Caribbean Princess

Caribbean Princess Cruise to New England/Canada       

 DAY 7: At Sea and Ship Review

We joined the culinary demonstration and tour of the galley in the morning and did a wine tasting in the afternoon. The cooking demo was fun. I always enjoy walking through the galley, one of many aboard ship, and seeing the spotless stainless steel countertops and cabinets.  The wine tasting was lovely, with a great selection of appetizers on a platter: lobster, steak tartare, smoked salmon, cheeses, caviar, and more. It was worth the $15 cost but I always wish the waiter would pour me more!  The last day on the cruise was windy and rainy so no one went outside. Too bad, we couldn’t really enjoy the deck on this cruise. For better weather, July might be a better month.  Dinner: Roast turkey with all the trimmings and traditional Baked Alaska.                                                                        

Galley Tour
Galley Tour
Culinary Demo
Culinary Demo

 

Review of the Caribbean Princess

 We liked the ship very much.  It’s a sister ship to several others, including the Emerald Princess we are going on next to the Southern Caribbean.

Galley Tour
Galley Tour

             

Galley Tour
Galley Tour

 

Our balcony cabin had a lovely view out the wide doors. The balcony floor is covered with some sort of spongy porous material that works well. We had a refrigerator in the room stocked with soft drinks. Princess gives very comfortable storage space with a large separate closet, plenty of hangars, and a cabinet of floor to ceiling shelves.  Other furnishings included a single armchair, small round table, desk chair, tv, desk console, and two nightstands each with drawers.  No coffeemaker and no sofa in the cabin.  We peeked at our kids inside cabin which had the same generous storage space. You don’t get a closed in feeling because the back wall holds a wide mirror.  Their desk space was larger than in our cabin. 

Wine Tasting
Wine Tasting

The bathroom has a small shower area and a shower curtain instead of a door (RCCL has a glass door in a tiny round space), ultra-thin single ply toilet paper, and rough tissues (better ones in public restrooms).  I got a cold on this cruise and my nose came away looking very chafed.

Bathroom amenities: bar soap, signature lotion, shampoo, and conditioner with a pleasant fragrance.  The lotion comes out a bit thick.

The steward was very efficient.  He cleaned our room when we were absent and left chocolates on our pillow each night.  He did not fold the towels into shapes like on previous cruises.

I think the temperature in a balcony room fluctuates more due to the glass: the room can be colder in cool weather, hotter in sunny warm climates.  We froze until we told the steward to get the thermostat in our room fixed.  The view from our balcony when seated was clear, not obstructed by the railing.  There’s a large glass partition up to the rail outside. 

The first night’s show included the ship’s singers and dancers, pyrotechnics, and a comedian.  The cruise director on this ship was excellent. He’s talented in his own right and was often funnier than the guest star.  The second night was a dance production with mist, strobe lights, and flashy costumes.  We missed the comedian’s solo performance because he got sick with a migraine. Memorable shows were the Scottish pipe band in Nova Scotia and the crew’s talent show.

Buffet Breakfast: Different type of pancakes every day, individual fried eggs, ready-made omelets, breads and pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereal, sautéed mushrooms, breakfast meats, smoked salmon, potatoes, and more.  The coffee tasted good and the caffeine worked for me.  Pitchers of cream are available near the coffee urns.  A nice selection of teas is offered.

Afternoon tea is served in the dining room: you get brewed tea with no choice of flavors; mini-sandwiches, scones with whipped cream and jam, cookies and cakes.  It’s served at 3:30 by white-gloved waiters.                         

Desserts
Desserts

Although Princess mentioned in their newsletter that they were adding a third seating at 5:30, it turned out there were only two seatings on this cruise. We had early seating and it was scheduled for 5:30.  I would have preferred 6:00 but we sauntered in near that time anyway with no problem.  You have the choice of fixed seating or free style dining.  We did not take advantage of the restaurants for which there is an extra cover charge.

There are two outdoor grills by the pool.  One serves pizza and the other station serves hot dogs, burgers, and French fries. Their pizza is thin crust and very good, better than RCCL. (We like the Seattle’s Best coffee on RCCL better).

An ice cream bar on deck serves free soft serve ice cream.  We were so full from all the meals, we never got any.  Plus the chilly, rainy weather was not conducive to ice cream. Fresh cookies were available around the pool area in afternoon or at the buffet. You can also get snacks and desserts at the International Café inside at the bottom of the atrium. Specialty coffee is offered her for a fee. Across the way is the Vines wine bar with free canapés and sushi but you have to pay for cheeses.

Princess menu selections are consistently appealing, and there are good choices on the alternative menu too.  Breads and desserts are all good.  (NCL does custard type desserts well but not pastries; RCCL desserts are okay but their menu selection loses appeal over the course of a week). Princess pastries are very good, much to the detriment of my diet.  So now it’s time to lose weight and get ready for the next voyage.

Lobster Tail
Lobster Tail

                                              

                                    

Baked Alaska
Baked Alaska

            

ship
ship

 

ship
ship

 

For more photos, go to my New England photo album

Cruise Day 6: Halifax

Cruise to New England/Canada on Caribbean Princess

DAY 6: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax
Approaching Halifax

Nova Scotia has its own unique flavor and we enjoyed this port very much. I’d say it’s second to Bar Harbor as a favorite. There’s lots to see and do by the waterfront on your own without having to take a tour. The sun came out and warmed us as we strolled along the boardwalk. We went inside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to view the very interesting exhibits of Canadian naval history and of the Titanic with relics recovered from the wreck.  Lunch was at an outdoor café in the now delightful weather. We browsed the shops, bypassing most of the artsy items. The kids toured Alexander Keith’s Brewery on Lower Water Street and highly recommend this attraction. It’s like a living history display, with costumed characters acting in their time period while explaining the brew making process. Samples of ale are offered in a tavern setting at the end.  This is all within walking distance of the ship. The terminal itself offered the most interesting shops, and we spent over an hour looking around at the wares and buying more blueberry and maple products. Scarfs, sweatshirts, tee shirts, and hoodies are available here along with the usual souvenir shot glasses, cookbooks, and such. The only cookbook I bought for my collection was from the Union Oyster House in Boston.

Boardwalk
Boardwak

Back on the ship, we watched a folk performance of bagpipers and dancers. It was one of the highlights of the cruise and gave a flavor of the area. Nova Scotia is worth a return visit. It’s picturesque with attractive shops and restaurants and scenic attractions if you want them. There’s even the requisite citadel on a hill.  Dinner tonight: beef medallions.

        
                   
Brewery
Brewery
city street
city street
           
Dinner
Dinner
ship
ship with museum

   

Cruise Day 5: Saint John

Caribbean Princess Cruise to New England/Canada

DAY 5: Saint John, New Brunswick

Saint John
Saint John

 Another rainy day put us in a dreary mood as we boarded the tour bus for the scenic overview of Saint John, our first stop in Eastern Canada. We had to turn our clocks ahead one hour last night.

We drove through this sprawling, industrial city to Martello Tower, a stone keep which housed soldiers and ammunition in days of old. It seems every port has a fort, and yes, when you’ve seen one…you’ve seen them all. This was interesting in that it had the bunks inside to depict how the troops lived there. It was cold, windy, and rainy. We scampered back into the bus. Next stop was Reversing Falls, where the Bay of Fundy meets the St. John River with voracious tides. I’d seen these huge tides sweep in like a tidal wave on a dry river bed on a previous trip to Canada with my parents in my youth, but here you can see the currents swirling around. Across the water is a pulp plant spewing white smoke. The plant has filters so you don’t get that awful sulfur smell, but it’s a highly unattractive feature of the city.

Martello Tower
Martello Tower

 

Martello Tower
Martello Tower

 

Pulp Plant
Pulp Plant

 

We got out again by the Saint John City Market for a quick peek and decided this was worth a return visit. After lunch on the ship, we walked briskly outdoors to Market Square, a brick building housing a shopping mall. This led into Brunswick Square Shopping Center, which in turn led to the City Market. You don’t have to walk outside; there’s an indoor pedway to get from one place to another. City Market had the best souvenir items with maple sugar, maple spread, more blueberry items, and other foodie goods. There’s some English china and table linens if you’re into that stuff. We didn’t buy a lot here, just a few maple products. The sugar candies are too sweet but worth trying if you’ve never eaten one, and the maple fudge is fresher at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. We tried their java but prefer Starbucks. We were happy to get back to the ship. Despite its natural wonders, this was our least favorite port. Maybe some of the other tours further afield are better. If you arrive before 11:00am, ladies are gifted with a fresh rose and men with a souvenir pin when you disembark. The people are very courteous and eager for tourism so I wish them well, but I’d suggest a nature tour of some sort rather than a ride around the industrial city.

Saint John
Saint John

 

City Market
City Market