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Princess Cruises aboard the Caribbean Princess
Above: Princess Cruise Lines Caribbean Princess Cruise Ship.

Passenger reviews

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Ship Details
service: April, 2004
Guest capacity: 3,114
Total staff: 1,142
Length: 950 feet
Passenger decks: 14
CDC inspection score: 100

Caribbean Princess Overview

The Caribbean Princess cruise ship departs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Throughout the year, she offers ocean cruises to Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean. Check dates and prices for cruises to Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean.


There are three traditional-style cruise dining rooms; one was set aside for those who'd requested a "set tablemate, same time" experience. Two others were "open seating." The system worked well, though open seating diners should know that during peak times, there may be a wait to be seated. In the open-seating restaurants of Coral and Island the food was well prepared, service efficient and personable.

What's more exciting, though, is the ship's alterative eateries:

Cafe Caribe offers Caribbean-inspired buffet fare at linen-topped tables (waiters serve drinks and clear tables). Wine and beer service is available, and lobster is available here more than once.

Sterling Steakhouse offers a Mortons of Chicago-type steakhouse experience. The steaks and prime rib were delicious though we experienced better side dishes in other cruise lines' steakhouses. There's a $10 per person charge to eat at Sterlings. Note: the restaurant has a bar (and you don't have to pay a cover to sip a cocktail).

Sabatini's Trattoria offers an awesome seven course dining experience. You only need to order a main course -- your server will bring bite-sized samplers of everything else on the menu, from appetizers, to salad and soup, to pasta and pizza, and then a hot entree. Let us offer a tip to the faint of heart (or stomach): You can request just a course or two. The fee is $20 per person (whichever option you choose) and the service and atmosphere were top notch. Note: Best nights for primetime booking -- first two evenings of your cruise; otherwise plan ahead and make reservations. The place generally is sold out through most of the voyage. Another note: Sabatini's is open for lunch on sea days -- and it's nearly deserted!

The Horizon Court offers breakfast and lunch. The menu items typically mirror that which is served in the dining room. Other options include a pizzeria, burger-bar, and Scoops ice cream parlor.

Room service is no charge. However, it is recommended that passengers tip the wait-crew member who delivers their order.

Caribbean Princess offers an "ultimate" in-cabin dinner service. For $50 per person (and only available to passengers whose cabins have verandahs), staffers will serve a lobster dinner for two, complete with a bottle of champagne, flowers and a photo by one of the ship's photographers.


Princess has developed Caribbean-centric entertainment for this Caribbean-centric ship. In the main theater, one new stage show is "Caribbean Caliente," which features music from the Caribbean islands. One evening per cruise there's "Island Nights," a pool-deck sail away bash that features food, music and special cocktails. Princess has maintained its once-a-cruise Champagne Waterfall. Typically held on the last formal night close to midnight, the waterfall is set up in the atrium -- amidst a pyramid of champagne glasses. Everyone present is offered a complimentary glass o' bubbly.

Princess has extended its Scholarship@Sea Program to the ship; offerings include daytime cookery demonstrations, and subjects including photography, computers, pottery making and personal finance. Extra fees usually apply and vary.

Fitness & Recreation

Caribbean Princess is the testing ground for the Lotus Spa. Princess is the first line in mainstream cruising to operate its own spa, rather than farm it out to other companies. The spa is created by in-house experts and feels a bit like a resort spa. Prices are comparably less than those on most other cruise ships. The fabulous costumes (we hesitate to say uniforms) worn by all the staffers were created by L.A. designer Sue Wong and they're distinctly Asian -- so gorgeous we only wish they were sold in the boutique. Treatment menus were unique, and included numerous offerings geared solely to men and to teens. They also offer advance-cruise spa bookings via its web site.

The facilities area has been expanded so it's larger than those on the Grand-class ships. It features floor-to-ceiling windows, plenty of equipment, and a big exercise area.

Beyond the spa pool, there are three main pool areas, each with whirlpools. Neptune's Reef is the main pool area and home to pool games and live music. Calypso Pool, overlooked by the movie screen, is a bit more low-key. And tucked away under Skywalkers is another small pool area with shady spots.

There is dedicated-sports area where you can play basketball, paddle tennis and ping-pong. The ship also has a Princess Links mini-golf facility.

Public Areas

Many of Princess' lounge mainstays include Skywalker's, the ship-top disco, the Wheelhouse Bar, and Explorers' Lounge. We loved the evolution of Churchill's Lounge, the one-time sports bar.

Club Fusion, which we mentioned earlier, is a new concept for Princess. Replacing the Vista Lounge, Club Fusion is a multi-purpose area with a curved bar, secondary stage for activities like 50s night (there's room for dancing), in-table slots, and high-tech lights and sound.

Other key Princess public areas include the three-deck-high atrium, the main destination for all "administrative" functions (shore excursions, pursers' desk, and shops that didn't offer anything even remotely tempting). Three standouts in this area are the library, a handful of Internet-connected terminals, and fabulous leather chairs with audio units inside. The coffee-bar, Crooner's, is a great spot for people watching (and sea watching) during the day, and at night, the liveliest place on board, thanks to its fabulous entertainer-pianist.

The Grand Casino was designed for passengers with disabilities in mind -- and have included lower-than-usual games tables.

The Internet center was an airless (occasionally completely non-air-conditioned) room filled with rows of terminals. At 35 cents per minute, Princess offers the best bargain -- but the connection worked so slowly, if at all, that it wound up costing more money rather than less. There was no Princess-assigned "expert" to answer questions or solve problems.


Princess' Kids Club facility offers separate rooms for four different age groups: 3 to 5, 6 to 9, 10 to 13, and teens, all supervised by a trained staff. Princess offers group babysitting services only.

Expert Caribbean Princess reviews are edited by Michelle, and provided by Ian and Cruise Critic.com, an award-winning cruise community. This objective information can help you choose just the right ship for your next cruise vacation.

Check Dates & Prices for cruises to Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean.


Discount Code

Caribbean Princess cruise reviews

Cruise Ship Inspection Report
All passenger cruise ships arriving at US ports are subject to unannounced CDC inspection. Caribbean Princess Score: 100

Cruise Critic: Caribbean Princess
The Cruise Critic gives Princess' Caribbean Princess a 4-ribbon rating.

Web links
Princess Cruises
Request a brochure, or find a travel agent who represents Princess Cruises at the company's official Web site.

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