We did a one week family vacation of 14 people on the Caribbean Princess. We flew overnight to JFK and took a cab to the ship in Brooklyn. We had directions from the internet and we and the cab driver still could not find the cruise terminal due to a lack of street signs in Brooklyn. Our family members were staying a the Marriott in Times Square. The bellman at the entrance went through several cabs before finding cabs that knew how to get them to the Princess Terminal.
We boarded the ship with over 3500 of our newest friends. The ship was completely full. We were assigned "Any Time Dining" which we could not correct before getting on the ship. So, we had to stand in line for one hour to fix that. The Maître d reluctantly gave us two tables in the non fixed seating room. The ship was just packed.
This ship goes to five ports and your first sea day is the last day of the cruise. Our first port, Newport, Rhode Island was a tender port. It rained really bad. It was especially delightful standing in a slow moving two block tender line in a driving rainstorm to get back on the ship. We got soaked!! The captain could have had the courtesy to run more tenders.
Boston, the next port brought more rain. The shuttle was $16 round trip (must be the new shuttle rate) for a short drive into town. We took public transport and cabs. Did the Freedom Walk which was very interesting.
Our next port Bar Harbor, Maine gave us sunshine. The town was elbow to elbow people with 3500+ passengers in town. Nice place though.
St. Johns, New Brunswick was next. Nice weather again. Took a 5 hour cab tour. Got to see the tide action in the Bay of Fundy. Watched a river go backwards up stream with rapids etc.
Halifax, Nova Scotia our last port had dense fog could not see anything. We walked around town and the fog turned to heavy rain. Got soaked again.
For the Captains Circle, they had a 30 minute cocktail party for the most traveled. We did not go. We did get the most traveled award at the Circle party and a nice bottle of Champagne.
I think that Princess is lowering their standards and Carnival Corp is fitting them in just above Carnival Cruise line ships and below Holland America. It is too bad for they were once a great cruise line. The food was not up to the old Princess standards nor was the service. The crew did not seem happy. We talked to some crew members we knew from the past. The crew was generally not pleased with the ship. It was a mob scene every place you went. Slow elevators, elbow to elbow people, etc.
That ship is just too damned big and Princess is buying two more that are bigger!!!!