I recently spent a day on board Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess whilst she was docked in Southampton. She entered service in 2004, so is one of the older ships in Princess’ fleet, however, she thoroughly embodies what Princess is all about. She is the fourth Grand Class ship and comes in just under 113,000-tons, with a capacity of over 3,600 passengers translating into 900 balcony staterooms and various types of suites. She was also the first Princess ship to debut their iconic “Movies Under the Stars” outdoor theatre.
We boarded the ship early in the morning in order to have a full tour of her facilities. On entering the ship you’re presented with the Piazza, which forms the heart of the ship, with numerous bars, ships and other activities flanking the main performance space. We then proceeded to look around the ship, firstly to the top deck (despite inclement weather) to see the various different pools and areas, including The Sanctuary at the front of the ship. The first thing that strikes you is that this is certainly a warm-weather ship, and even hinted at in her name, so during bad weather the pool decks aren’t very useable (unlike some of her sisters which have sliding roofs). Despite this, the pool decks are spacious and you can clearly see how the areas would come alive when the sun is out, or equally as people sit and watch blockbuster movies with popcorn via the Movies Under the Stars sea-screen.
We then headed up to Skywalkers Nightclub. Located at the top-aft of the ship, this venue is arguably the design feature which turned heads back in the 1990s when the Grand Class was first designed. Sitting elevated above the rear of the ship, the lounge can only be accessed via a walkway that is suspended over the read of the ship. It is a very unique experience and it’s a shame it was redesigned on later ships as it’s a very fun feature. The lounge itself affords easily the best views on the ship over the wake, and certainly at night you can see this place would be buzzing with activity.
We then journeyed down to look at the various suites and cabins on board. This include one of the more unique cabins in the Princess Fleet, the Grand Suite. The largest suite in the entire fleet, this boasts a large living/dining area and bedroom, walk in wardrobe and bathroom area. Following this we looked at a number of other staterooms including balcony, interior and other, smaller, suites.
Continuing our voyage across the ship, we found ourselves looking at delicious food being prepared in the Horizon Court, as well as pizza and other snacks around the pool deck. Food is certainly something Princess prides itself on, and you could see signs of this throughout the ship, including at the 24-hour International Café. The ship boasts 3 main restaurants, together with a number of the lines specialty eateries including Sabatinis, the lines Italian restaurant, and the Crown Grille, their steak house. On top of this the ship also has 11 lounges and bars where you can grab a drink or watch various forms of entertainment. The ship also boasts a large theatre, a Casino, a fine arts gallery, an array of shops and a children’s activity programme so certainly has something for everyone!
The day was rounded off the day with lunch at the aforementioned Sabatinis and I have to say it was one of the best meals I’ve had on a cruise ship to date. We were presented with a trio of lobster, a luxurious tiramisu as well as some amazingly fresh pasta. I definitely recommend trying it out when on a Princess ship in the future!
Thanks to the Princess Cruises team for a great day out experiencing Caribbean Princess.
For a brief photo tour of the ship please visit here.
For more information on the ship, including deck plans, please visit here.
Images and content © Marcus Adams 2016