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Sail Date: January 2019
I chose cruise because it was 14 nights. Next time would chose a back to back 14 nights because cruisers are younger. Very smooth and Easy embarkation and disembarkation. Service and cabin were great. I paid extra to be on the pool ... Read More
I chose cruise because it was 14 nights. Next time would chose a back to back 14 nights because cruisers are younger. Very smooth and Easy embarkation and disembarkation. Service and cabin were great. I paid extra to be on the pool deck which was one below the fitness center. Tread Mills did not open till 8 so you could not go to early shore excursions or had to not go to fitness room early. Other people were complaining there were no drink servers on pool deck. They wanted us to get drinks with the medallion. sometimes it did not work and you had to get a new one. Food was so so. My husband lost 3 lbs. I could not cut the steak 2 nights. Servers were good sometimes. we had dine around and I had to ask a few times for ice tea. Ship dancers were PERFECT however we missed the first show because they had a PRINTED SIGN (could not believe) which meant they new they had a problem, saying SHOW IS FILLED. After that we had to sit 30 to 45 minutes in show lounge to make sure we had a seat. After a few days, and I guess everyone else were complaining, they put shows on the outside big scream. We went to one outdoor evening movie and it was filled so we left and never tried again. The new medallions they had were suppose to help you find your room mate. Ours did not work when we needed it. Had to get a new one. By using the medallion, it showed you were all things were on the ship and all activities on your phone. Therefore you had to use your phone. I found one on a bus and gave to the driver. They told me later I should have brought it to the ship. They never said anything before to anyone. They need to make a devise to use (charge and refund when it is returned) They don't even have to tell you they included the price. It is better then having to use your phone and losing it. The devise should also let you find other guests on the ship. I would never go on this ship again unless they change their show lounge. Had 3000 guests and only 1600 seats TOTAL! Shame on Princess especially when one reason to take a cruise is for the evening shows. The shows around the ship were not very good, so if you missed a sow lounge show too bad! They need to get entertainment from Americans got talent or american idle around the ship. We have taken 35 cruises and sometimes we had a hard decision to make as to what show to see. Not on this ship! Some of our board credit, which they were holding for 9 months was refundable. We still have not had it put back on our credit card a month later. We were traveling with a man who just lost his wife. He had his own room. It was great entertainment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We left the cold north for the warm Caribbean. The cruise visited 8 ports, most of which we had visited before. Embarkation, the cruise and disembarkation all went smoothly and professionally. Princess did it’s usual good job. Our ... Read More
We left the cold north for the warm Caribbean. The cruise visited 8 ports, most of which we had visited before. Embarkation, the cruise and disembarkation all went smoothly and professionally. Princess did it’s usual good job. Our ship, the Caribbean Princess, is a large older ship. We had heard it had been updated. That certainly was true in some aspects. The primary upgrade were the electronics needed to provide Medallion Service. We got our Medallions at check-in. They opened our cabin doors as we approached, let us pay for items and checked us in and off the ship. The medallions worked reasonably well for the basics, but some of the other features were either not functional yet or didn’t work well. It became obvious that the crew could keep close watch over us with the Medallions. You will need to decide if this is positive or negative. Other updates on the ship included the buffet area, and the stage area of the Theater especially the lighting and technology. In other areas the Caribbean Princess is showing her age. The crew is trying to keep the ship clean and fresh, but rust wins at times. The Piazza is not updated. Our cabin was on the Riviera Deck. We had close access to the buffet and to the back, adult only pool. The cabin was smaller than many we have had and the balcony was quite small. The cabin was quiet, but we did get some vibrations when the engines were working hard. Our dining experience was good, but not exceptional. We prefer traditional dining for our evening meal. The service was excellent, but it seemed the choices were somewhat limited. We had the same menu items several times during the cruise. Most of the food was well prepared, but sometimes the menu did not give enough detail. Most of our other meals were in the buffet. Sometimes the dishes used to many strange seasonings. Simple food sometimes works. The system to get omlets worked well, but the omlets were too greasy and not fluffy. Service in the buffet was friendly and efficient. Waiters brought drinks in a timely manner. Overall the entertainment in the Princess Theater was good. The production shows were great and we enjoyed most of the entertainers. A major problem was that you could not get seats unless you arrived 30-45 minutes early. The lighting and staging was spectacular The ports we visited were nice. We enjoyed two new ports, Martinique and Trinidad. Most of the ports are very popular and crowded. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I reviewed the entertainment and used a travel agent to insure the best room placement. I also read the reviews. Everything was excellent. From the cruise director to our cabin steward everyone was exceptional. Food was great ... Read More
I reviewed the entertainment and used a travel agent to insure the best room placement. I also read the reviews. Everything was excellent. From the cruise director to our cabin steward everyone was exceptional. Food was great waiters and assistants flawless. Absolutely nothing to complain about. The entertainment was above wonderful. Shore excursions was lovely. Got to see a sea turtle. Saw monkeys. Red ibis and snake sleeping in a tree on a boat ride through the mangroves. It was our 50th anniversary cruise and the Cruise director sent a card to our room with a gift card to the spa and a shop. We received a lovely cake and singing Happy Anniversary. He also call our room to wish us a Happy Anniversary and make sure everything was going ok. We meet a great guy named George he was the R&B supervisor still not sure what that means but we saw him often he was a delight, always stopped and chatted with us someone I will truly never forget. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Just went on Circle Caribbean Cruise on the Caribbean Princess. Embarkation went smoothly and quickly thanks to the Medallion. Our balcony cabin was small but comfortable. The food in the main dining room was excellent as was the ... Read More
Just went on Circle Caribbean Cruise on the Caribbean Princess. Embarkation went smoothly and quickly thanks to the Medallion. Our balcony cabin was small but comfortable. The food in the main dining room was excellent as was the service. The buffet or fresh market was just a little disappointing. The variety of choices was lacking. The omelette stations in the BBQ and Crab Legs venue was different in that you had to choose your own items for it. I found this a little unusual. We found the international cafe wonderful as always. We've enjoyed the Stamtisch events at Vines on the Royal and Regal. This was not done on the Caribbean which was a little disappointing. We very much missed Alfredo's not being on the Caribbean. The entertainment was for the most part outstanding. The comedian early on the cruise, the Magician and Ventriloquist were all excellent. We saw the first 2 production shows and enjoyed them very much. I was a little disappointed in the fitness room. There were only 2 recumbent bikes and 2 stationary bikes and one of them wasn't working. Due to a death in my family we left the cruise early and departed for home from Barbados. The passenger services were both very helpful and compassionate during this difficult time for me and made our leaving the cruise mid way through it so much easier to deal with. While we only completed the first half of the cruise we would go on it again. I very much enjoy the idea of seeing the additional islands without returning to Ft. Lauderdale in between Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this sailing for the 2 week cruise & ports of call. The ship is one of the largest over 3,000 passengers & also one of the oldest in commission. The ship has not been maintained with several defects remaining. ie: ... Read More
We chose this sailing for the 2 week cruise & ports of call. The ship is one of the largest over 3,000 passengers & also one of the oldest in commission. The ship has not been maintained with several defects remaining. ie: elevator doors close rapidly & will slam in you if your not quick. Dining room menus repeat often & not like in the past if you desire a steak you have to pay extra ($20.) Previous menus always included a steak as an option. The buffet is much smaller, poorly staffed, cold food, including eggs. Again not like previous sailings. The omelet station has been moved into an area two dining rooms away from where you will be sitting. Again cold food for breakfast. On numerous days white and or red wines was unavailable by the glass for dinner. Waiters would attempt to encourage you to purchase a bottle as a glass was not available There were two Anytime Dining Rooms, the Island & the Coral. We at first used the Island & were actually hocked at the service. The waiter refused to get us wine by the glass & insisted we purchase a bottle. When he served or dinner it was actually uneatable & when told he refused to listen . When refills of our water were requested this as not done. We next used the Croal & found it great with Joy Diaz & Raymond Dava attending to our every needs. Internet & WiFi while available were at a cost of $20. per day & were very difficult to open and/or close which you were required to do or lose your alloted time. The InternationalCafe which serves a mixture of expresso type coffees, for which you pay extra has previously provided regular coffee free of charge. Now it has began to charge passengers. It seems like the Caribbean Princess has began to "Nickel & Dime" the passengers. The state room (Mini Suite) was adequate. The bed comfortable although equipped with a very heavy comforter which was very uncomfortable in the Caribbean weather. We had to request a change which was provided. The balcony was very poor condition & very dirty with spilled food & debris all over the chairs & table. This condition lasted for two weeks. On numerous at sea days crew members were involved in painting which we were prohibited from using the balcony for which we paid extra . The entertainment was not up to the quality of previous sailings. The theater was inadequate for the number of passengers of which many were refused entry. Several of the preformances were done by crew staff as opposed to past cruises which brought on professionals. While the Caribbean Princess continues to sail itineraries the I would like to revisit, I will not book another cruise on this ship. I will contnue to use Princess Cruises until they use thier other ships in the manner they used this one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We were celebrating our 58th anniversary on this cruise. We have cruised with Princess many times (Platinum Member), but never on a ship this old (2004). It was refurbished in 4/2017. Ship now has Ocean Medallion & has Medallion Net ... Read More
We were celebrating our 58th anniversary on this cruise. We have cruised with Princess many times (Platinum Member), but never on a ship this old (2004). It was refurbished in 4/2017. Ship now has Ocean Medallion & has Medallion Net which is fastest internet we have ever had on cruise ship, as fast as my internet at home. Medallion used for everything & opens your door when you approach. Embarkation & disembarkation went smoothly & quickly. Our cabin was available after we got on board & our luggage already at our door. Service was excellent and friendly with the entire staff. Some of the furnishings (chairs & sofas) appear a little “tired”. The theater isn’t adequate to accommodate all the guests in 2 seatings. A few of the shows were simulcast, but not all. You had to be at least 30 minutes early to be assured a seat for both scheduled shows. Overall the entertainment was good, but they need a better comedian & ventriloquist. All the musical groups that entertained in the various venues were good, & the 2 female violinists were excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
The itinerary was what attracted us to this cruise. We were able to visit the ports of St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao and Aruba along with repeats in St. Thomas and Antigua. Great ports to visit. Our balcony on the ... Read More
The itinerary was what attracted us to this cruise. We were able to visit the ports of St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao and Aruba along with repeats in St. Thomas and Antigua. Great ports to visit. Our balcony on the Caribbean Princess was the smallest we have ever experienced. Before choosing a forward cabin consider they are smaller than those a mid ship. The excursions for the most part were good. But if you ever go to St. Kitts for the Cruise the Sea and Rail ride you have to wear boat shoes. They do not allow regular shoes on the boat and when you get off the boat you get into rough stone filled docking when you are in your bare feet. On Trindad we climbed to the falls and as advertised you must be in EXCELLENT SHAPE as it was a rigorous climb to the falls for this 72 year old. While the dining staff were extremely friendly the food in the dining room was just okay. The dinner choices were limited and some items now have an extra cost in the regular dining room. The dinner in Sabatini was excellent Italian fare, good portion size with a reasonable charge per person. The best meal we had was in the Barbecue extension of the casual dining on Deck 15, very good food at a reasonable. As for evening entertainment we did not attend as most of these shows on cruise ships are just okay. In casual conversation I never had anyone say oh you missed a great show or entertainer tonight. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I just returned from the 10 day Panama Canal Cruise. And I wanted to point out a few things we noticed about this cruise. First off we did have a good time, but we are very flexible travelers. One thing to keep in mind if you ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from the 10 day Panama Canal Cruise. And I wanted to point out a few things we noticed about this cruise. First off we did have a good time, but we are very flexible travelers. One thing to keep in mind if you take this cruise is DO NOT take kids. This cruise is geared towards the 60 plus and I mean Plus age group. If you look forward to poolside parties, belly flop and limbo contests this is not going to happen. What you will find is oldies music, people playing bridge and knitting classes. there are two nice kid areas but no real activities for them. There was about 10 kids on our cruise of 3100 passengers. On the plus side there were no screaming children running around slinging half melted ice cream everywhere. The ship and crew were very nice. The room we had was an interior state room and was the largest interior room we have ever had. But I would not recommend A537 because it was next to the space where the exhaust pipes from the engine room go up to the top of the ship, so there was a constant hum in our room. (My fault for not looking at the deck plan) The stops in Jamacia, Cartegena,Panama,Costa Rica and Grand Cayman were fun and interesting. Here is our travel tip for this and many cruises. Do your research in advance. 90% of the cruise ship excurision you can do yourself and for half the price. First of all don't let the cruise line tell you that you have to take thier excursion. We have found the same activities being sold for half the price as soon as you step on the dock, and 75% less once you get away for the port area. Example princess sold the hop on hop off bus tour for$49.95. we purphased it outside the dock gate for $23.00. So research ahead of time and save a lot of money. We did take a ship excursion in the Canal zone. and had a wonderful tour guide. The only draw back to that trip was our guide had very little interest in letting us shop after a 3 hour walking tour in Panama City, and only relented to stopping after the entire bus instited we stop. Cartegena was amazing but there was not enough time to see much. Princess should really look at arranging the inteneriary to allow for more time there.Now to the biggie. THE FOOD. remember when I said earlier the the cruise was geared for the 60 plus crowd, well guess what. while the food is abundant, and more than you can ever eat, it is bland and was luke warm at best sometimes even cold. The bread was hard as a rock everyday and by day 9 the sight of the breakfast buffet made us ill. The best food on the boat was Planks,Sabatinis, and the Crown Grill, but all of these cost extra. Planks was flavorful and a alot of food. Crown was good. My Porter House steak was very fatty but good (Im a steak Snob) all in all for the price it was ok. I know this may have been long winded but I just wanted to share our experience and hope it helps others. If your looking for a laid back cruise this may be your ticket. If you need a wilder time, it might not be your cruise. The ship, the crew, and the Ports where great. The cruise vibe was a litlle to slow for us. and in the words of Mark Twain Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, hatered and narrow mindedness. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the new locks at the Panama Canal and also some Caribbean ports. I traveled to Panama in 1985 and experienced the old locks at Miraflores and lived in Panama City for a week. Looked forward to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the new locks at the Panama Canal and also some Caribbean ports. I traveled to Panama in 1985 and experienced the old locks at Miraflores and lived in Panama City for a week. Looked forward to seeing how things have changed in 35 years. We chose Princess because we had a great experience last summer on the Ruby Princess in Alaska and the CP is a similar ship in size and layout to the Ruby. We took a train from Ohio to Fort Lauderdale, stayed at the Hampton Inn North Airport overnight and then boarded the CP the next late morning. Hotel is showing some age but the staff was excellent, breakfast was filling and a shuttle took us to the port around 11:30am. Port was very crowded with several ships boarding that same day. Entrance was a bit chaotic with taxis, shuttles and private vehicles creating long lines to the embarkation area. We eventually made it to the offload point. Most of the passengers left their large bags with the porters who put the luggage on large carts to later be loaded on the ship. We walked up and through the entry building. Long lines but they moved quickly, through several checkpoints for passports, luggage screening and then to the desk to get our Medallion and other information. Some passengers had downloaded their Medallion info before boarding and they moved through without as many delays. We picked ours up at the desk, a small metallic pin worn around your neck which opens your doors and provides information when making purchases on board much like the old keycards. We moved to the elevators and found our room on Baja Deck 300 section to be a match to the same room we had on the Ruby. Adequate space, lots of storage in the area outside the bathroom. Twin beds with table in the middle, large TV, refrigerator, lots of drawers to store things, a safe for valuables and mirrors all around to enhance the size perspective of the room. Bathroom and room were very clean and our cabin steward Joseph, took care of us with a friendly and courteous manner throughout our trip. He welcomed us to the ship, asked if we had any questions and said he would bring up the water we had pre-ordered. Our large bags had not arrived yet so we decided to go up to the buffet and have lunch. The Fresh Market Buffet was a bit crowded but we found seats and proceeded to have some grilled fish, potatoes and vegetables. We shared a table with a couple from Alabama, one of the things we enjoy when riding Amtrak is to meet new people from all over the country. Our muster drill was in the Casino so at 3:15 we followed the crowds to that venue to get our safety information. One thing that was very evident was the large % of seniors on this trip. We are in our mid 60s but with all the motorized carts, walkers, etc, it sometimes seemed like a nursing home cruise. Only a few children on board, which made for a quiet voyage but reminded us that we should enjoy life while you can. After muster we went out on the Promenade deck, watched as our ship left the harbor at Fort Lauderdale under a nice sunset. Several other ships leaving as well. A large party up on the Lido Deck, dancing, celebrating, etc. but we prefer a quieter bon voyage. After watching a brilliant sunset, we went back for dinner and prepared for the evening show in the theatre. Gary Delena was a comedian and guitarist and his show was generally funny and entertaining. After experiencing the large crowds that attend these shows on the Ruby we were at the theatre for good seats by 7 pm. Many people waited until half hour before the show and had difficulty finding seats together. The show was over by 9 and we walked through the casino to watch people spend their money and then to the Explorers Lounge to see Symphone, an excellent couple with a backup band that was the best act we saw on the ship. Great voices, personality with the crowd. We stayed until 10:30 , stopped at the another bar to hear female singer and couple Ryan 7, good voice but not the same crowd rapport as Symphone. Back to the International Cafe for a sweet snack (great place open all night and free goodies). Back to room, the Medallion opens the door and a good nights sleep after a very long day.. Joseph had made beds, cleaned bathroom, left a nice chocolate on the pillow, and left our Patter newsletter on the bed with the next day's activities. An enjoyable first day on the CP. Second day was a sea day so we looked to find things to do on board. Breakfast was eggs, toast, fruit. Sat with two sisters from Florida and Virginia and an engaging conversation. We are 500 miles from our next stop in Jamaica and can barely see the Cuban coast off the starboard size of the ship. Sit on the Promenade Deck 7 and watch the ocean pass by, and enjoy the passengers jogging, walking and talking as they move along. Lunch today was the free fish & chips dinner at the Crown Grill. A nice addition that we also experienced on the Ruby. Sat with a couple from Texas who had traveled extensively on cruises in both US & Europe. After lunch was a film in the theatre on the Panama Canal that was very good. Spent some time at the excursion desk checking out a possible train trip in Panama. An excellent pair of young women named Duo Encanto were playing violins in the Piazza, Watched someone pay $35000 for a painting at the art auction. Symphone was playing on the Lido deck for a pool party so we enjoyed more of their music during the afternoon on a nice sunny day about 75 outside. Basketball shooting contest on the sports deck so watched a young woman sink some 15 footers against a middle aged guy who also could shoot. Before dinner we went to the Piazza to hear a steel drum entertainer. Dinner was fish, pasta, chicken and mango cheesecake with a couple from California. Back to our room to change and head to the theatre for the stageshow BRAVO. Ship dancers and singers put on a nice show of Broadway tunes. A special singer soprano from Chicago was a hit during the performance. This was the first Formal Night so many were decked out in their tuxes and evening gowns. Went to Wheelhouse Bar after the show to hear Ryan 7 again. Went out on the Prom Deck to see lights in the distance.. ?Cuba, stop for a late night snack at International Cafe and off to bed for a long day tomorrow in Jamaica. A nice sea day with plenty of activities. Next day we are up and ready for an afternoon in Jamaica. Breakfast with a couple from Kansas City. Omelet, toast, cheese danish, yogurt. Many many choices, food was prepared well, usually hot and areas kept clean. I find the criticisms of the buffet to be overblown. Not everything is perfect in life, but being on this ship is better than the snow and ice back home right now. Enjoy and be mellow. Back to the room to prepare for disembarkation at the Falmouth Jamaica port. We docked a little before noon, a little foggy but warm. This is an "artificial port" created by the cruise line to allow people to roam the area with shops, restaurants, etc but not really see Jamaica. We arranged for a private tour with Patrice Bailey Tours to take us to two of the Great Houses, a tour of Montego Bay and Falmouth. An excellent choice for those of us who do not want to climb up Dunn River Falls or swim with the dolphins. We walked outside the gated port area and found the white tent where private tours are located. We were taken to a meeting location where we met our guide for the day Maurice. We had a nice van to ourselves and Maurice related the history of Jamaica, a trip around Falmouth and then out on the modern highway west of Falmouth. We first stopped at Greenwood Greathouse, a huge estate once owned by the prominent English family named Barrett. A relative of famed poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Entry fee is $20 but an excellent tour of the large house and grounds. A great view of the sea and coast from the porch. Lots of original antique furniture and special apparatus used in the day. Our next stop was further up the highway to the Rose Hall Greathouse. This was the infamous home of Annie Palmer, the White Witch who murdered several lovers and is a ghost roaming the grounds. An excellent guide who led us throughout the house and told of the fantastic stories of its owners. Admission was $25 and well worth the fare. Our tour then took us to Montego Bay, a crowded port on a Friday afternoon. We were unable to stop at some of the sites there since parking was non existent but we did travel throughout the city, saw the historic square and thousands of people on the streets and byways. We then traveled to a third mansion home at Bellefield for a great view of the bay and city. It was getting dark so Maurice took us back to Falmouth, dropped us right inside the gate and we strolled back to the ship after a great day of history and sites in Jamaica. Dinner was pasta, beef stew, scalloped potatoes, some jerk chicken (a bit too spicy for my stomach) and a wonderful chocolate dessert. We got out on Promenade deck to watch the running passengers barely making back to the ship after their tour to Ocho Rios was delayed in returning. Show in the theatre was Yaniv Zarit, who spoke 32 different languages, sang and told stories. He was talented but not as entertaining as other programs. Back to room for some TV news, a movie (of which there were several good choices) and bed. Another sea day tomorrow as we head for Cartegena. Saturday we lounge around as the seas are a bit high today closing the Promenade deck and the pools due to shifting waves. Ship is moving some but since we are used to riding trains, it is really nothing for us to experience shifting floors. Did some shopping in the stores, Had lunch with a nice couple from Washington state. A special program on the Panama Canal in the theatre in the afternoon. Dinner with family from Idaho and California. Lots of good stories. Watch some NFL football on the big screen and then down to the theatre for the show "Born to Be Wild". Ship dancers and singers put on a nice show 60s and 70s rock. Watch some more football and off to bed for a long day tomorrow in Cartegena. Up early as our ship has docked around 6:30. Breakfast with two ladies from Florida. I am off alone for the tour as wife is staying aboard today with a cold. Embarkation is in Casino this morning and then to Deck 4, Our bus is waiting at the pier with our guide Dailys, who is an enthusiastic promoter of her city. We drive through a residential area near the pier and then to the old Fort Castillo de San Felipe for a brief photo stop. Not time to tour the fort, many steps and large facility. Lots of venders who are interesting to me but do hassle some people. Man with donkey to solicit photos was a hoot. Back on the tour bus across the inlet and out to the former residence of Colombia President Rafael Nunez. A nice folkloric dance show there and a tour of the house and the great historic events of the 19th century. Well worth the visit. Then we traveled along the coast wall to the old city. We walked inside the walls and to the square of San Pedro Claver Church where we toured the building, saw many historic items in the museum and experience a service since it was Sunday morning. Walked up another street to the Naval Museum, which had great displays of Columbian maritime history. All exhibits are in Spanish so brush up on your language skills. Very interesting. Walk back through the streets to our bus which then took us on a tour of the beaches and the modern city skyscrapers. Back to the ship via the Boca Grande and Manga residential areas. We were back to the ship by 11:45 for a 12:30 departure. A nice three and half hour tour but could have spent the whole day here. Wish the cruise would schedule more time at this port. Lunch at the buffet and watch some more football on the wide screen. A nice day as we leave port. Sit on Promenade deck and watch the city fade into the distance. Dinner was pulled pork, chicken, squash & peppers, potatoes and some nice mango desserts. Theatre entertainment was Michael Barron, an excellent magician. Some entertainment in the Piazza afterward. International cafe for a treat and then back to room for some football, a movie and then to bed. Early arrival tomorrow at 5:30am for Panama Canal. We are up early, buffet for omelets, and then out on Lido deck to see the lights of the Panama Canal come into view. It is still dark as we enter the bay area waiting to proceed to the Aqua Clara Locks, the new lock system that now allows huge ships to use the canal. As the dawn arises, we enter the first lock and large gates close behind allowing water from storage areas to enter and raise us to the next level. Nearly everyone on the ship is on the deck watching and we found better viewing from the rear of the ship. Another larger freighter is waiting behind us and it is fascinating to watch the process as we proceed from one lock to another. It took about two hours to move to Gatun Lake where our CP dropped anchor. My excursion today would involve a boat transit to shore, where we boarded a bus for a trip along the old Gatun Locks and across a bridge to the new locks visitor center high on a hill overlooking the Aqua Clara Locks. Wife decided to stay on the ship which would eventually return through the locks and dock back in Cristobal where it would await the tour groups to return later in the day. Our tour spent an hour at the visitor center where we could observe our ship in the lake and others as they passed through the locks. A film was shown in the theatre and a small cafe served sandwiches, drinks, etc. There was also a nature trail which I walked approx a mile through some interesting flora. Heard some scattered animal sounds, saw a sloth and then walked back to the awaiting bus. As we left the site the driver stopped along the road as a family of monkeys was passing by. Photo shoot was just in time. We then traveled into Colon and then down a modern highway that crossed through some rainforest areas, the Chagras River, and then into the modern Panama City. An hour long ride but interesting scenery along the way. We eventually passed through the area near Balboa and the old Fort Clayton, where American forces were stationed during the Panama Canal Zone days. Nice memories of my trip here in 1985 but many changes since then. The bus stopped while Subway sandwiches were delivered for our lunch meal. We passed Miraflores Locks and out onto the Amador peninsula where we stopped for a shopping event. Not much there and really was a waste of time except for the good ice cream shop. Would rather have spent some time in the old city but that was not on our agenda. We then moved to the train station where we boarded the Panama Railroad train. A very modern station with some souvenirs. Railroad is operated by Kansas City Southern RR and their locomotives reflect the orange and yellow paint scheme of that line. Coaches were nicely decorated and seating was nice. I sat with a friend Rita who I had met on the ship and a couple from Michigan as we moved along slowly by the canal and industrial areas. Saw lots of birds, a family of iguanas and some monkeys as our train moved toward Colon. The cost of the entire tour was $200 and although a bit expensive, it was worth it for the views of the canal and the train ride. There is a dome car for $40 more on the train but I found the seating in the nice coaches and the opportunity to stand in the vestibule area to see the sites and take photos to be adequate for my needs. We were able to see some parts of the canal and ships moving across the lake. We arrived back in Colon before dark. We received a nice box with the railroad logo and full of snacks which I think were supposed to be handed out at the beginning of the train ride but we got as we left the train. Oh well, a nice souvenir of the train.. Colon is not a town you want to roam around in and the dock area was a pleasant site as we said goodbye to our guides and boarded the ship. Met my wife and we had dinner of pork roast, potatoes, veggies and dessert. Too tired for the show this evening so just watched National Championship game as Clemson beat the Crimson Tide. Rest for another long day tomorrow in Costa Rica. Tuesday morning we arose and prepared to take our excursion at Limon Costa Rica. A large German ship is docked next to us as we walk up the dock area to our bus. Our guide is Porfirio, a nice gentleman who had a sense of humor and spoke excellent English. He told us about his family and life in Costa Rica. We first drove around Limon to see some of the historic buildings and then up a rather narrow and bumpy road to the canal where we boarded a boat to cruise the canal. Lots of birds, iguanas, monkeys in the trees, sloths everywhere, no crocodiles today. A nice tour and our guide moved the boat so that all sides could get photos. A little shower ensued but did not last long and it was a good day in the rainforest. After we left the boat we were treated to lots of fruit, bananas, pineapple, juices and a nice display of native arts and crafts. Good restroom break as well. Back on the bus as we traveled to a siding where we boarded an old train for a short trip back to Limon. I enjoyed speaking with the engineer and conductor at the front of the train as my Spanish was good enough for a lively conversation. The train was pulled by an old switcher engine and two coaches full passengers hoping to see some exotic scenery. But most of the rails pass through an industrial area and except for a few monkeys and a sloth, there was little to view. If you like train rides, it was a nice ride but not overly exciting. We left the train and reboarded the bus for a nice trip in the countryside around rural provinces. Banana plantations and a stop to see more sloths. Our guide Porfirio was excellent and he related Costa Rica history, government and economics as we traveled back to Limon. We arrived back to the port around 12:30 and did some shopping at the large craft market nearby before heading back to the ship for a late lunch. After lunch we went down to the laundry room on the 10th Floor and did a few loads of clothes. A bit of a waiting line but was nice to have some washers close to our room. Met some gents from Alaska, a young man from Toronto and an Englishman from near London as we dried and folded... We decided to hit the pizza place for dinner and then have a dessert in the buffet. Back to the room for the evening show at the theatre. Cheaza, a Whitney Houston reflections singer from Las Vegas was the musical program and was excellent. She went out into the theatre to sing and perform a greatest hits melody. Another great day on our cruise. The following day was another sea day. There was a talk in the theatre on the Cayman Islands that we attended. Both of us are suffering from head colds so we just hung around the room, watched some movies, had lunch in the buffet and then sat out on Deck 7, did some reading, saw some rainbows in the distance as a storm headed away from us. Another formal night on the ship with a program in the theatre but we decided to rest this evening and prepare for a full day in Cayman Islands tomorrow. Sometimes its nice to just enjoy a day of rest and relaxation on a sea day. Thursday morning we are up and feeling better. Breakfast for omelets and fresh fruit. We met in the Island Dining Room for disembarking for our shuttle boat to the shore. All ships must use tenders and there are now six ships in port so it will be a busy day in Georgetown. Our tender is one from the shore and not one of the ship boats so there is more room and not quite as crowded. We land about 8am and talk to a policeman who directs us to the bus terminal about two blocks from the port area. We stop at Fort to read some Cayman history and then arrive at the bus terminal where a group of small van type vehicles are lined up. We decided to take Bus 7B Green bus our own excursion which charged only $10 for a trip around the entire island. Our bus driver Tonyito actually acted like a guide and with one other man on the bus, (who reminded me of the late Anthony Bourdain), we enjoyed a private tour complete with history and scenic views. Stopped in Bodden Town, Wreck of the 10 Sails park and discussion of blue iguanas. Picked up some interesting passengers on the return trip as Tonyito welcomed them on board. An enjoyable ride and much cheaper than the ship excursions. A couple hours later we were back downtown and took another bus that went to Seven Mile Beach, Hell and other quaint places for another $5 each. We returned to downtown, stopped for lunch and then walked to the port for some clean restrooms and treats before walking down to the Cayman National Museum. Nice displays, a good film on history, hands on displays for kids. Back to port and decided to return to ship as it looked like a storm was heading toward the island. Long line for the tender but moved quickly and we sailed past the mass of ships and tenders in the bay. Got back just as the rain came so timing was perfect. Back to the ship by 2 pm as our ship was scheduled to leave at 3:30. Go to Deck 7 to watch tenders returning with passengers. Late comers but we leave by 4pm. Dinner was a cod dinner with a couple from Nebraska. Down to the theatre for the show with Duncan Tuck, classical guitar and humorist. Was o.k. Sailing around Cuba overnight as we rest from another long day of exploring. Friday was another sea day. Pancakes and eggs for breakfast. Ate with a couple from Michigan who have cruised many times. He is from the island of Malta and they have done many Mediterranean cruises. We are now sailing along the Cuban coastline and we sit on Lido deck enjoying the view. Cheeseburgers from Salty Dog Grill and some Pizza from Slice for lunch. Enjoy sitting around the pool and enjoying the warm weather. Do some packing in the afternoon and preparing for disembarkation in FTL tomorrow morning. Staff at customer service very friendly and answered several questions we had about the process. We talked with Joseph about his future plans. He had one more cruise on CP and then he would return home to India for three months. He was an excellent cabin steward and we tipped accordingly. We found all the staff in the dining and buffet to be efficient and friendly. The ship is showing some age and there was a lot of painting and polishing going on while we were sailing. We did not feel any engine vibration in our room and our neighbors were pretty quiet so no problem with noise. Like the new Medallion system even though we did not use it for phone or location purposes. Like that there is still a paper Patter that provides information about ship events. On Saturday morning we ate a quick breakfast in the buffet and then moved our luggage to the Coral Dining Room where our disembarkation meeting was to take place. We chose the self checkout and thus did not put any luggage out the night before. We moved quickly through the port area and only took 10-15 minutes to go through customs and we were on our way. We walked to the taxi loading area and were in a cab in a few minutes to the Hilton Marina Hotel where we got our Enterprise Rental Car for the remainder of our Florida vacation. Enjoyed the cruise and highly recommend this ship, crew, and itinerary if you have never been to the Panama Canal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose the cruise for the destinations. Ended up with some nice bonus experiences, and some underwhelming ones that didn't meet expectations. The Good Soymilk & milk readily available from buffet area all day, washing ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the destinations. Ended up with some nice bonus experiences, and some underwhelming ones that didn't meet expectations. The Good Soymilk & milk readily available from buffet area all day, washing stations at buffet area, medallion class ship features, what appeared to be free Budweiser beer at Crooner's Bar. Sabatini's wait staff waived the additional entree item charge for the additional item I ordered, and good food from Sabatini's. That was a nice guesture of the wait staff. The medallion class ship features were a bonus I did not come to expect. I also didn't expect the washing stations assuming we had to use hand sanitizer. Nor did I expect ready access to milk all day. The Bad Some shore excursion descriptions were not very clear, and we were a bit disappointed as result. For example, the Discover Jamaica tour, we didn't actually get to see the ferns described on the ride to the tropical forest park because the ferns that were there don't really exist anymore. And shopping in downtown on that same tour that was not as expected, it was actually just to shop inside a single shop with a bathroom. I feel the tour descriptions should be updated to be more accurate and realistic about the actual tour experience. The OceanNow app indicated free Budweiser beer at Crooner's Bar. However, we were actually billed for the beer. Fortunately, we were able to get that resolved and removed from our bill at customer service counter before departing the ship. This seems to be a mismatch in the system. Either there's a bug in the billing system for improperly charging for free beer ordered through the OceanNow app, or the OceanNow app has a bug that mistakenly offers Budweiser beer as free in Crooner's Bar. It's interesting that the free beer listing is only at Crooner's Bar, and it appears so before placing order, and after placing order (in the view that lists past orders). If it is a bug, maybe worth taking note, and making it free as a compliment for usage of the OceanNow app/system. Don't like how Planks BBQ (the real BBQ) is only available at night and with a cover charge. Liked how it was on our previous Mexico cruise where it was available on the deck outside where we got burgers w/o charge. Don't like how the chili available for fries and hot dog is not the same chili offered at the buffet for nachos. I like the nacho style chili for use with fries and hot dogs. The design of the ship's local wifi based concierge portal access wasn't very clear whether I would be charged to use the concierge portal, which web address that was, and especially to view my stateroom account which required creating an account that needed to accept terms which seem like I might be charged. Better to provide different terms of service agreement UI indicators for the paid services vs the complimentary services to not confuse your customers. Read Less
Caribbean Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.2

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