Orange County, CA
CruiseClout score: 20.0
Caribbean Princess: Sailing into the Caribbean sunset
Until Royal Princess came on the scene, Caribbean Princess was the largest ship in the Princess Cruises fleet. When she launched in 2004, this ship was a game changer for Princess and it helped define the brand. Now, it stands as a standard in cruising.
In 2011, the ship had various major and minor upgrades, but still maintained a standard cruising experience. With indoor and outdoor amenities as well as a pleasing layout, this 3,080 passenger ship doesn't feel crowded or cramped, and service members are attentive and keep things moving.
Who will like sailing on Caribbean Princess
Couples, families and retirees should all appreciate this cruise. During the summer months, families will be more present, while during the off season it will feature different ages.
Where Caribbean Princess sails
Home port: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in winter and London in summer
Destinations: Choose from Eastern Caribbean or Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale to Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico or other island locales. Sail from London for a summer cruise in the Mediterranean or the fjords of Norway.
Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to dining. Whether you feel like a multicourse meal in a formal dining room, a hand-tossed pizza by the pool or (for an added surcharge) a meal at one of the specialty restaurants, you'll have a variety of venues and dining options to choose from no matter the time of day.
The Caribbean Princess has three main dining rooms: Traditional Dining in the Palm Dining Room is the classic cruise experience, allowing you to dine at set times with the same table mates and wait staff each evening. When you want to dine with whom you want, when you choose, go to either the Coral or Island dining rooms for Anytime Dining. Both options offer menus featuring appetizers, entrees and desserts that change each day of your voyage.
- Sabatini's: With a menu specializing in Italian cuisine and premium seafood, Sabatini's aspires to present the refined yet casual atmosphere of an Italian ristorante.
- Crown Grill: Featuring premium aged beef and fresh seafood, Crown Grill offers an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs custom-prepare lobster, scallops, clams and mussels, and cooked-to-order steaks.
- Horizon Court: Offers a wide selection of buffet meals or snacks. Floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning sea views sets the backdrop for your quick breakfast or casual dinner.
- Café Caribe: A self-service buffet of Caribbean food. Courses change nightly, and the restaurant is open until 4:00 a.m.
Movies Under the Stars was original when Princess Cruises started it, and now it's a crowd favorite. Located in the Calypso Pool area, it features showings of major concerts and television events along with movies in the evenings. Check the ship's paper for listings and showtimes.
There are plenty of daytime offerings as well, from Photoshop classes to ballroom dance classes. And when the ship reaches port, the cruise also offers special excursions, ranging from bus tours to kayaking.
To say the nightlife on board is entertaining is an understatement. This ship's theater venues are designed with great acoustics and features a variety of entertainers. Crooner's features piano and music trivia, while the Skywalker Nightclub offers '70s, '80s and '90s music nights. Club Fusion offers fun games as well as nightclub feel. If you want to take in a show, the Princess Theater offers different theater shows and comedy acts.
There are more than 1,556 total staterooms of varying sizes to accommodate a wide range of budgets. Mini-suites are an ideal choice, and having a balcony is always a great option if it's in your budget.
Except for two formal nights on seven-day cruises and reservations at certain restaurants, attire on the ship is generally cruise casual.
With Princess, the youth and teen centers are fully equipped with everything to entertain. Supervised programs are available, from Princess Pelicans (ages three to seven) and Shockwaves (ages eight to 12) to Remix (ages 13 to 17). However, keep in mind that if your child is not potty-trained they will not be able to get dropped off at kids club. And for the littlest ones, activities such as kids' karaoke, pizza parties, pajama nights and more are available.
Carrie Finley-Bajak sailed on Caribbean Princess on a press/blogger trip as a guest of Princess Cruises. See Cruiseable's Ethics & Disclosure policy.
Interested in a cruise on this ship?
Interested in a cruise on this ship? Contact a Cruiseable travel advocate at 1-877-322-3773, or by email, to get additional information and to find the best rates and value for your vacation dollar.
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Top highlights on this ship
- 881 cabins with private balconies
- Five pools, plus two splash pools
- Family-friendly cruising with supervised youth programs
- Adults-only retreat at the Sanctuary
- Innovative cuisine