom that you can offer!
  12. Hi, For the Caribbean Princess Can you please tell me if we can book times for our Anytime Dinning in the MDR ahead of time online? Or do we have to wait and book once on the ship? Or do we just have to go to the restaurant and wait? Thank you all so much for your endless time and help on Cruise Critic. Once I have experience I will pass it forward too PS this is a repeat question because the first time I forgot to put the ship and tried to edit but I think I failed :) Quote Edit
  13. Just wondering if others are booked on this short getaway cruise? There is no roll call for it, so I am posting here.
  14. Anyone know when Princess will have their late 2020 Caribbean sailing dates posted to their website. Looking into booking a cruise on the new Sky Princess! Hoping someone has the inside scoop! Any feedback would be helpful! Thanks
  15. Is this pool adult only and is their some sort of fee to enjoy it. ? thankyou
  16. Are dress shorts ok on non formal nights in club class dining room for dinner? Please tell me the pants can stay in the suitcase! thankyou
  17. I am looking forward to trying out Princess at some point and the Caribbean Princess in March 2019 is really appealing. The Ship itself looks perfect for our cruising style and I have read as much information as I can find on the propulsion issues. I was wondering for those who have cruised on the Caribbean Princess in the past couple months if the propulsion issue impacted travel times, particularly in the Western Caribbean. For instance are itineraries and port times cut short in order to stay on schedule? From the itinerary it looks as if the ship will only be in some ports for 6-7 hours. I was wondering if Princess alters port times like leaving early or arriving later due to the propulsion issue and lower cruising speeds? Also along those lines is the propulsion issue noticeable at all while onboard, like more vibration or extra motion than normally experienced on a cruise. Super excited either way, just looking for clarification on those details. Thanks, any help or feedback is appreciated!
  18. Hi - we have sailed on Royal Caribbean and NCL and this is our first time on Princess. We are both in our early 50s and looking forward to a relaxing Eastern Caribbean cruise in March. I've read through a lot of the content here, but still looking for some additional information if you don't mind! I've read a lot about not being able to attend the theatre shows unless you line up 45-60 minutes before the start. Does this apply to all entertainment in the Theatre (broadway, comedy, dance)? Does anyone know what productions are now showing on CB so I can find details in advance to know whether or not we feel its worth lining up for us? We found the late night entertainment like Love and Marriage on the other ships a lot of fun - does Princess do these? Where is the best location to find a seat for the Movies Under the Stars - have heard that certain locations you can't hear very well? Last time i took a cruise out of Port Everglades, we missed our return flight (which was at 12 noon) - we are Canadians and the line for non-US was extremely slow and not a lot of manpower working. We now have NEXUS cards - is there a special line for Nexus holders that we would be able to go through? We don't have drink packages - i have ordered my husband the buy 5 for price of 4 beer bucket - will that just show up in our room? Are there mini fridges in the rooms (we have oceanview on Emerald)? I have also ordered a small bottle of vodka in advance for the room - .Will we be able to have our attendant bring us daily ice or is it easy to refill an ice bucket? Any additional advice for Princess Newbies welcomed! Thanks
  19. CROWN PRINCESS REVIEW. Nov. 17, 2017. 10 day Southern Caribbean. 3 out of 5 Stars. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, Ft. Lauderdale We’re 52 years old, married 22 years. For cuisine, I eat everything and my wife is a pescatarian (vegetables and seafood). This is our 12th cruise overall and fourth on Princess. After our first three cruises (Caribbean, Sapphire and Island Princesses) we have not sailed this line in over 8 years. In those years we’ve sailed Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Holland America and NCL. After those ships and experiences, it honestly felt like a little bit of a throwback when we got onboard Crown Princess. We’ve gotten so used to the wide expanses and features of the more modern ships, the Crown feels more like an oversized yacht than cruise ship. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. As you read through this you might think some areas are negative, but you’re paying good money to go on your cruise so I like to give a true sense of what everything was like for us. Honestly it’s very VERY difficult to have a “bad cruise” because after all, you’re on a cruise ship being pampered day and night by the crew. The main difference between cruises is the level of service from the crew and the quality of the food as you compare ships. I’m arranging this review by topic such as Embarkation, Ship, Dining, Stops / Excursions instead of by day so you can read everything about a topic at once. EMBARKATION (And lack of Princess Communication) Embarkation was a bit of a cluster as the Crown had to go through a full annual Coast Guard inspection. Boarding was not scheduled to begin until 2 – 2:30pm instead of the normal 10:30 / 11am. Princess knew this days (maybe weeks) in advance of the ship arriving to Port Everglades. Problem was, Princess did a very poor job of notifying the passengers. Princess relied on travel agents to notify the passengers instead of direct email. Princess had our email addresses and had no problems offering us upsells and specials in the months leading up to the cruise. But no communication in the week leading up to the cruise about the inspection and late boarding. Fortunately, we heard about it here on CC so we were prepared and arrived later than normal. But most passengers did not get the word and when 2:00pm rolled around, it seemed like the entire ship was waiting in Terminal 4. Communication was poor in the Terminal as was crowd management. With plenty of time to prepare it seemed Princess did nothing out of the ordinary to handle that many people being in the Terminal at one time other than having water bottles and some snacks available. Once we got onboard everything was fine, but Princess did a less than stellar job managing the situation before arrival and in the Terminal. THE SHIP Boarding the ship, the first re-impression of Princess was the Crown felt dated. Tighter spaces, lower ceilings, lots of wood and older style decor and much more intimate than the more modern ships. The Atrium / Piazza is a rather intimate space compared to the mega atriums of other ships. The overall impression of the public spaces is dark and stuffy vs. light and airy. At first it was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe I was expecting more because the ship recently came out of a refurbishment and I thought more modern touches would be added. But as we sailed, I came to re-appreciate how the layout spreads people around the ship so other than the Muster Drill, we had no issues with large crowds clogging the walkways or public spaces. The public spaces are well spread out across multiple decks, fore, midship and aft. None of the spaces is a ‘showstopper / must congregate in this space’ so the crowds are spread out. The longer we sailed, the more we felt like we were cruising along with a few hundred of our best friends instead of the 3000+ passengers this ship can hold. After 10 days onboard, the Crown felt more like a mega-yacht than a cruise ship. I’ll add that I absolutely LOVE that Princess has embraced The Love Boat again. Yes the show was kitschy even when it was a new series, but it’s just so much fun. You can have photos made with yourself in the iconic Love Boat circle icon, the safety video features the original cast and you can even order “The Isaac” drink at the bar. The show put Princess Cruises on the map and it’s fun to see it so fully embraced again. CABIN: CLUB CLASS MINI SUITE. Our cabin was on Dolphin, Deck 9, D432. This particular cabin is very convenient to the mid-ship elevators and stairs, literally walking directly into the room from the stairs. Prior to boarding we were concerned the proximity to the elevators/stairs might be an issue with noise, but that never materialized. The cabin itself is a bit dated in its appearance, but as a mini-suite, Club Class, it’s perfectly functional. It has the mini-fridge and dual TVs so you could, in theory, watch two different programs. Being on the Dolphin deck our balcony was on the deck that sticks out the furthest on the ship, so we could look directly down into the water, rather than down into other balconies. That also means the balcony is fully exposed to everyone above you, but it wasn’t a problem during our cruise. One effect of the balconies being exposed is that they are full sun when the sun is on that side of the ship. There is no overhang. There was plenty of space in the closet for both of our clothes for a 10 day sail along with lots of shelving both in the closet area and the ‘living room’ area cabinets. We had no problems storing all our ‘stuff’ for the 10 days. There are two American style power outlets above the desk. They’re pretty close together so using a power tap for one of them will block the other. If you want to create additional power outlets, get a power strip that does not have a circuit breaker on it. The added space in the cabin is nice to allow for spreading out stuff or even just sitting to enjoy the 2nd TV in the ‘living room’ portion of the cabin. Could easily entertain a few friends in there. The shower has a step over tub so if you have any issues stepping up and over a tub lip, something to keep in mind when choosing cabins. My wife enjoyed the bed but I found it somewhat stiff. For me it feels like a classic futon and I woke up with my shoulders sore each morning. Room steward was Francisco and he was great. We hardly saw him but whenever we needed something, we’d just leave a note on the bed and he took care of it. Club Class got us a few perks like free wine in the room and a special dining area in the main dining room which turned out to be one of our favorite perks of the entire trip. More on that later in the Dining section. POOLS Crown Princess features 4 pools with two of them being adult only. In keeping with the same theme from earlier, these four pools really spread the crowds out so you could actually find a pool to enjoy. If you want something a bit louder and fun, choose the two middle pools featuring the Movies Under the Stars or the live entertainment. If you want something quieter, choose the Terrace Pool in the back or the Sanctuary Pool in the front. A couple of the pools go beyond 7 feet deep while most are in the 5-foot deep range. Contrary to what many people believe, the Sanctuary Pool up front is a public pool, open to any adult. You do NOT need to pay any sort of Spa or Sanctuary fee to use that pool. I met quite a few folks on board who were under the impression the Spa / Sanctuary Pool was reserved for spa guests only. The Terrace Pool aft is one of my favorite pools of any ship allowing you to enjoy the water while looking straight out the back of the ship. The Movies Under the Stars pool is the closest to the Horizon Court with a lot of outdoor dining seating. COCKTAILS & COFFEE Honestly the cocktails were one of the most disappointing things about the trip. I don’t recall them being so poor the first three times we sailed, but then we didn’t have any other cruise lines to compare Princess to at that time. The problems with the drinks were numerous. Some cocktails tasted watered down, like we were having a soft drink, not alcohol. Some cocktails didn’t taste correct. My litmus test is an Old Fashioned because it’s a classic and quite easy cocktail to make. Simply horrible on the Crown Princess, tasted like I was drinking rubbing alcohol. The server tried to tell me it was because I like my Old Fashioned with whiskey and they make theirs with Rye. I make them with both and they never taste like rubbing alcohol. The drinks that were decent, were served very inconsistently across the many bars. I started drinking both the Chairman of the Board and Washington’s Apple. Even in the same bar the drink would be good one time and off the second time. On ever other ship we’ve sailed over the past 5 years there’s at least one craft bar where the bartenders appear to be more highly trained than the rest of the bartenders on board and they make the drinks more slowly than the mass production of most bars. Those are the bars we tend to gravitate towards because while the drinks might cost $1 or $5 more than the other bars, the drinks are really really good and consistent. The World Class Bars on the Celebrity ships are hands down the best bars at sea. Crown Princess is really missing something like that. The Mix near the Movies Under the Stars pool was the most consistent bar I found. I would not recommend the Drink Package for anyone who really enjoys good cocktails because you probably won’t come close to using up your package unless you choose to drink a lot of beer instead. Don’t bother with “The Isaac,” poor drink. My wife’s favorite drink was “The Jamaican Stormy,” but we felt the one made on Mariner of the Seas was much better. For Coffee, Crown Princess still features that awful, and I do mean awful, coffee syrup in the Horizon Court buffet. That syrup never has, and never will be, coffee. The only thing you can do with it is make iced coffee. Fill one of the plastic cups with ice, add some creamer, some sugar if you’re inclined, then fill it up with that “coffee.” For real coffee you need to go to the International Café on Deck 5 or the Coffee and Cones on Deck 15. I much preferred the coffee and service at Coffee and Cones. The servers at the International Café always made me feel like I was bothering them by asking them to make me coffee. Up at Coffee and Cones it was always service with a smile and honestly they were making better cappuccinos and espressos than the crew at the International Café. Coffee and Cones is open at 6am so you can get a good cup of coffee before you walk into the Horizon Court for breakfast. DINING The food was quite good and the Crown showed us that Princess still has the most consistent Main Dining Room experience in terms of food quality and service. Disney is the only line we’ve sailed that has a better Main Dining Room experience. First let me say that if you plan to eat at the Horizon Court / Caribe Café buffet area, always get a seat in the Caribe Café area. Regardless of whether that section is open or not, just sit there. It’s much cooler because the Horizon Court has a large kitchen area in the center that ends up heating up that entire Horizon Court seating area, both sides. The Caribe Café is a much cooler space to sit because it doesn’t have all that heat from the kitchen. The Horizon Court / Caribe Café food selections are miniscule compared to just about any other cruise line we’ve sailed. The Caribe Café was basically wasted space because it just repeated what was in the Horizon Court (when it was open). I would have expected that section to have more global selections like Asian, Indian, maybe German, etc… But it was just more of the same. The selection was ok, uninspiring but probably enough choices for you to get something decent for breakfast / lunch / dinner. The breakfast omelets at the Horizon Court were weird. They had a spongy texture from whatever egg product they use. I ordered one and then never again. The salad bar for lunch was decent, that was usually my go-to for lunch so I could more enjoy my dinner. Overall the buffet was functional, we’ve found much more inspiring and better buffets on other cruise lines. One of the perks of having a Club Class cabin was a special dining section in the DaVinci Dining Room. Each evening there was one special not on the menu that was prepared by the manager in the dining room. Most evenings we walked into the dining room to the wonderful aroma of sautéed garlic. He made penne dishes, shrimp dishes, steak dishes and honestly the best veal chops I’ve ever had. On most cruise lines we’ve sailed of late, we’ve only had a few meals in the dining room because they’re usually not that great, pushing you into the specialty dining venues. On the Crown, we ate in the dining room 9 of the 10 evenings of the cruise and ordered the Manager’s special every evening. I would book a Club Class cabin again on a Princess ship just for this experience. The one night we ate outside the dining room we went to the Crown Grill. It was good, but not so spectacular that I felt like I got what I paid for in a premium meal. I went with the mussel pot, and while the mussels were quite good and the portion was huge, the broth was just ok. I would have expected much more garlic infusion in the broth, but it was almost like a pot roast broth with the mussels. My wife really enjoyed her shrimp dish. But because our Club Dining experience was so good, I wouldn’t bother with the Crown Grill on a future cruise. The Crown Grill featured a free British Pub lunch with fish and chips one day at sea and that was fun. The fish portions are small, but we ended up meeting two lovely couples at the shared table dining, with one of them being from England. So we can had a great time picking on the ‘fish sticks.’ I’d recommend that lunch as something different to do. On Deck 15, I only tried the fries at the Salty Dog Grill on Deck 15 and they were just ok. We had some slices of pizza at Slice and the flavors were not bad at all. The crust could have been cooked another minute, but overall, the sauce was pretty good and the flavor was good. The Stromboli was too dry and didn’t have a whole lot of flavor. People who compare the pizza in Slice to pizza on land are just nuts. Of course this pizza is not as good as NYC pizza or many other pizza joints on land, but it’s fresh pizza made right there in front of you. Enjoy it for what it is, free pizza at sea. The service in the Main Dining Room was among the best at sea. Since we had anytime dining we rotated among three different crews of servers and they were all outstanding. So incredibly friendly, so accommodating to any request. More than happy to turn entrees into appetizer portions so we could try two entrees without wasting half a portion. We didn’t eat at Sabatini’s because the menu was uninspiring for us and the Crab Shack concept didn’t appeal to us because it’s just in the buffet. If we’re going to pay extra for ‘specialty dining’ then we want to actually have an experience we can’t have any other way. Paying extra to sit in the same buffet just because you’re going to serve me crab is not a special experience. THE SANCTUARY My wife booked The Sanctuary for the entire week as we didn’t have a lot of excursions planned over the 10 days. I will say The Sanctuary has the most comfortable deck chairs I have experienced at sea. So comfy. Most of the area is covered by mesh sails so while it may not be 100% shade, the sun is knocked down significantly making the air temperatures very comfortable. There are two areas with complete shade in the very front under the steel structure and also under the radar tower depending which way the ship is facing. When the ship is moving it can be quite windy because you’re right at the front of the ship. But when the ship is in port, there’s usually still a nice breeze across the entire area making this space really comfortable even when the ship is docked. The staff here is extremely friendly and makes sure you have plenty of water. They also serve afternoon tea at 3 with all the trimmings, sandwiches, cakes and desserts. If you want to book The Sanctuary, proceed directly up to Deck 16 the moment you board the ship. Don’t go anywhere else, just go directly up there because the Sea Days fill up quickly. You can book ½ days, full individual days or the entire cruise. Sea days fill up first. My wife was probably the 20th person in line and was able to book two loungers for the entire cruise. At the time we sailed costs were $20 for ½ day, $40 for a full day, $30/day if you booked the entire cruise. These costs are per person / lounger. The only thing I question is placing the ‘quiet sanctuary’ directly below the ship’s horn. 😊 Be aware of that if you happen to be sitting up there when the ship is pulling out of port as she usually gives three horn blasts as it pushes away from the dock. If she gets into a ‘horn war’ with another ship, you’ll get many more blasts. INTERNET In a word, ‘poor.’ Especially compared to the other cruise lines we’ve sailed. Princess is rolling out a faster internet service, but it wasn’t on the ship when we sailed. First off, if you have an automated Cloud Backup service on your device, turn it off. Also turn off any automatic updates on your device. The internet service on the Crown Princess cannot handle simultaneous upload / download. As soon as I tried to log into the WiFi with my laptop, the internet would stall. It took me 6 days to figure out it was my Cloud Backup service trying to login and backup my system. As soon as I turned that off, my laptop worked normally on the WiFi. WiFi signal was only showing 1 – 2 bars around most of the ship including the buffet, pools, our cabin and the Sanctuary. The best signal, 5 bars was on Deck 5 in or near the Internet Café. I ended up setting up my laptop in the Vines area sitting up on the hi-boy chairs kind of like setting up in a coffee house. The Princess@Sea service works pretty much everywhere on the ship, but actual internet, not so much. Speaking of which the Princess@Sea app does work quite well, though you can’t look up anything beyond today. If you try to use “Itinerary” to see what the events and shows will be in the upcoming days, you’ll just see the same schedule from today repeated. But the app does feature a direct messaging function which is great for contacting family and friends anywhere on the ship. Use of the Princess@Sea is free and does NOT require an internet package so take advantage of that just for the messaging feature. ENTERTAINMENT Entertainment was quite good and up to the standards we expected from Princess. I love that Princess original shows don’t try to be overly dramatic or delve into deep stories that make no sense (I’m looking at you Celebrity Cruises). The shows are just 45 minutes of pure fun with the always energetic Princess Dancers and the awesome House Band. Princess Theater made great use of a video wall at the back of stage to enhance the staging. “Magic To Do” was an entertaining show. Designed with the composer of “Wicked” the show featured some great songs, costumes and staging along with clever magic tricks. For once, the warning about strobe lights and pyrotechnics given before every show on a cruise ship was accurate. Yes, real pyro on stage. DISCO: Blame It On the Boogie was a 45 minutes of pure fun, despite the annoying “DJ” on screen. He wasn’t necessary but the staging the dancing was really fun. Sweet Soul Music was right up there with DISCO:. Another 45 minutes of great music and dancing that was just toe tapping fun. The one thing that really impressed me was how much energy the dancers were able to keep going with despite a rather tepid audience. My wife and I kept looking around and literally everyone was just sitting in their chairs staring at the stage. We were dancing in our seats and could tell there were old people all around us trying to stare us down. It was quite amusing. We’re 52 and I think we were among the young’uns on the cruise grooving to the music. The Love Boat Disco Party up on the pool deck was an absolute blast. The Princess Dancers were there in full retro / Village People worthy costumes and did a repertoire of dance numbers both up on the stage above the pool and down on the pool deck with the crowd. The addition of the original Love Boat cast on the screen was a nice touch, as was “The Isaac” dance number. Singing along to the original Love Boat theme with about 500 of your new best friends was a lot of fun too. Tommy McPhee in the Crooner’s Lounge / Explorer’s lounge was a good singer but a little too ‘Vegas piano bar’ for our tastes. We missed Bert Stratton who was a piano fixture on Princess for many years. Mentalist Wayne Hoffman was fun both in the Princess Theater and his smaller venue show in the Explorer’s Lounge. The Voice of the Ocean was interesting, some surprising talent onboard. Our favorite gameshow is always the Love and Marriage game and this one did not disappoint. The Cruise Director, Angela, was one of the best hosts of this show we’ve experienced along with her cohort, Emily. Maybe it’s because it was two women running the show, but it was wickedly funny. But the game that was the most fun to watch and participate in was the Next Lyric game. The host would play part of a song, stop the song and then put up three choices as to what was the next lyric. What was so fun is you didn’t necessarily HAVE to know the song. It was multiple choice so you had a chance on each answer. HUGE shout out to the best Cruise Director staff we have met at sea. Angela, Emily, Lorenz and Alex. Truly friendly, welcoming, funny, and always seemed genuinely happy to stop and chat. Alex was quietly hysterical both hosting the Karaoke and Dance classes. Collectively our favorite cruise director staff we’ve had at sea. DISEMBARKATION Thankfully, nothing like embarkation. We met in our assigned place (the Casino) at the assigned time and were off the ship 15 minutes later. Cruised right through the customs agents and were out to our ride share car in 10 minutes. WRAP-UP (Excursions below) So this ship does not have all the modern features of many of the ships we’ve sailed recently or even of her sisters the Royal, Regal and Majestic. It was a bit of surprise for me when we first boarded and yes, I was a little disappointed at first. Some of it is a bit worse for wear, the internet is meh and the drinks are so-so. But honestly, I warmed up to the old gal and in the end, I enjoyed the incredibly relaxed atmosphere on board. The Crown Princess is a ship for those who want to relax while on board, enjoy good food and have your adventures in port. EXCURSIONS We booked excursions in Bridgetown, Bardados; Basseterre, St Kitts; and Grand Turks. In Martinique we simply walked off the ship to explore the town. Fort De France, Martinique. If you are a photographer, this is a great port to simply exit the ship and stroll the local town. There’s a great harbor area, small shopping district near the ship and then the main city is literally one block away from the pier. Lots of great buildings, people, colors and textures for photographers to simply stroll. I spent about two hours wandering and taking photos. Be sure not to miss the inside of the church. You’ll know which one, it’s the really tall one you can see as you walk towards the city. Bridgetown, Barbados. We privately booked the Silver Moon Catamaran for a day of sailing and snorkeling with turtles. Just a gorgeous catamaran and only 10 people on board. They served drinks and food the entire ride along with a fully prepared lunch. Lunch was freshly grilled tuna, chicken and salads. Simply delicious and the drinks were great. The snorkeling was decent, though the turtles decided to stay down near the bottom. But the water was gorgeous and the guides were fabulous. Silver Moon has a fleet of three boats and we sailed on the original Silver Moon. HIGHLY recommend this tour company, they got us back to the ship hours before sail away. https://silvermoonbarbados.com/ Basseterre, St. Kitts. We privately booked the Mad Max Dune Buggy Tours for 3 hours of off roading fun. We did have a little confusion at the pier on where to meet them. The instructions were to meet at the “Smoke and Booze” store in the pier. Immediately as you walk into the pier, there’s a huge duty free store selling tobacco and alcohol products so we thought that was the place. Then we realized there’s a store with the name “Smoke and Booze”, so if you take this tour, walk directly past all the local tour hawkers and you’ll find the store on your left. The tour itself was a lot of fun, the buggies are pretty powerful, well maintained and really fun to drive. They do provide face masks to keep the dust out of your mouth. A few notes about the experience. You will smell gasoline the entire time you’re driving / riding because of a vent in the top of the gas tank, this is normal. The engine exhausts heat into the cockpit in the direction of the passenger’s right arm. My wife’s arm was getting a bit toasty by the end of the excursion because of the heat blowing directly on her, she was doing her best to keep it out in front of her. The engines are quite loud and after about an hour of driving I was thinking that ear plugs would have been nice to cut down on the drone of the engine. But I would totally recommend this experience and will do it again the next time we’re in St. Kitts. https://madmaxdunebuggystkitts.com/ Grand Turks. After the fun of the dune buggies in St. Kitts, I made a last-minute decision to book the ATV Off Road Experience through Princess. The actual driving was even more fun than the dune buggies because it felt like we were going even faster. Probably because the ATVs are more exposed than sitting down in the dune buggy. My only two complaints is that we spent a little too long ‘testing out the ATVs’ in the parking lot. And after we made our stop to take pictures and learn some history on the island, we drove directly back to the ship along the main roads. There was no more off roading after the stop. So the excursion was a lot of fun to do once and the price was not as exorbitant as many ship based excursions are.
  20. Hi, I've booked for Feb 5 2019 and wanted to try to plan a little. I have been on 3 other cruises, good, each different, fun, but tagged along while somebody else planned. Throwing a wide net asking for anything you feel like sharing, really. I was hoping for an tidbits you could provide on the stops - go with cruise excursions or is there something you tried and enjoyed with less crowds? skip any of the ports,and why? anything helpful to know about this ship? any recommendations for things like - definitely get a spa pass or a dinner upgrade or? Anybody have any recent (2018?) Patters for this Eastern Caribbean they could share? I've not yet located anything for this itinerary. Heck, any recommendations on airfare or hotel, if needed? TUES Feb 05, 2019 Ft.Lauderdale, Florida Depart 4:00pm Feb 06, 2019 ATSEA Feb 07, 2019 ATSEA Feb 08, 2019 Antigua Arrive 7:00am Depart 4:00pm Feb 09, 2019 Barbados Arrive 9:00am Depart 6:00pm Feb 10, 2019 St.Lucia Arrive 7:00am Depart4:00pm Feb 11, 2019 St.Kitts Arrive 9:00am Depart 6:00pm Feb 12, 2019 St.Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Arrive7:00am Depart 4:00pm Feb 13, 2019 ATSEA Feb 14, 2019 PrincessCays, Bahamas Arrive 9:00am Depart 4:00pm FRI Feb 15, 2019 Ft.Lauderdale, Florida 7am Thanks!!!:D:D
  21. Hello everyone, I will be leaving on Thursday for Ft. Lauderdale and a seven night cruise on Caribbean Princess to the Western Pacific. We sail Saturday the 16th. Just wanted to let everyone know that I have the new medallions and will be using it on board. I will test the wifi and report back. Anyone who has upcoming cruises on CB hopefully I will be able to let you know how things are working on the ship; with new high speed wifi; medallion apps where you can use the app to chat with your significant other; or totally ignore them; working with the touchscreen monitors and how well they work. I am really excited about this cruise; mainly because I love anything tech. The more the merrier. I go on a cruise every two to three years; so I am not as seasoned cruiser as most people on this forum; however, I do enjoy my time onboard and will report back how the ship is doing; how the staff is doing and what shows are onboard; but mostly how well the new medallion net and ocean medallion program is working. Stay tuned and I will be back with this thread on Saturday. BTW; my wife and I have the unlimited wifi package. I also run a family blog; where I will be uploading photos everyday for the family to share. See you all on Saturday. When I post on this thread; if you have any questions I will try my best to get back to you within 12 hrs.
  22. On the Lido deck, near the pool there is pizzeria, bar and a bbq-. Does the Caribbean have a bbq - grill for hamburger/hot dogs near the pool?
  23. Completed a 2 weeks Southern Caribbean cruise on Caribbean Princess which is an Ocean Medallion class ship. It was a technology I was looking forward to since I heard of it a few years ago. I was so glad that I had an opportunity to experience it on Caribbean Princess. Here is 2 cents worth of our experience and findings. 1 - Our terminal check-in was a breeze, it took only a few mins. Once we presented our Xpress Pass, we were presented with a small package which contains an Ocean Medallion token which is approx half size of a wallet with our name on it as well as the regular Sail Pass. What is good about it that it also comes with a carrying plastic pouch and strap to hang around our neck. 2 - Each stateroom is equipped with a small screen approx 7x4". Once we are close to the stateroom, it displays the guests photo and an animated door unlocked as it is shown by the green light above the door. *** Concern: We did a number of testing, we noticed,regardless which direction we approach the stateroom, the door lock was unlocked even when we are 8+ feet away from the stateroom door. Our concern (as other guests have the same view) that it is a potential security risk as someone who is closer to the door can enter the stateroom BEFORE us. You can image a number of scenarios of risks. *** I provided a suggestion while onboard to improve this by unlocking the door ONLY when the guest is just 2-3 feet from the door but NOT further away. 3 - You can basically use the Medallion token for anything from opening the door to pay bill, play game, casino and purchase at store. 4 - There is a feature allowing you to look for your partner by logging in any of the station and then click "My Partner", it shows location where is your partner. I tested it with my wife and it works but with delay if my partner is moving. 5 - Medallion.Net onboard works well only if it stays connected and properly disconnected (logout). Otherwise, you'll loose all your internet time. This happened to me as I lost connection and did not realized that it did not log me off. This results in lost of my remaining 100 minis. After reporting it to my Internet Manager, he restored my balance mins. *** I suggested to the Internet Manager that there should be a 2-3 minutes auto log off when detected in-activities. My overall experience is very positive of this Ocean Medallion deployment, I fully understanding that this is a teething time for this technology and I'll sure it'll thrive once iron out all the bugs and issue. Great job Ocean Medallion team
  24. Hi friends- I’m baaaaaaaaaaaccccckkkkk! I have sort of struggled with whether or not to “live from” blog this latest spin around the Caribbean- obviously- I have decided to do it- as evidenced by the fact that there is a thread here stating that I am Live From the Royal Princess. (Mostly, because for the life of me, I cannot figure out the “new” Cruise Critic- ugh- why did they have to change it??? Don’t they know- “If it ain’t broke- don’t fix it!) This is one of those last minute bookings... It is a week around the Western Caribbean on one of my favorite ships. We boarded in Fort Lauderdale and will port in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Belize City, and Cozumel. I have been to all of the ports except for Belize. So here is the background: During my last cruise- a Baltic with P2 (Princess 2)- AKA Fungirl Across America and Beyond (check out her Facebook page- she is currently live blogging from Poland!)- I revealed that my life had changed in so many ways. And then P2 let it slip that there is a someone special in my life- who we fondly referred to as PJ (are you confused yet?). Well, PJ is still very much in the picture- so allow me to formally introduce you to Jon- the dashing someone very, very special in my life... Back to how I ended up on a big boat in the middle of a huge puddle... It is cold in North Carolina. Winter is coming. Last year, I wintered in Key West with Jon- so I never felt the effects of the drop in temperature. I am feeling it this year, and so is Jon. Also, we have had an incredible amount of rain. So much rain. Ugh. I have been traveling with Jon while he is working- but we have never actually taken a real vacation together- just adding a few days here or there to extend a business trips. So, I am doing what I do (which means trolling the interwebs for good travel deals) and I run across this cruise. Which is cheap- as in less than $60 per person, per night cheap- of an interior cabin. What do I do? Of course, I pull the trigger! Can’t pass up a good deal like that! Let the planning commence!!! And BONUS!!!!! Jon has never been on a cruise before! He is a “cruise virgin”- so I know this going to be fun! There is nothing quite like watching someone experience their first cruise. It really is a joy to watch them light up the first time they see the Atrium or experience the MDR. I was so looking forward to introducing Jon to the Princess Sea Witch! As many of you know, I am pretty organized- so I set about figuring out the how we would get there, the where we would stay, and the what we would do in ports, This is fun stuff to me. I created my spreadsheet and got to work. Jon is really chill, so he just wants to do whatever I am doing- which works great. We decided to try a new airline experience for us. We (both) live in Charlotte now. Charlotte is a very large hub for American Airlines. We are used to flying in and out of CLT which has five terminals, multiple restaurants, shopping venues, moving sidewalks, clubs, mini spas, ect... But we were leaving over Thanksgiving weekend, and flights were exorbitant- so we checked out Allegiant Air out of Concord, NC. Super cheap- but they only have 4 or 5 flights from Concord to FLL a week... We booked a flight a that left at 4 pm on Thanksgiving Day. On Thanksgiving, we passed on the multiple invitations to dine with friends and we did not make our own turkey, instead we drove the 23 miles north of our home to the tiny Concord Regional Airport. (Just a small point of interest- this is not an unimportant airport... this is the airport that the POTUS flys in and out of on Air Force One). And by tiny- I mean minuscule. Microscopic. The Check In counter, Baggage Drop, Baggage Claim, bathrooms, and TSA Security Check are all within spitting distance. It is smaller than a high school gymnasium. Once we cleared security- we sat at one of the two gates. The plane came in right as scheduled. It seemed a little small. And there were a lot of people waiting for the flight...We boarded according to our number. And then the shock set in. These were the smallest seat I had ever seen on a plane. It was a 3-3 configuration. Jon was on the aisle, I was in the middle. And I drew the long straw with our window companion- a tiny woman with an iron clad bladder who knew how to maintain her space and was not chatting! Score! The flight is less than an hour and a half, so it really is worth the effort and adjustment to do that, especially since it cost us less than half of what it would cost for us to fly AA to FLL- even with all of the added baggage and seat selection fees. We were up and down before we had time to get through two games of gin. The FLL airport was pretty much what you would expect it to be on a holiday weekend- but our luggage arrived. We were staying, pre-cruise, for two nights in Fort Lauderdale. We had debated whether or not to take the time to go to Key West, to see friends, for a day, but ultimately decided against 8 hours of driving for a couple hours of socializing. We found a great hotel- a Marriott property in Fort Lauderdale, that was so stinking cheap- it was almost wrong. We booked two nights at the Marriott Fort Lauderdale NORTH. Because of Jon’s status with the company, we booked the cheapest room and were upgraded to the Concierge Level in a larger room on the 15th floor. Upon check in- they let us know that if we hurried, they had a turkey dinner in the lounge to celebrate Thanksgiving! All was not lost- we ended up having legitimately good turkey and dressing- all on the Marriott’s bill! What a great surprise! The hotel is not close to the beach- or the port- but it does have a lovely pool- and is close to shopping and restaurants. We had a rental, so we were able to drive to where we wanted to go. This worked perfectly for us- as we knew we would have so much beach on the cruise that we could forgo it in Florida. I am going to cut here- and will come back in a bit with our days in Fort Lauderdale and the first couple days of our cruise- bear with me! I am so glad to be back on board and back on the boards! Thanks for coming along- Tracie-Lynn 🙂
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