Caribbean princess - trip report - oct 2017

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#1
N J
258 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
CARIBBEAN PRINCESS – TRIP REPORT – OCT. 2017


This was a two week tripstarting on Oct. 7th through Oct 21st. Our friends, Mike and Sandi, from Ontario, Canada, accompanied us on this trip. The itinerary for this trip was the best we’ve ever been on since we started taking cruise vacations in 2006. It was Princess Cays, (private island in Bahamas), St. Martin, St. Kitts, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao and finally Aruba. Before the hurricanes St. Martin was replaced with St. Thomasdue to some alleged speed issue with the ship. Due to the hurricanes, St. Thomas was replaced by San Juan and then San Juan was dropped. So we had an extra at sea day which they compensated all passengers witha $50 shipboard credit. For Mike andSandi every port was new except for Aruba. Martinique and Trinidad were new ports for Eva and me.



PRINCESS CAYS



The ship anchors and youtake tenders to the island. Essentially this was a beach day and the water waswarm enough to just walk right in. I’m guessing a temperature in the low eighties. Since I’ve had sunburn problems in the past I took it easy and stayed inthe shade when I wasn’t in the water.



ST. KITTS



We had found a resort called Ocean Terrace where we purchased day passes for $25 each. We were able to use their beautiful pool and included in the cost was lunch and a drink. We spent the day there and had the pool totally to ourselves the wholeday. This resort was not on the beach, it was up in the hills overlooking the main town Basse Tierre and the harbor where the ship was docked.



ANTIGUA



We booked a beach excursion through the ship and the cost was $34.95 each. This included transportation both ways. Lounge chairs were included and there was a restaurant and bar there. The water was aqua blue and it was warm, mid eighties. Total time at the beach was three hours. The bus dropped us off back in town at the King Casino. We went in and Eva played Caribbean Stud for about an hour with no luck.



MARTINIQUE



The ship docked at Fort deFrance, the capital, right in the center of town. Our snorkeling excursion wasn’t scheduled until after lunch so we spent the morning wandering around town. The town seemed safe and clean and was filled with shops and restaurants. We found the cathedral to be beautiful. Our snorkeling trip was to a place called the Bat Cave. This was a cave at water level right in the side of a cliff on the coast, after which we went to a beach for 45 minutes. The water here was emerald green not the aqua blue that you usually find in the Caribbean.



BARBADOS



This was supposed to be a great beach day at Rockley Beach but unfortunately this ended up being the only rainyday we had in the two week cruise.



TRINIDAD



This island does not have much in the way of tourist attractions. There was only one beach that we were aware of and that was a one hour drive from Port of Spain. It was also Sunday when we were there so nothing was open. All we did was walk around the city for a few hours. It seems to be very much business oriented and the island’s biggest source of income is oil. We could see drilling rigs from the port. In my opinion there is no reason to stop in Trinidad. A much better stop would be its’ sister island Tobago.



CURACAO



We were here all day and didn’t leave until 10 PM. At 9 AM we went to the Seaquarium Beach. It was a $3 admission per person and then $3.50 per person for a lounger. The beach was great, water was aqua blue and you could see your feet in the water when the water was up to your neck. The temperature had to be mid eighties; you walked right in with no hesitation. We left the beach at 2 PM and wandered around town for a while before walking across the pontoon bridge on our way back to the ship. In the evening after dinner we went back into town and went to the Renaissance Hotel and Casino. I was up $50 at blackjack; Eva played Caribbean Stud and won $100. All in all this was a great day.



ARUBA



Eagle beach is one of the best in the Caribbean, so that’s where we went. To be able to get loungers and shade we went to Amsterdam Manor, a resort at the beach, and paid $15 each for the loungers for the day. The water was exceptional with aqua blue color, clear and warm. We were here from 9 AM until 2 PM.The winds were blowing strong all day so it never felt hot. When we went back to town Eva and I went to the Crystal casino where Eva has won in the past. No luck this time at blackjack or Caribbean stud. The casino was filled with Asian crewmembers since there were 5 ships docked intown that day.



THE SHIP



The ship was dry-docked inMarch and they redid the buffet area making a few new restaurants such as a BBQ restaurant, cost $12, and another seafood restaurant called Steamers. They updated the offerings at the grille on deck 15 such as cheese or chili fries and a special “Enzio” burger at a $5 cost plus tacos.



Our stateroom was L104 which is an ocean view on deck 15 right over the bridge and there was a huge observation deck right outside our window. This stateroom is about 15 to 20 sq. ft. more than the average oceanview. We consider this location to be great because the pools and the buffet area are on this deck. The front elevators are never crowded and were easy to get without a long wait. The casino was right below us on deck 7 when we got off the elevator and the theatre was right in front of the elevators.



Time for a funny story. Eva and I both get casino discounts from Princess.To get discounts for Mike and Sandi, I booked one room for Mike and myself and Eva booked another room for her and Sandi. When we were boarding we got this corrected at the terminal. When we met our stateroom attendant later in the afternoon he was laughing telling us that he and his buddies were really puzzled because they had Mike and myself listed for the room with a wedding anniversary and a queen bed, not two twin beds. So they thought Mike and I was a married gay couple.



We had dinner on the 9th at the Crown Grill Steakhouse for Sandi’s birthday. The food was excellent. Three nights we ate at the buffet for dinner because we didn’t get back to the ship until almost before sailing and didn’t have time to get ready for our 5:45 dinner seating. The main restaurant also seems to have been redecorated. Our table for four was located right next to a window on the starboard side of the ship. The dinners were fine with the only issue for me being that it took one hour and forty five minutes to complete. I’m not a foodie so the dinners are always fine to me.



Every at sea day Eva and I were at the pool where the movie screen was by 8 AM and we saved lounge chairs for Mike and Sandi. The next to last day on the cruise this crusty old (80+) bastard started to give my wife grief over saving the loungers. Everybody does this. Loungers are saved from 8 in the morning with people not showing up until 11 or 12. I’m guessing that this crusty old bastard,who was from England, was either a social justice warrior or a 7 per center. A 7 per center is one of the 7% of people on a cruise ship who are a couple of bricks short of a full load according to the comedian who performed on the ship.



CASINO



The craps table was 12 feet long with a red micro fiber layout. The bounce was perfectly neutral. We were greatly surprised when we saw that they had added the all tall all small bet,however the payouts were 30:1 for the tall and small and 150:1 for the all.



I’ve been battling with Carnival Corp. for almost two years now over their dice, particularly the excessive use of the dice during the month. I was on this ship back in March for two weeks and I was told before departure that I would see a different serial number every night. I kept track and there was a different number every night. On this cruise it looks like they have gone back to their old habits. For the first week there was a different serial number every night. Starting on night #8 I saw repeating serial numbers and this continued for the rest of the cruise. I seriously think that since our cruise didn’t start until the 7th that these same dice were used during the first week of the month. Therefore, in week #2 of this cruise the dice were on their third usage. I was told by the VicePresident of Carnival Corp. (parent co. for Princess) that their new dice policy would ensure that a set of dice would not be used more than 2 days.



The casino manager, Dorel,sat at box at the craps table the first night for a short while and was a total jerk giving everyone grief over hitting the wall. Give the players some slack. It was the first night and everybody had to adjust to the table characteristics. For two weeks I did not see him interact with any of the passengers. Alex, the assistant manager, was great; he talked to the passengers and even bought drinks for the players a few times.



On at sea days the craps table opened at 9 PM and on days on port it opened at 8PM. I was there every night right as it opened and in the second week I had the table to myself for at least a half hour. Mike and Eva had stopped playing after week #1 due to too many losses.



Here are the dice throwingresults:



PLAYER #THROWS # CO WINS # POINTS MADE



DAY #1 10/7 SERIAL# 622



EVA 7

BOB 3 1

MIKE 60 4 7

EVA 12 1

BOB 8 2 1

MIKE 9 2

BOB 9 1 2

MIKE 2





DAY #2 10/8 SERIAL# 608



BOB 35 1 6

MIKE 10 1

EVA 6 1

BOB 14

MIKE 14 3



DAY #3 10/9 SERIAL# 621



BOB 12 2 2

MIKE 5

EVA 2

BOB 7

MIKE 5

BOB 25 2 5

MIKE 2

BOB 3

MIKE 18 1 2



DAY #4 10/10 SERIAL# ?



MIKE 19 1 2

MIKE 6

MIKE 5 1

EVA 4 1

BOB 12 2

EVA 10 1 1

BOB 14 1 1



DAY #5 10/11 SERIAL# 611



BOB 6

MIKE 4

EVA 5 1

BOB 12 1 2

MIKE 9 1

EVA 6 1

BOB 4

MIKE 4

EVA 3 1

BOB 5

BOB 5 2



DAY #6 10/12 SERIAL# 614



BOB 7

MIKE 2

EVA 12 2 2

BOB 15 2

MIKE 14 2

BOB 7 1 1

BOB 11 1

BOB 23 4 2



DAY #7 10/13 SERIAL# 605



MIKE 4 1

EVA 8 1 1

BOB 3 1

MIKE 8

BOB 8



DAY #8 10/14 SERIAL# 622 REPEAT FROM DAY #1



BOB 11

BOB 11 1

BOB 9 1

BOB 17 1

BOB 5 1



DAY #9 10/15 SERIAL# 608 REPEAT FROM DAY #2



BOB 17 5 1

BOB 7 1

BOB 5

BOB 6

BOB 8 1



DAY #11 10/17 SERIAL# 618



BOB 25

MIKE 10 1

BOB 4

MIKE 5

BOB 7

MIKE 14 2 1

BOB 12 1 1

MIKE 11 2 1



DAY #12 10/18 SERIAL# 611 REPEAT FROM DAY #5



BOB 9 1 1

BOB 17 3 1

BOB 6 1



DAY #13 10/19 SERIAL# 614 REPEAT FROM DAY #6



BOB 14 2 3

BOB 4 1

BOB 18 3

BOB 10 1





DAY #14 10/20 SERIAL# 605 REPEAT FROM DAY # 7



BOB 21 2 3

BOB 21 2 2

BOB 6 1



Eva shot only 10 hands and made 6 points and 7 come out wins. Average roll length = 6.8

Mike shot 23 hands and made 20 points and 15 come out wins. Average roll length = 10.43

Bob shot 47 hands and made 47 points and 40 come out wins. Average roll length = 11.02



We were all totally in shock when Mike’s first hand on the first night was a 60 throw monster. This more than doubled the best he had ever done before. Well we expected more of the same but it never happened. His best hand after that was 19 throws. I was disappointed in my performance due to a lack of consistency. I was all over theplace with the lengths of my hands. I attribute this to a lack of play and practice for the whole year to date and also the dice condition I mentioned above. I didn’t see one new set of dice the whole two weeks. Despite all of this my average roll length of 11.02 is far above the average of all craps players which is approximately 8.25 throws per hand. My 1 point per hand average also far exceeded the average craps’ players’ .4 points per hand.



With all my inconsistencies my betting was inhibited and I ended up the cruise being down somewhere around $150. Mike and Eva were also both down at craps around the $100 mark but Mike and Sandi found a good slot machine where they were getting payoffs of $100 plus probably 4 or 5 times during the course of the cruise.

Between the itinerary, being with our friends and being able to play craps every day, I rate this cruise as one of the best I’ve ever been on.

Dicenator
#2
South Carolina
29,052 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Thanks for reporting back with so much helpful information!
Glad it was a WONDERFUL cruise for you.
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Happy Sailing! OCruisers (LuLu & Roundman)
80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)
#3
12 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Thanks for the trip report! Did you happen to note what other table games they had onboard? I'm specifically interested in knowing if they had Ultimate Texas Hold'em or Mississippi Stud... I tried calling Princess but they wouldn't tell me!
#4
New York City
3,781 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
HHHHHEEEEELLLLLLLLLLOOOOO Dicenator: Sounds like you had a good time on your trip. We had our anniversary in October and went to New England/Canada about the same time you started your trip. We were on the Regal Princess. My wife and I had a pretty good time. I wish to thank you for the information on the craps table. Decided before we left how to play at that table. Did fairly well. Met some nice folks at the craps table.
#5
Cape Girardeau, MO
4,445 Posts
Joined May 2005
I was on the same sailing, Caribbean Princess 10/7. Booked on a comeback offer for free balcony. I'm a slot player but have read your reports over the past few years. I did hear lots of cheers and whoops coming from the craps table occasionally.

From a slot player standpoint, was not pleased with the casino - the games, the stingy payouts, the management, lack of comp'd drinks, lack of any sort of drawings or raffles (fireball or hot seat like on Carnival). Both Doral and the casino host Aowe were on the Crown TA in April that I was on. Aowe was nice enough and remembered me. I left a lot of money behind and did get a come back offer but much more limited than the last and doubt I'll use it.

Think in future I'll limit my gaming on Princess.
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~Sharon
Up Next: Carnival Splendor, Panama Canal, Jan. 2018....Grand Princess, Hawaii, Oct. 2018.



Cruise History:
May 2005 ~ Disney Wonder ...April 2006 ~ Carnival Victory ...April & December (NYE) 2007 ~ Caribbean Princess ...March 2008 ~ Grand Princess ...December (NYE) 2008 ~ Crown Princess ...November 2009 ~ Grand Princess Egypt & the Aegean ...March 2011 ~ Caribbean Princess Southern Caribbean ...November 2012 ~ Ruby Princess Eastern Caribbean ...May 2013 ~ Carnival Conquest Western Caribbean ...October 2013 ~ Halloween! Carnival Liberty Eastern Caribbean...April 2014 ~ Carnival Dream Western Caribbean...November 2014 ~Carnival Liberty Eastern Caribbean...Carnival Magic, March & November 2015, Exotic Western Caribbean......Carnival Dream, August 2016...Grand Princess to Hawaii, October 2016...Carnival Dream, January 2017...Crown Princess Transatlantic FLL to Southampton, April 2017...August 2017 - Carnival Dream B2b....October 2017 - Caribbean Princess 14 night.
#8
Colorado
275 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Thanks for the report. Did you bet on the bonus craps at all? Did you like it? And did anyone Make them all?