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Bwana Tom

Just Returned on the Caribbean Princess

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I apologize in advance for such a long posting, but I wantedto address a few of the concerns that fellow cruise critics have pointed out pertainingto the Caribbean Princess.

My wife and I as well as our grown daughter, her husband and10-year old daughter just returned from a back to back cruise departing Ft.Lauderdale, Florida on August 11th. This cruise covered the eastern and westernCaribbean on the Caribbean Princess (CB). My wife and I has a BE class B223balcony cabin located on the starboard side forward and our daughter’s familywere in A701 a balcony cabin on the starboard side aft. Coming from as far asMontana we always like to book longer cruises and the combined 14 nights workedwell for us.

The complaints that have been registered are wide and varied,including such things as: the ship looking dated, dirty and rusted, warn anddirty carpets, propulsion problem, unresponsive staff, poor quality food in thedining rooms, the buffet and specialty restaurants, too small of bathrooms,problems with the internet, debarking & embarking problems, the OceanMedallion not being present, poor quality shows and entertainment, poor airconditioning as well as many other areas of concern. I will attempt to provideour own prospective on those items in that same order.

Ship Looking Dated,Dirty & Rusted: I was in theU.S. Navy and know how the salt water and salty air can raise cane with metalmaking it necessary to continuously work on maintenance and upkeep. In myopinion the crew has done an excellent job maintaining this ship and in my opinionit was in excellent condition overall. While there were a few spots of rusthere and there they were so small you had to look hard to find them. And as faras the carpet condition goes we found it to be in great condition and alwayskept clean. We were just a bit disappointed that the hallway carpet was not colorcoded as it is on some Princess ships to distinguish between starboard and portside. By color coding the hallways it makes it much easier to move about on theship.

Propulsion Problem: So many people were concerned over thevibration issues and the speed of the ship. While there was a slightly mount ofvibration, particularly in the aft portion of the ship, if this issue hadn’tbeen discussed so thoroughly you likely wouldn’t even notice it. And while theskipper keeps the speed down to about 18 knots and under that didn’t pose aproblem either.

Unresponsive Staff: All in our party found the staff to be greatwith one exception. Our waiters Leandro and Jorge in the Coral Dining Room wereexcellent, very attentive to our concerns and quite funny. Our cabin stewardDino also very good. He was always around if we needed him, but neverinterrupted our daily routine. On a couple of occasions our toilet wouldn’tflush, but it was promptly repaired and without any disruption or problems. Theonly staff person we had an issue with was with the Future Cruise Consultant. BernadetteVaziri. Ironically, on our last cruise on the Coral Princess we had the sameperson and on both occasions we found her personality to not be conducive ofthis job. She was abrupt, outspoken and we though she didn’t treat thepassengers with the respect they desired. It always looked like she was moreconcerned about organizing her job and office area than dealing with the questionsthe passengers had. When talking to hershe always seemed to have her mind on something else. I would think Princess wouldwant to put someone in this important job that would be considerably morepleasant to work with.

Poor Quality Food inthe Dining Rooms, the Buffet and Specialty Restaurants: After reading all of the negative commentsabout the food on the CB we were pleasantly surprised. In all areas we found itto be very good to outright excellent. Of course there were some dishes weweren’t too fond of, but that is expected no matter where you are dining. Weonly ate once at one of the specialty restaurant, the Crown Grill. We found thefood to be excellent and above the quality typically found in the Coral DiningRoom, but we received this as a bonus to your booking and probably wouldn’t likelypay the $29/person for it. My wife, daughter and granddaughter thoroughlyenjoyed the afternoon tea and a great way of meeting new people.

Too Small ofBathrooms: The bathrooms were small,no question about it, but they were perfectly adequate and well designed. Iwould much prefer a small bathroom for a little larger living area and balconyand that is the way these rooms were designed. The showers were very small, butalso adequate. You must be careful that the bottom of the shower curtain staysinside the small lip at the base of the shower or you will get water all overthe floor. On one of our previous cruises the person next door to our cabinflooded our room as well as theirs because he didn’t do that. We found that bywetting down the bottom of the shower curtain it kept the curtain hangingstraight down and inside the shower stall.

Problems with the Internet: We are Platinum members and were suppose toreceive 120-minutes each of free internet access. The ship has done away withaccounting the internet usage in minutes and for that reason all Platinummembers were given full, unlimited access to the internet for the entirecruise. That was a tremendous bonus which we very much appreciated and tookfull advantage of. I asked if that would always be the case, but no one seemedto be able to confirm or deny that it would be. The internet was fast andreliable and a big improvement over the past service. In fact we found itquicker than our own home service.

Debarking & Embarking Problems: Both the debarking and embarking was smoothand quick. Sometimes on back to back cruises we were allowed to stay on theship in an assigned lounge while the ship was cleared by customs, but this timewe actually had to disembark prior to returning to our cabin. That wasn’t aproblem and it quite quick, but it is nicer when we can stay on the ship.

Ocean Medallion: It was earlier projected the ***** would befully implemented on the CB by this time, but it was not. As we embarked somepassengers were given a medallion at the check-in desk, but we did not receiveone. Later on we found that they were implementing this system deck by deck beginningfrom the top decks and working downward. About 5 nights before the secondcruise of the back to back ended our daughter’s family received theirs on theAloha deck. Apparently a lady knocked on their door gave them their OMs and discussedhow to use them. While my wife located one deck below on Baja did not get one. Butthe current advantage of the medallion isn’t much. It will unlock your cabindoor for you when you get close to it, but that is about all the advantage youcurrently get. I suppose however they are doing some tracking of the passenger’smovements for the ship’s own purposes though. There were monitor screensthroughout the ship, but while they would scan both the OMs and your cruisecards they weren’t really functional.

Poor Quality Showsand Entertainment: This is one areathat I would at least partially agree with some of the chronic complainers. Wedidn’t feel that the shows were as good as we have seen on previous cruises.Most of the entertainment consisted of dancers and/or singers. Of the 14-nightsthey had 2 comedians, which were entertaining, but there were no magicians,jugglers, or hypnotists. I personally enjoy the variety that those types ofshows provide and really missed them on this cruise.

Poor AirConditioning: We did not find thisto be the case. The weather and hot and very humid on our August cruise, butour cabin was always kept very comfortable when turned to the lowest setting. Ilike a cool bedroom and I found the temperature to be perfect.

Overall the cruise was excellent and I wouldn’t hesitate togo on it again. The beds were comfortable and outside of the few things Imentioned above we found it to be a great vacation with the family. Our balconyon Baja deck was covered as was all the decks above us on the starboard side.The decks below ours were not covered and probably became hot in mid day.

We usually cruise in November and December, but because ofour granddaughter being in school this was the only time she could go. That metconsiderably more children aboard, but they cause no problems at all. They allseemed well behaved and it just added to the fun.

I feel bad that so many complaints have been lodged againstthis ship and feel the vast majority of those issues are totally unjustified. Ifrequently commented to the people aboard that I felt you would have to reallywork hard to not enjoy the cruise or the ship.

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Thank you for posting this. I'll be on this ship in October and glad to see a more positive review. I still don't really understand ***** so don't care much about that, but hoping the Internet service will be good on my cruise as well.

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Glad you enjoyed the cruise. I was on her in May and enjoyed the ship. I would sail on her again.

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I agree with your comments. I was on her in July for a seven day. I was very concerned after reading the comments. I loved the cruise.

I only saw one show, Bravo, and it was all singing. I wished for more dancing

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Thanks for your review. We will be on board September 18 and are going with an open mind as I realize cruising is is how you perceive it for each ship. I have been on cruises with 435 people in our group and you got 400 different reviews.

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...I feel bad that so many complaints have been lodged against this ship and feel the vast majority of those issues are totally unjustified. I frequently commented to the people aboard that I felt you would have to really work hard to not enjoy the cruise or the ship.

Thanks for your review. It was good to see the problems people had in the past addressed.

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Nice post. Just off yesterday and also had a great cruise. I would love to still be on ship!!!!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We boarded yesterday and are on the Aloha deck. We did receive the Medallions and our cruise card. Also have free internet and it is fast. My wife's medallion will not unlock the door unless she holds it on the panel for 3-5 seconds. Mine will unlock the door when I am 2-3 feet from the door guess they are working on it.

 

So far, dinner in the Crown Grill last night was great. Breakfast in Sabatini's was wonderful and lunch in the Club Class dining room was excellent. Every staff member we have encountered has had a smile.

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Thanks for posting. Your review largely parallels ours on the same ship in April with the exception that we had the old internet. I think many of the complaints are overblown!

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thanks. I was on her in June and she was just fine. They had adjusted the times in the ports to make up for the propulsion issues so if you weren't aware of it ahead of time, you would not have known.

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Enjoyed your review. I was on the first week of August and thought the ship was wonderful.

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How exciting! We are on a 14 day in late November and now, after your review, are looking forward to it more than ever!!:D

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How exciting! We are on a 14 day in late November and now, after your review, are looking forward to it more than ever!!:D

 

If you have any questions about the ship or the cruise I will try to answer them. I have no doubt you will have a really great time.

 

Tom

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Thanks for your review. We are sailing on the CB Oct 18th. We were on her last Oct for the 14day Circle Caribbean cruise. Only complaint we had was the buffet food!

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Thanks for your review, but we don't agree in the area of food and food service. Having been on this ship 8 times (just off last month) we have seen a severe decline in food quality, offerings, buffet appearance, and service in the DR and buffet areas. There has been enough of a decline that we will not book this particular ship again. Glad you enjoyed your cruise. :)

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Thanks for the review. We were on the CB last in 2016 where we did two b2b cruises, one for 29 days and one for 14 days and found the CB to be in great shape despite the propulsion problem. We will be boarding the CB again in November for a 14 day cruise and looking forward to it. We have found the crew on all our Princess voyages to be friendly and helpful and do not expect any changes in November. If we have the ***** or not will not be a problem. I do understand the technology behind the ***** and what it will be able to do and will be interested if we get it. Food is always a subjective issue but I have found it always good and disregard food complaints. Finally on another thread a CB pax reported that he tested the internet speed and was getting 30+ Mb/s which is faster than a lot of home installed internet speeds. Hopefully Princess has installed blocks to large downloads like movies etc. In November I will test the internet speed as I often do.

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