CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Princess Cruises Caribbean Princess Western Caribbean August 20, 2005

The really good stuff:

- Embarcation was a breeze, since we had pre-registered on-line. We were aboard in 20 mm! Amen. - The cabins are spacious and well-conceived, with a dressing area next to the showers. The showers are not water-saving and feel great! - The food is excellent, the cruise director was dignified, the dining room staff attentive and professionnal. - The tenders at Princess Cays in the Bahamas are fast and take you ashore in no time. - Excellent open buffet on top deck every night, if you did not want to go to the dining room. Tables are covered with linen, VERY NICE.

The so-so stuff:

- No trays in the Horizon Cafe. You got to juggle your plates, go back for more stuff, then go back for drinks/coffee. Staff does not help, does not pour coffee, as was the case on our many Celebrity cruises. - Not enough tables in Horizon Cafe. Every morning for breakfast we had to hunt, and hunt, and hunt down a table, often cleaning up because the staff was busy elsewhere. A major hassle. - The ice machines in the Horizon Cafe did not work most of the time. Major hassle. - They charge for ice-cream on the pool deck. I was stunned they would nickle and dime passagers that way. That sucked. - They charge for watery, lukewarm hot chocolate at breakfast. Next time I'll bring my own. - They don't have good tea, only Lipton. Bring your own Bigelow for some decent Earl Grey. - Shows were so-so. Comedian/juggler. Another Comedian/Magician and another comedian couple.... I missed the Celebrity Shows, which were more diverse. One of the comedian was very off-color. Is is really necessary to say the "F" word in front of kids? Did that make him funnier??? NOOOOOO. - Water at Princess Cays was murky. Too many people I suppose. If you want nice clear water and snorkeling, you have to walk away from the crowd, down the beach. It's a coral beach meaning put water shoes on your kids, or their feet may suffer cuts, as was the case in my family. We ended up walking away to a spot that had enough sand for the kids to enjoy a swim, pretty far from the tenders area. - We had requested early seating, but we booked the cruise late and there was no space. We solved the problem by showing up in one of the freestyle dining room the first night at 6 p.m. sharp, and telling the Maitre d' that we'd take the same table every night at the same time. He OK it and we did fine. Some people who did not make these arrangements had to wait for tables, and were very sore about that. - The mini-golf is useless. Poorly conceived and built, it's impossible to play. Go figure! - Wish there were more ping-pong tables, for the days at sea. It was always busy! - I wish the Adult pool spa was sea water, not regular water. Sea water is so therapeutic, it's a shame not to be able to soak your tired bones in hot sea water. I'll go back to Celebrity for their sea water jaccuzis, because I always feel 5 years younger by the end of the cruise. - There was no showcase midnight buffet on the last day. Instead, they built a pyramid of glasses that they filled with really cheap champagne. All along ladies were invited to have their picture taken (another way for the ship to make money). The champagne was so bad we took a sip and surrendered the glass immediately to a waiter.

OK, overall, it was a good value, a good cruise on a very nice ship. I would recommend it to friends, with the above warnings.

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