True to her name, the Caribbean Princess has spent more than 10 years sailing the warm, alluring waters of the Eastern and Western Caribbean. She’s the largest of four ships in the Grand class. Where other lines compete to add more, bigger and louder features, this ship offers what a lot of people value the most in a Caribbean cruise: Lots of pool space. A high number of staff compared to other mega-ships—which translates to more attentive service. And 80% balcony cabins, meaning that even bargain-hunters have a high likelihood of getting one.
There are some features of the Caribbean Princess that make it a great ship for couples looking to wed, honeymoon or rekindle romance. Ultimate Balcony Dining, for those who might want to feed each other lobster out of the view of strangers. Movies Under the Stars ®, which is actually trademarked, and is the ultimate movie date when the weather’s cooperating. And of course, the wedding chapel. Since this line mostly attracts a 50+ age demographic, the chapel doesn’t get everyday use, but it’s something to note when sizing up different lines for one’s nuptials.
When it’s holiday season, this ship sees a lot more families, and provides a great vacation experience to them as well. Larger stateroom options win high marks from family cruisers. Ditto for the relatively high number of no-fee specialty dining experiences.
Ultimate Balcony Dining is the for-fee experience that stands out among Caribbean Princess’ culinary offerings. It takes that quintessential steak and lobster menu that has been everyone’s favorite since the dawn of cruising, and stages it intimately and privately on the customers’ balcony. For people who don’t want their date night to play out within view of hundreds of strangers, this special service is well worth the surcharge. Important note: breakfast on the balcony is also available.
In the realm of restaurant offerings, Princess really focuses on included options, with only two surcharge venues. Two of the main dining rooms, Coral and Island, offer flexible anytime dining, while Palm Dining Room still adheres to scheduled and pre-assigned seatings. Afternoon tea is also served.
Casual venues include a 24-hour International Café, Prego Poolside Pizzeria, a buffet on the 15th deck, and a casual grill. Vines Bar & Lounge, a classy venue serving chilled seafood, is a pleasant surprise among the no-fee venues.
The two for-fee restaurants are the more upscale Crown Grill, which serves steak and seafood; and Sabatini’s Italian Restaurant. Reservations recommended for both. There’s also a Chef’s Table galley tour and degustation menu—by reservation, for a fee.
Bars & Lounges
The bars on this ship each fit into to a classic cruise-lounge wheelhouse: There’s Crooners, the Rat Pack-inspired martini bar; the old-school clubby Wheelhouse Bar; Churchill Cigar and Sports Lounge when you just have to catch the game; and Club Fusion, which is more of a games/contests/karaoke room, but also offers some casino-style action.
The big news on the entertainment category is the soon-to-be-launched Voice of the Ocean live event. This will complement the ship’s Broadway-style production shows, which are presented in an impressive 800-person theater. Production shows are short-format, just 35 minutes each and three each night.
Princess’ claim is that this ship truly introduced outdoor movies on the pool deck to the cruise industry. It actually owns the trademark Movies Under the Stars ® --presented on a supersized 300-square-foot screen.
Interestingly, in spite of its chilled-out and grownup vibe, this ship has two nightclubs. Club Fusion, mentioned above, strives to be a little bit Vegas and a little Manhattan. Skywalkers Nightclub features floor-to-ceiling windows so guests never forget that they’re dancing on the ocean.
The casino features slot machines and table games
This ship has five good-sized pools—and additionally, two splash zones for kids. That means a poolside lounger and a bit of personal space for everyone, even on sunny days at sea. There are seven whirlpools in total.
One of the most popular daytime hangouts is The Sanctuary adult-only sun deck, which is intelligently positioned just above the Lotus Spa pool to minimize the secondhand noise. Lotus Spa itself is a well appointed full-service facility that offers everything from body wraps to acupuncture.
Sports/recreational facilities include a basketball court, jogging track and golf putting area.
The youth program offers children’s facilities with indoor and outdoor recreation areas, and a separate teen program.
- No retractable glass ceiling over the pools—this really shuts down the outdoor activity in the event of rain.
- Some of the cabins could use a renovation, especially since it’s been a few years since the latest dry dock.
- Guests with anytime dining often encounter waits to be seated.
- There’s a surcharge to occupy some of the loungers in the adult-only area.