With a name like Caribbean Princess this ship was destined to sail the pristine waters south of Florida, and so far I have found the name very fitting. I am currently on a 5 day Western Caribbean sailing out of Fort Lauderdale and will soon be posting pictures and videos of this trip.
These are my first impressions of Caribbean Princess, but I will have a more thorough review after the end of my cruise.
I have already lavishly enjoyed one day on board Caribbean Princess. Having already sailed on Royal Class ships with Princess I knew that this ship would be smaller, but I was not expecting it to be so open and inviting. For those who think some of the larger cruise ships are too big but don’t want to feel cramped on a tiny vessel, this ship is for you.
The ship was launched in 2004 but was refurbished in 2011. With 19 decks, a tonnage of 112,894, and a guest capacity of about 3,000, Caribbean Princess has a cozy vibe in a relaxing and inviting atmosphere.
The first thing I noticed on the pool deck is that Caribbean Princess has opted to space out several pool areas rather than have one large pool area. This means there is a pool area for everyone. Whether it’s the cozy spa pool with two whirlpools next to it, or the Calypso Pool that offers a 300 Square foot TV screen, or even the aft pool that offers amazing views under shade of Skywalkers Nightclub, each space is well suited for a particular mode of cruising.
There are 4 main pool areas and another area, a few decks above the terrace pool (aft pool), that has 3 smaller pools including a kiddie pool, whirlpool, and 4 a ft deep splash pool for cooling off. So for a ship with regular itineraries to the Caribbean, Princess offers many ways to keep cool and yet still enjoy the tropics.
Keep in mind that if you want to walk the length of the pool decks you will have to traverse a few stairs, but this also helps give each pool its privacy from the others, so even music and noise from another pool area is barely noticeable to its neighboring area.
In my opinion it’s much better to have several smaller pools than one gigantic one that merely creates chaotic scenes around it.
Both the spa pool and the terrace pool are for adults only.
Before I move on from the pool deck, let me just say, the aft pool is my absolute favorite place to hang out. It’s almost like an amphitheater to the ocean with 3 decks that look down on the pool that sits on the edge of the ship. The Skywalker lounge hovers over these decks, providing a welcoming shade to those swimming, lounging, or just relaxing. But above any chatter is the sound of the ocean filling the space with a tranquil hum. I’m not sure if pictures will do this place justice, but I will try to post one anyway.
I was not able to post many pictures here because of limited internet minutes which I am ever so frugally rationing. But I have to say, the internet speed on this ship is impressive. I have not yet tested it with speedtest.net yet, but each of these pictures only took about 20 seconds to load.
The Sanctuary is a place of solitude for cruisers just wanting to get away from it all and relax in the lap of luxury. $20 for half a day will reserve your spot in this quiet oasis.
As usual, the buffet with Princess has been full of all varieties of delicious food. The buffet is more compact on this ship, but the staff makes up for that with a constant supply of fresh food. A few times the line to the buffet was a bit longer, but it moves quickly and it’s soon forgotten when your plate is full and a friendly staff person is asking you what you’d like to drink.
The ice cream at Scoops was fantastic! You can find this little gem right around the corner from Neptune’s Reef and Pool. They offer both soft serve and regular ice cream delights.
For those with an American palette there are hotdogs, hamburgers, and pizza offered right around Neptune’s Reef and Pool.
Movies Under the Stars has been a big hit with Princess. There are concerts played on the big screen during the day and movies by night. There’s nothing like cozying up in a blanket and getting some freshly popped popcorn while watching a movie in the open air. The same movie is usually played around 7pm and again at 10pm which syncs with the times for the evening entertainment in the theater.
The Piazza is the main atrium of the ship. Along with nightly street performers and musical serenades, this area is surrounded by shops, bars, and cafes, including International Café which is an amazing place to get some coffee, tea, or even a fresh sandwich.
The staff has been gracious and friendly, always impressing me with how well they can remember our names, even if I struggle to pronounce theirs.
Princess truly treats their guests like royalty and I have the chocolate covered strawberries to prove it. Yum! We are excited to try out the Crown Grill steakhouse tonight. I’m a sucker for a good steak, but don’t worry, I will do my part in reviewing this restaurant as a service to our readers. Hey, it’s the least I can do. Really.
We opted for an ocean view cabin this go around, and even though it’s an “obstructed view” I prefer to look at it as the window is half unobstructed instead of half obstructed. In all honesty, it’s a great upgrade over an interior cabin even with a bright orange lifeboat taking some of the view. We still have sunlight pour in when morning comes and good views of ocean water and passing islands. The room was much bigger than I had anticipated and offers a flat screen TV, super comfy pillows, two 110 outlets over the desk, a hair dryer, and a large walk-in type closet. We are right near the staircase as well, which is nice for moving about the ship.
Feel free to ask any questions about this ship below, and we will do our best to answer them. And for those living vicariously through these reviews, you’re welcome.
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