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Just off Caribbean Princess - any questions?

Discussion in 'Princess Cruises' started by lecach, May 13, 2007.

  1. lecach

    lecach Guest

    We were in cabin E225 - an outside cabin on Emerald deck. We were on the 5/6/07 Eastern sailing.

    We had a great time. It was so hard at the airport today seeing people waiting for their transfer in the same spot we had been in the week before. And to think someone else is sleeping in OUR bed.

    I have to say that Princess really does embarkation and debarkation well. Even with the Norovirus scare from the previous sailing and the long lines we were on board an hour after the bus dropped us off. And then today everything was so organized - we were at the airport by 9:00 a.m.

    Really the only complaints I have are the way they charge for so much now - like ice cream. And I miss the free lemonade that Royal and Carnival had. The spa was also much more expensive than on other cruises we've been on. But really - those are the only negatives.

    We loved anytime dining. We never even made it to a formal night. The menus didn't excite us so we just did the buffet. We took the dressy clothes but decided what to do at the last minute. We did Sterling steak house - it was great. We also tried Sabatini's. It was good but a bit too adventurous for my husband.

    The casino was much better than on our other cruises. We liked all the shows and we liked the variety of pools with shade or sun.

    We'd definately cruise Princess again - although it'll probably be a few years before we cruise. I don't think I can leave my son for an entire week again - once he's old enough for the kids programs we'll take him with us. This year - at 2.5 - he would have been too young.

    If anyone has questions just ask.
     
  2. JackS

    JackS Guest

    I have a couple of questions but first some comments.

    Ice cream is still free at dinner and you can go up to the lido buffett at "tea time" between 3:30 and 4:30 and get ice cream and various toppings free.

    The spa treatments are expensive everywhere. Never use them or go there so I consider the spa and gym areas of all ships a complete waste of space, but they make money so they are here to stay.

    Now on to the questions.
    1. Who is the current Captain and CD?
    2. What time did you anytime dine and how were the lines?
    3. Do they have "Sterling under the Stars" on the Caribbean, and if so what night(s)?
    Thats all for now. Thanks for your help.
     
  3. lecach

    lecach Guest

    Maybe I should have been more specific to say that the ice cream at the ice cream parlor had a charge. My husband tried the ice cream in the dining room and said it was not nearly as good.

    I've sailed on Royal and Carnival and the spa prices were a LOT less in my opinion.

    We dined at various times - 5:45, 6:30, 7:30, etc. Never had a wait. On Saturday night (last night) we checked the Island first and they had a wait for a 2 person table. So we walked to the Palm and were seated right away.

    They did not have Sterling under the Stars.

    Can't remember the Captains name or the CD. We never pay attention to those things. For some reason I do remember that the asst. CD is called Hollywood.
     
  4. Whimsy

    Whimsy Guest

    Guess a name like Hollywood would stick in your mind!

    ARe they still doing the horseraces? We went to them last year and thought they were fun the way they dressed the horses up and wrote poems. We are thinking of bidding on one this time.

    I know how you feel about someone else being in "your" room. I really hated getting off that ship last year. A cruise is like a bit of heaven.

    What did you have at Sterlings? We dined at Sabitini's last time, I think we will try Sterling's this time.

    What did you do at the ports?

    Glad you had a nice trip. I am really looking forward to our next trip!
     
  5. lecach

    lecach Guest

    They still do the horseraces. We stayed away from the main pool because it was so crowded so I didn't see the races.

    We had the 10 oz filet and it was really good. They have an 8 oz on the menu but really - its all one price. Of course most people would order the 10 oz.

    St. Maarten we took a taxi to Orient Beach. For $12 you can rent two chairs with an umbrella and get two drinks. We loved it.

    St. Thomas I went shopping, DH was recovering from sunburn.
     
  6. serene56

    serene56 Guest

    We sailed the CB in February and the horse racing was done in the Club Fusion lounge-on all sea days.
    there was no auction of the horses. Each bet cost 3.00.
     
  7. beargirl0608

    beargirl0608 Guest

    I just returned from the same cruise on Sunday, May 13th. We were on the Riviera Deck cabin R311 with a balcony view.

    Unfortunately my experience on the Princess was disappointing and have to disagree with some of the posted comments. This was my second cruise as my first one was on Carnival's Miracle (Western Caribbean) last April. The Miracle was great! Great food, immaculate boat, extremely friendly staff that were always willing to please you. I couldn't say one bad thing about the boat. It was absolutely beautiful and felt that since we booked on Princess, I thought we were upgrading when choosing this ship.

    Princess - I was VERY disappointed by the food quality. The variety was lacking as well. The buffets were not easy to get through the lines due to poor set up. There was no order what so ever. The service staff in the buffet were not very friendly/personable. They acted if we were inconveniencing them and didn't want to be bothered. It by far was the worst food ever. The pizza was horrible. I basically lived on fresh fruit and salads the entire week.

    This ship, as I can't compare them to any other ship in their fleet, was definitely catered to the elderly. My boyfriend and I are in our late 30's and not the "lets get drunk and act stupid" type of people. We look to get away on our vacation and relax to remove ourselves from the normal hectic day to day life. The sold out ship of 3200 passengers was an average age of 60. If you are looking for a younger age group of late 20's to mid 40's, THIS IS NOT THE BOAT FOR YOU! I have never seen so many Hoverarounds, wheelchairs and walkers at one time.

    The disembarkment was complete chaos and very disorganized. We were signed up for the early walk off as we had a 10:30 flight. When you signed up you were given a number. The deck you were to meet on was packed with people, luggage and no staff what so ever to ensure it was a smooth process.

    The boat also seemed run down. It was dirty and wasn't kept up very well. However, there were positive experiences. Liked their pool options and lounge chairs. It was very relaxing to either enjoy the sun or take a nap in the shade. Another great option was the "Movie under the Stars". It was great to watch movies all day with the convenience of laying in the sun and just relaxing. Loved the casino and found the staff to be very personable even though I donated my money to them.

    All in all, found this cruise to be a "fair" rating but not "good". Had this been my first cruise, I would opt not to go on one again. But because I had a great experience on the Miracle, will definitely cruise again but on a different line. Princess was definitely not worth the extra money for what I considered as an "upgrade" from Carnival.

    I know we all have our opinions and all differ, but when researching you need to find out the average age. It makes a huge difference!! No disrespect to the elderly, but if your not retired you will be very disappointed.
     
  8. lecach

    lecach Guest

    Really? I didn't see that many old people. Guess it just depends on what you do and where you go on the ship. Sure - I sold old people but only a few in wheelchairs or scooters. I met mostly people in our age range (mid to late 30's).

    I didn't notice anything run down or dirty. Maybe some carpet needed to be replaced but that's all we saw.

    For us disembarkment was a dream. We had the red 2 group since we had an early flight. When they called us we got in line and were out and in a cab within 30 minutes. Guess that depends on when you're called and how many people are in your group.

    Like you said - everyone has a different experience and a different opinion. On our cruise last year (Carnival Triumph) we hated it and many other people wrote glowing reviews.
     
  9. Whimsy

    Whimsy Guest

    [quote serene56]We sailed the CB in February and the horse racing was done in the Club Fusion lounge-on all sea days.
    there was no auction of the horses. Each bet cost 3.00.[/quote]

    They did the horseraces in Club Fusion on our cruise also. The first sea day they auctioned off wooden horses. 6 passengers were able to obtain the horses and then they decorate the horses, wrote a story or a poem about the horse and raced it in the last race on the last full day of the cruise. There were a couple of regular races before the 'final feature" with the decorated horses. I wish I would of gotten pictures as it was really amusing. I was selected to be a judge in the final race.
     
  10. nta002

    nta002 Guest

    Thanks for the info!

    Do they have fruit punch free at least?
    I have a 6 yrs old...
     
  11. serene56

    serene56 Guest

    no fruit punch. iced tea was it for us. We did take along single serving packs of the crystal light for a differnt drink for the week.
     
  12. JackS

    JackS Guest

    [quote beargirl0608]I just returned from the same cruise on Sunday, May 13th. We were on the Riviera Deck cabin R311 with a balcony view.

    Unfortunately my experience on the Princess was disappointing and have to disagree with some of the posted comments. This was my second cruise as my first one was on Carnival's Miracle (Western Caribbean) last April. The Miracle was great! Great food, immaculate boat, extremely friendly staff that were always willing to please you. I couldn't say one bad thing about the boat. It was absolutely beautiful and felt that since we booked on Princess, I thought we were upgrading when choosing this ship.

    Princess - I was VERY disappointed by the food quality. The variety was lacking as well. The buffets were not easy to get through the lines due to poor set up. There was no order what so ever. The service staff in the buffet were not very friendly/personable. They acted if we were inconveniencing them and didn't want to be bothered. It by far was the worst food ever. The pizza was horrible. I basically lived on fresh fruit and salads the entire week.

    This ship, as I can't compare them to any other ship in their fleet, was definitely catered to the elderly. My boyfriend and I are in our late 30's and not the "lets get drunk and act stupid" type of people. We look to get away on our vacation and relax to remove ourselves from the normal hectic day to day life. The sold out ship of 3200 passengers was an average age of 60. If you are looking for a younger age group of late 20's to mid 40's, THIS IS NOT THE BOAT FOR YOU! I have never seen so many Hoverarounds, wheelchairs and walkers at one time.

    The disembarkment was complete chaos and very disorganized. We were signed up for the early walk off as we had a 10:30 flight. When you signed up you were given a number. The deck you were to meet on was packed with people, luggage and no staff what so ever to ensure it was a smooth process.

    The boat also seemed run down. It was dirty and wasn't kept up very well. However, there were positive experiences. Liked their pool options and lounge chairs. It was very relaxing to either enjoy the sun or take a nap in the shade. Another great option was the "Movie under the Stars". It was great to watch movies all day with the convenience of laying in the sun and just relaxing. Loved the casino and found the staff to be very personable even though I donated my money to them.

    All in all, found this cruise to be a "fair" rating but not "good". Had this been my first cruise, I would opt not to go on one again. But because I had a great experience on the Miracle, will definitely cruise again but on a different line. Princess was definitely not worth the extra money for what I considered as an "upgrade" from Carnival.

    I know we all have our opinions and all differ, but when researching you need to find out the average age. It makes a huge difference!! No disrespect to the elderly, but if your not retired you will be very disappointed.[/quote]

    I have taken over 12 Princess cruises and 7 Carnival cruises so I have plenty to compare with. I have yet to sit down in any Princess dining venue and be dissapointed with the quality of the food or service. The buffett is laid out that way to expidite service. Most cruise lines have a single line with everything on it so it takes longer to get what you want. Princess breaks up the service into islands for faster service. If I do not want salad I simply skip the salad island. I am supprised you did not notice this on the first day.

    The pizza on Princess is so good I always have lunch there three or more time a cruise. Perhaps you prefer Carnivals method of grab a slice off the tray and go over the Princess way of sitting down and ordering just what you want and having it delivered hot to your table.

    I admit that Princess, being a bit more upscale, does have an older passenger base but that is because they have the time and money to cruise Princess.

    I seriously doubt you found the ship dirty and run down, but if you did then did you report this?

    I am sorry if you had a bad experience that tainted your whole cruise. We all have them but I have never had one that ruined my whole cruise.
     
  13. lecach

    lecach Guest

    Even though we had a great trip I have to say that the buffets were laid out poorly. Even though there are islands they are in a row and everyone goes by each one so its hard to just jump in and get something - you have to get in the back of the line. Plus there isn't much space in the buffet area so it gets really crowded. Then at Cafe Caribe there are two entrances and that means that you're fighting against the tide if you go in the less popular entrance.

    For the pizza you just had to wait in line and they'd give you a slice. They didn't bring it to your table. And it was pretty bad. But there were so many choices on the ship it was no big deal.
     
  14. nta002

    nta002 Guest

    Hi,

    Again, thanks for all your info I will definetely keep it in mind next month. I told my husband about the ice cream (have to buy it) and he was somewhat disapointed.

    I will follow your advise and bring Crystal Light as well as juices for my son. I guess the soda card will also come in handy.
     
  15. lecach

    lecach Guest

    We just got one soda card and shared it. I only wanted a few so there was no point in two cards. It's actually a sticker they put on your room card. Tip: ask for a large or they'll give you a small.
     
  16. nta002

    nta002 Guest

    Great!

    Thanks!
     
  17. lecach

    lecach Guest

    Another thing - the ice cream is really good and not that expensive. My favorite was the hazelnut (tasted like coffee). They make it "homemade" and while they always have chocolate, vanilla, strawberry they also have 2 flavors of the day. I got a large waffle cone with the hazelnut and heath bar sprinkles and I think it was $1.70. Compared to home that's not bad.

    They do have an ice cream card but we didn't think it was a good deal.
     
  18. Whimsy

    Whimsy Guest

    We had ice cream every night in the dining room, no charge. Princess sure makes good homemade ice cream!

    I have also been told they have it in the afternoon at one of the buffets but we never went looking for it.
     
  19. kjc

    kjc Guest

    I was just reading this post and wanted to put my 2 cents in. I'm 34 and husband just turned 37. We took our 1st cruise on Sapphire (inaugural season) to Alaska inside passage in Aug '04. On that cruise, I noticed more older people, but I did see our age group as well, though not as many. Our second cruise was Bahamas/Grand Turk on the Star in Nov '06. We met many couples our age and enjoyed their company, but also the 60 yr old crowd. On both cruises, we never went to the nightclub to drink and dance. We did shows, Princess PopStar, late dinners, hot tub, etc. I found the people older than us wonderful to chat with and share time with. I never saw many wheelchairs/scooters. One night after dinner, we were waiting at the elevator and a couple in their 60's or older, was waiting as well. I thought they were snuggling, when in fact, the woman was passing out/lightheaded, and the man was trying to hold her up. DH Rob saw this and went to help, got a chair, got the staff to call someone. The man was so worried about his wife (I think food allergy??) - he was the sweetest guy. Just wanted to do whatever she wanted (she didn't want to go to the med. facility but up to her room). We saw them the next day - wife was getting around in a wheelchair.
    So I guess my point is, I love the "older" crowd. They are wise, fun and not worried about petty things. We learn so much from talking with people on cruises and I look forward to meeting people of all ages. I guess it just depends on what you may be expecting. We expected older people on Alaska cruise per our TA's comments.
    Also, we have always found the staff exceptionally nice, expecially when you ask them about them, their experiences and where they are from.
    We also had no problems with cleanliness on the ship. Rob said their was a slight odor on the Star, which was mentioned on the boards earlier in the year.
    Food was good - Rob is a big, big eater and he liked it. I didn't think the buffet was as good on the Star as the Sapphire, but I always found something I liked. And I personally love the Margherita pizza!
    That's all. I haven't been on any other cruise lines, so I don't have anything to judge against, but it's good to hear others' perspectives!
    Kim
     
  20. beargirl0608

    beargirl0608 Guest

    I truly am glad that others enjoyed themselves on Princess. Unfortunately,it just wasn't for us or it was the time of year that we went.

    When I jumped on this message board to find out more about the Caribbean Princess I received nothing but great feedback. However, it was my fault that I didn't reach out and ask about the average age. I went off of my first cruise last year and went the first week of April. Right after the kids were back in school from spring break and before the "snowbirds" returned home from the winter. I am not saying that everyone has had my experience but this is what I experienced the week of May 6 - 13th.

    After spending much time in the casino each evening, we got to know the dealers and started asking several questions. They indicated that this was typically the age group, however, it's a bit younger during spring break time. As several have worked both Carnival and Princess lines (since Carnival owns the Princess line) they indicated if your younger than 50 yrs to go on the larger ships with Carnival. They catered to the "younger" crowd. I am not the huge partying type but it truly was the "senior" of love boat cruises.

    Regarding the question about drinks, they only offered water (not bottled), tea and coffee for free. If you wanted any soda, you had to purchase the soda card. It was 27.95 plus 15% gratuity and it averaged 3.95 a day with unlimited soda. Not bad at all for those that don't drink alcohol. But glad I brought my handy "crystal" lite individual serving packets along. I ended up purchasing the large bottled water from our room each day and spent 3.95 for water. Not a coffee or tea drinker and had my fill of soda. Three of these packets in the large bottled water and your good to go! If you don't drink it all, you can keep it in your refrigerator in your room.

    For the buffet, it is true that they have islands. But the islands are so close together and everyone just does what they want. After the second day, I really got sick of everyone just cutting in, being rude and it just didn't have any order what so ever. The staff was extremely annoyed that they had to serve us only because this ship had an outbreak of the "virus" that affected 400 people the week prior to ours. So they had to serve us to ensure the virus didn't spread. By Thursday, we were okay to serve ourselves.

    All I look for in my vacation is to relax, enjoy the food (since it's paid for) and enjoy the entertainment. If I wanted rude service, rude people, and terrible food, I could just stay at home and not spend the money. For the pizza, I am from Chicago and known for our pizza. When I say that"Dominos" is much better, that tells you how bad it was. For Jack S, you were lucky on your cruise. No one served us or tried to serve us any pizza. If you wanted pizza, you stood in line for it. For the ice cream, yes you do have to pay for it. That was a nice "luxury" on Carnival as they had soft serve machines and could have it anytime for free.

    I truly hope that the one's going on this ship in the very near future have a better experience than we did. Like I mentioned before, everyone has their opinions and all have different ideas of what a "perfect" cruise is. I just had my Carnival experience to compare and it just didn't come close to the experience on the Miracle. Obviously there are satisfied guests or they wouldn't still be in business. I just know for my next cruise if I choose to go on a different line, to make sure I ask the right questions before purchasing.

    For those of you going in the upcoming months, please provide feedback regarding your experience. I would like to hear everyone's comments to see if you enjoyed yourselves or by chance had an "off" week like us.

    Happy Cruising!!
     

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