Friday, February 6, 2009

Caribbean Princess Emerges From Drydock with Line’s Signature Features

With their new-ship building projects at an end (for now), Princess Cruises has embarked on another project: upgrading and standardizing the onboard facilities and amenities on their fleet's large ships. To that end, Caribbean Princess has just emerged from an extensive 3-week drydock to add many of Princess Cruises’ signature features that have proven extremely popular on its newest ships. Caribbean Princess now offers passengers the engaging street-café atmosphere of the piazza-style atrium with its International Café and Vines, the wine, seafood and cheese bar; the adults-only Sanctuary (pictured above), seven new suites, and a more centrally located casino. Work is also nearly complete on a new Crown Grill steak and seafood restaurant. These amenities became passenger favorites when they debuted aboard Crown Princess, Emerald Princess, and Ruby Princess over the last three years, and are being added to a number of ships, including Golden Princess in May. The company has already introduced many of these features on Star Princess and Grand Princess.

“We want to give passengers who sail aboard any of our large ships the opportunity to enjoy the innovative amenities that have become hallmarks of the Princess cruise experience,” said Jan Swartz, executive vice president of Princess Cruises.

Caribbean Princess’ new atrium now features the specialty coffees, fresh baked cookies and pastries, paninis and tapas of the International Café. Also new is the Vines wine bar offering a selection of more than 30 wines by the glass, plus a selection of seafood, artisan meats and cheeses, and a wine shop where passengers can purchase their favorite vintage.

Adult passengers who want to get away from it all will be able to relax in the tranquility of The Sanctuary, Princess’ signature retreat featuring plush padded lounge chairs and the services of dedicated Serenity Stewards. Visitors to this exclusive space can enjoy refreshing beverages and light snacks, or receive a massage in one of two private cabanas.

Caribbean Princess will soon debut a brand new Crown Grill restaurant featuring an open kitchen where passengers can enjoy watching as chefs prepare chops, steaks and seafood, including live lobsters. As part of the renovation, the 3,080-passenger ship–which debuted in 2004–also received seven new suites with ocean-view picture windows, and a relocated casino on deck 7, bringing it into the ship’s central entertainment area. Other changes include a new location for the sports court, a new Limelight boutique, new shore excursions and Captain’s Circle desks, new Internet café and library, and the addition of flat-screen televisions in all staterooms.

The dramatic makeover took place at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas, where more than 1,500 workers and contractors worked around the clock to complete the impressive project. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through professional travel agents, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the Princess Cruises website.

For insight into cruising aboard Princess ships, visit's Princess Cruise Reviews.


Anonymous said...

Some Passengers traveling Jan 25 to Feb 2 in the Caribbean Princess fron San Juan had a very bad experience with embarkation process, ship areas under construction and awful staff service. Crown Grill and casino not ready yet. When should this renovation be completed 100%? I am crising April 5 2009.

Linda Coffman, AKA Cruise Diva said...

I'm sorry to hear that--the embarkation process can be tedious and there is often more work being done on ships that have just left drydock. I've been on ship following drydock that appeared totally finished and others where workers were still present to wrap things up.

I don't have a date for the completion of Crown Grill.

Anonymous said...

We were on the January 25, 2009 sailing of the Caribbean Princess and I muust say that it took us 7 hour to board the ship, the ship was shabby. The casino was unavailable for 2 1/2 days, ship sailed at 4 am and work was ongoing for the whole 2 weeks of our cruise. Our balcony chairs and floor was covered with white paint and were dirty. We were on the ship in October 2007 and were amazed at how it has declined in every aspect since then. Time to go to Royal Caribbean.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are going on his first cruise on the Caribbean Princess in May of this year. I have read many horrible things since the ships has been back from dry-dock. Does anybody have any positive reveiews to share?

Linda Coffman, AKA Cruise Diva said...

I haven't heard anything since the comments here in Feb. However, I'd be really surprised if everything isn't ironed out by May.


Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd let you know that Princess offered a $75 credit for the problems associated with the January 25, 2009 sailing. Unbelievable. It was the worst cruise experience we had in 20 years of cruising with royal Caribbean, Norweigen and Princess.

Anonymous said...

My honeymoon started on the Caribbean Princess January 25th sailing. Everyone who was on this voyage knows what a disaster it was. I tried complaining while on the cruise & got no where, so as soon as we got home I started calling & emailing the upper managment of Princess. Approx. 6 weeks later we received the letter offering the $75 credit on a future cruise (a total joke & totally unacceptable). So I kept writing & calling, I finally got an email back from the executive assistant & was told the $75 was the only thing they could offer b/c they needed to be fair to all passengers & give everyone the same $75. I was also told inside staterooms recieved the same $75 as the suites, total nonsense. I am so turned off by Princess, they should be embarrased & ashamed of their standards.

Anonymous said...

PRINCESS FAILED TO IMPRESS --- We sailed on the Caribbean Princess from San Juan on Jan 25th. This was our first cruise and supposed to be special for our 30th anniversary - regrettably it was a big disappointment. We arrived at the airport at 12:30 and should have embarked by 3:00. Instead we were shoved into a convention centre with nothing to eat or drink, only promises. We opted to get a cab rather than wait for the transfer shuttles (we had Group 9)to the dock; we still had to wait 3 hours in line and the Group 7 buses were arriving. We finally got onboard after 9:00pm. We got to our mini-suite on Dolphin deck thinking the worst was over - WRONG!!! the stateroom was so run down and dirty, the balcony doors wouldn't lock, the only clean thing in our room were the towels, the linens was soiled, the bathroom had NOT been cleaned, the carpets were so bad, believe it or not, they had to change them - that's how bad it was, I kid you not. There were half empty bottles of liquor in the fridge, in the closet and under the sofa. Although the head supervisor agreed that the condition of the stateroom was unacceptable, there wasn't much they could do, the ship was full. It took 48 hours for them to get it right, changing the carpets, deep cleaning and disenfecting the room, they delivered a bottle of wine and appetizers and we did receive $75 each for the embarkation fiasco and there was a follow-up telephone call from Princess after we formalized a complaint in writing. The entertainment was good especially Phil Tag the comedian, and the staff in the dining room were excellent. The casino opened half way into the cruise, the construction was going on but we didn't feel was a problem. We're going to give them another chance, we're sailing on the Emerald Princess at Christmas, we chose a balcony room (AFT) on Baja deck. We didn't particularly like the Dolphin deck, the balconies are not private and rather on the small size. Happy sails!

Galunadi said...

Most of the wrinkles evidently have been ironed out. Boarding around 1:30 p.m. took 20 minutes. Embarkation around 10:30 a.m. took no more than 30 minutes. Very fast, efficient on-off. Except for a terrible, horrible old no-good bed in our Lido deck stateroom (to which we grew accustomed) and very rough seas the first night, my wife and I had a fabulous time aboard the Caribbean Princess (southern Caribbean cruise, 4/26-5/2). This was her first time to cruise and my 3rd, so I was hoping she would enjoy the experience. She did. Wants to get back on a Princess ship, the CP preferably, and knock around the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our steward was a model steward, dinner (early seating) was delightful every evening with excellent menus and service, the ship was squeaky clean all the time and so welcoming and relaxing. And that cruise director guy's a scream. And the theater shows were fabulous. Top-rate performers. Loved them all. Loved the Caribbean Princess.