Caribbean Princess

Princess Cruises

Ship information

Caribbean Princess

About Caribbean Princess

Caribbean Princess maintains a laid-back ambiance, allowing for laugh-out-loud fun that's never too boisterous. From baby boomers on the dance floor doing the hand jive to middle-aged cruisers competing with gusto in a paper plane competition and families guessing which silly law is real or not, people are on the 3,140-passenger ship to have some old-fashioned fun.

The Caribbean Princess Deck Plan Includes Many Cabin-Only Decks

Those familiar with Princess cruise line won’t be surprised to learn that Caribbean Princess’ deck plans are well designed and easy to navigate. With a smart layout that offers good separation between busy public spaces and cabins, nights are generally quiet in most staterooms. Even on the few decks where there’s a mix of both – i.e., decks 5, 6 and 15 – most cabins are far enough from the public areas that get most foot traffic and noise. The only exception would be Deck 6 (Fiesta), whose suites are surrounded by the theater, the shops, and Crown Grill. Those, along with cabins on Deck 14 midship and aft, may very well be the only Caribbean Princess cabins to avoid if getting a good night’s sleep is a priority for you.

Additionally, and as appealing as they may sound, beware of the Caribbean Princess’ Grand Suite, the Owner’s Suite and the Penthouse Suites on deck 12 (Aloha), as they’re right below the Terrace Pool and may experience some noise.

For a restful night, aboard Caribbean Princess your best bet is a cabin on deck 9 (Dolphin), 10 (Caribe), 11 (Baja) or 14 (Riviera).

The ship’s obstructed-view cabins are located on Deck 8 (Emerald). Lifeboats block views in all cases, but sometimes it’s only partially. Check the

Caribbean Princess deck plans

before choosing your stateroom.

With a length of almost 1,000 feet, and 18 decks, Caribbean Princess is a large, busy ship, but it doesn’t necessarily feel crowded. There may be waits for the elevators or lines at the buffet, but that’s to be expected on most cruise ships. Those seeking some peace and quiet can book a lounger (and a massage!) at Caribbean Princess’ Sanctuary, which is a lovely adult-only sun deck on Deck 17.

The Caribbean Princess Ship is Mellow but Fun

You won't find water slides or heart-pounding activities aboard the Caribbean Princess cruise ship, and while passengers aren't teetotalers by any means (a glass of wine being most people's poison), you won't see anyone staggering around after midnight either. What you will find are gregarious sorts who like to travel to new places, sing along with the piano guy in Crooners and have a good laugh at a guest comic's show.

It's not just all silly fun -- some of the ship's best attractions are more cultured. Trivia is standing-room-only and full of die-hard players, art lectures and auctions are well attended and the best stage show is full of operatic arias. Passengers on Caribbean Princess also eat up destination talks and enjoy participating in arts and crafts, and musical instrument lessons inspired by the locales the ship visits.

Lest you think the vessel is all about indoor pursuits, the ship has an impressive four pools and lots of sun deck space, so there's plenty of opportunity for soaking up some rays and catnapping the day away. It also features the Reef Family Splash Zone, with a kiddie pool, hot tub, whale-themed water playground, oversized games and a mocktail bar.

While it may seem at times like Caribbean Princess is trying too hard to offer something for everyone -- multiple dining venues for foodies, a splash park for families, high-tech for the young (or young at heart) -- it all manages to blend seamlessly, creating an overall feel that's refined but comfortable and easygoing as well.

Caribbean Princess’ Refurbishment Added Restaurants and Upgraded Cabins

Built in 2004, Caribbean Princess underwent extensive renovations in 2019. The refurbishment brought a wide array of upgrades to cabins and the kids’ splash area, as well as a variety of new restaurants. In addition, the ship has had much drydock work done over the years (the most recent one being in early 2022), which has kept it in good shape and feeling up to date.

Caribbean Princess is a high-tech ship, boasting the 

OceanMedallion

 system, which replaces the traditional keycard with a casino chip-sized "medallion" that enables cruisers to order food and drinks on demand from almost anywhere on the ship (using a related app on their cellphone), locate any member of their cruise party and unlock their cabin door before they step in front of it.

The tech is pretty cool (who doesn't love having a piece of pizza and a beer delivered to them poolside!) but may be wasted on some of the older passengers who aren't so tech-savvy. The remaining cruisers, a mix of ages, though mostly in the boomer set, invariably give the tech a whirl, especially those with kids in tow during the holidays and school breaks.

Princess Cruises COVID-19 Rules

For the most up-to-date testing, masking, and vaccination requirements aboard Caribbean Princess, please refer to 

Princess

Cruises. You can also use 

Cruise Critic's guide to health requirements

 on the world’s major cruise lines as we know them.

Cabins

Caribbean Princess has 34 cabin types available

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

9 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

9 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

9 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

9 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

9 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

9 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

9 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

9 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

9 Balcony types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

15 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Theater and Shows on Caribbean Princess

The Princess Theater spans Decks 6 and 7 and is used for a variety of entertainment offerings from big-stage song and dance productions (there are usually three to four, depending on cruise length) to guest acts that on our 12-night British Isles cruise included an Olivier-award winning West End singer, a concert pianist, comedian and Harlem-based Motown cover group. Fun fact: Hidden in the arm of each seat is a drinks tray that you can pull out to put your drinks on if you'd like.

The best show (which ranks among the best we've seen at sea) is "Bravo!," which features opera's greatest hits as well as a few popular songs done in operatic style. Princess flies in a professional soprano for one or two days to do the most complex of the arias. Between the extraordinary talent of the singers and the ballroom dancing that accompanies many of the songs, the show is the one you don't want to miss.

Caribbean Princess Daily Activities

Whether sea day or port day, Caribbean Princess packs in a lot of activities. Most days you'll find morning and afternoon trivia sessions, game shows, art enrichment lectures, spa seminars (be prepared for a hard sell), retail sales events, bingo, sports tournaments (free throws, golf putting) and classes that range from dancing to crafts and, on our British Isles sailing, pennywhistle.

Don't miss some under-the-radar activities in partnership with Discovery, including the High Seas Heist cruiselong mystery game and a pop-up, inflatable planetarium in the theater.

Movies are offered from early in the morning till late at night, both inside and at Princess' signature outdoor 

Movies Under the Stars

. Film choices lean toward just-out-of-the theater hits.

Additionally, a selection of games is always available on digital wall portals including trivia, a word scramble game, a scavenger hunt and a shape matching game for the younger set. Those using the OceanMedallion apps on their phone can also play trivia or participate in a build-a-poker-hand pub crawl.

Nightlife on Caribbean Princess

Caribbean Princess comes alive at night with live music or crew-led fun in virtually every available space on the ship, including the 

Piazza

. The fun starts early in the evening and goes until about 1 a.m. (or later, depending on the crowd); you'll find big-stage entertainment in the theater, live or recorded music in the lounges -- sometimes with ballroom or line dancing -- and interactive game shows or trivia in the Explorers Lounge. Plus, Caribbean Princess’ Skywalker nightclub opens at 10 p.m. with happy hour specials.

The Caribbean Princess casino is also open until late whenever the ship is out to sea. Here you'll find lots of slot machines and table games including roulette, craps, blackjack, three card and Texas Hold'em. If you want to play Texas Hold'em against other players, it'll be on the electronic table and not with a dealer.

One of the ship's signature activities has been the "Voice of the Ocean," created in partnership with TV's "The Voice." Interested karaoke aficionados audition the first two nights of the cruise for a spot in the final sea day afternoon finale. Those chosen practice with coaches throughout the sailing and then perform onstage in front of a packed audience to win it all. We were told by others who have seen the show before that it can be a lot of fun, but on our sailing the talent was fairly mediocre, the audience lacked energy and the entire spectacle became just too embarrassing to watch. The program was put on pause during the pandemic but is expected to come back in 2022.

Caribbean Princess Bars and Lounges

There are plenty of bars and lounges to be found on Caribbean Princess, with most used for various activities during the day and live music or entertainment of some kind in the evenings and at night.

Good Spirits at Sea (Deck 5, midship): This cocktail bar is located in the Piazza, adjacent to the International Café and across from the panoramic lifts. You'll find experienced mixologists and tasty cocktails from around the world here. Cocktail presentations are held multiple times per day, with bartenders explaining the history (including fun facts) and ingredients of each drink.

Vines (Deck 5, midship): Located in one corner of the Piazza, Vines is Caribbean Princess' dedicated wine bar with several varietals on offer. It also hosts wine tastings and extra-fee wine and chocolate pairings and wine blending classes. Additionally, all glasses of wine come with a choice of sushi and tapas, so you can make an afternoon snack or even light meal of your wine habit. Just a sampling of the wines you'll find on the menu includes Wild Horse pinot noir, Silverado sangiovese, Ancient Peaks merlot, Jekel Riesling, Estancia pinot grigio and Silverado sauvignon blanc.

Churchill’s Cigar Lounge (Deck 6, forward): Churchill is Caribbean Princess' cigar bar and also doubles as a sports bar, having access to some sports channels you can't find anywhere else on the ship or in the cabins. It's intimate, dark and atmospheric with comfy armchairs and sofas, but it does smell strongly of smoke.

Crooners (Deck 7, midship): Good luck finding a table at this small piano bar, especially once the music gets going in the evening. Located on Deck 7, two decks immediately above the Piazza, Crooners is not a sing-along bar in the traditional sense; nevertheless, you'll find yourself humming along and tapping your foot as song after familiar song is played.

On nights when the piano player/singer hosts music trivia sessions like Name That Broadway Show Tune, it's standing-room only, and even the hallway alongside the bar will be packed shoulder to shoulder with people. (On our cruise the Name That Broadway Show Tune session was so crowded that subsequent music trivia sessions were moved into the Explorers Lounge.)

Explorers Lounge (Deck 7, midship): We kind of love the colorful kitsch of this largish lounge with its Egyptian decor (think golden sarcophagi and paintings of Egyptian sand sculptures) and African animal-print rug in red, gold and green. At the front of the lounge is a small stage and sizable dance floor surrounded on three sides in an arc with three tiers of seating -- mostly lacquered wood tables with seating for four, plus loveseats and armchairs.

Explorers Lounge is used throughout the day and into the night for trivia and interactive game shows, art lectures and auctions, dance classes, live music and dancing, and occasional afternoon movies.

Wheelhouse Bar (Deck 7, midship): Probably the quietest of all the lounges on Caribbean Princess, the nautically themed Wheelhouse Bar is located between Explorers Lounge and Sabatini's and is a bit inset so it's easy to miss. Wheelhouse is mostly used in the evening for solo travelers and LGBTQ get-togethers; a live band plays jazz and soft rock.

Club Fusion (Deck 7, aft): A Western-themed lounge (think paintings of cowboys, lots of wood and leather, and a Western-style saddle displayed at the entrance), Club Fusion is packed during most events -- unsurprising since it hosts a roster of bingo, trivia and dance classes during the day and karaoke, concert broadcasts and dancing with either prerecorded theme music (50s jive, 70s disco, etc.) or a live band from early evening till late. The large space features a spacious dance floor and three tiers of seating, mostly round wooden tables with brown leather chairs.

Grand Casino Bar (Deck 7, forward): This small bar is used primarily by people playing electronic games embedded in the bar, as well as by the waiters who serve drinks to players sitting at the table games and slots.

Outriggers Bar (Deck 15, aft): This small bar is located way at the back of the ship and is quite underused on colder-weather itineraries. In the Caribbean, this is a popular bar due to its wake views and proximity to the adults-only aft pool.

Calypso Bar (Deck 15): This is a simple pool bar with limited seating located near the Calypso pool.

The Mix (Deck 15): Located between Salty Dog Grill and Slice Pizzeria, The Mix is a standard pool bar, located close to Neptune's Reef & Pool.

Tradewinds Bar (Deck 16, forward): Yet another pool bar, Tradewinds is located one deck up from Neptune's Reef & Pool. This is one of Caribbean Princess’ few smoking areas.

The Reef Bar (Deck 17, aft): Located at the back of the ship, The Reef Bar is a relatively quiet bar most of the time, used mostly by parents hanging out by the kiddie splash area and pool and nearby hot tub. It's got a special menu of mocktails for kids, topped with cotton candy and Pocky sticks.

Skywalkers Nightclub (Decks 18 and 19, aft): This is the ship's nightclub, though it gets a lot of use during the day as a game room and a quiet place to read a book or watch the ocean. Most nights the dancing gets started at 10 with themed music (70s or 80s, Motown, Latin, British Invasion, etc.) and then continues with DJ'd tunes that span all music genres and keep people on the floor till after midnight.

Caribbean Princess drink packages include two that cover alcoholic drinks, and three that don’t. Premier Beverage Package includes most top-shelf spirits, handcrafted cocktails, wine by the glass, and discounts on wine and water bottles and soda cans. Plus Beverage Package includes about 50 spirits, beer, cocktails, wine by the glass, and non-alcoholic drinks, including specialty coffees and mocktails. Non-alcoholic packages range from Coffee & Soda – which offers mocktails and fruit juices as well as sodas and specialty coffees – to the Classic Soda package, and an option to purchase a specific number of vouchers to be used to buy espresso-based drinks or tea.

Dining

Caribbean Princess restaurants run from just OK to really quite good, with the best food served at Crown Grill and Chef's Table. The World Fresh Marketplace runs hot and cold; our favorite dish on the entire ship was a simple quinoa with caramelized onion side offered one night in the Marketplace, but on other nights we couldn't find anything that appealed to our taste buds. The main dining room always satisfied.

One of the best things about Caribbean Princess’s dining is the plethora of choices for any meal with five venues open for breakfast, seven for lunch (five on a port day) and eight for dinner. 

Most dietary restrictions can be catered for if you alert the line to your needs before you cruise. Even if you forget to tell them, there are always vegetarian options, gluten-free bread and sugar-free choices at dessert, and if you talk to the maitre d' once onboard, you can arrange special needs meals for each day.

Caribbean Princess Free Dining Options

Island and Coral Dining Rooms (Decks 5 and 6, midship): Caribbean Princess has three main dining rooms, one of which is reserved only for suite and Club Class mini-suite passengers. The Island and Coral dining rooms are for everyone else.

Breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner are served every day in one of the dining rooms; on sea days, lunch is also served in one of the restaurants.

For dinner, both dining rooms are open to passengers with Anytime Dining, Princess' flexible dining program that enables cruisers to show up anytime they want during dinner hours (waits are usually 20 to 40 minutes). To avoid a long wait, you can make a reservation for the time you want. One of the dining rooms (Coral Dining Room on our sailing) is first reserved for a set-time early-dinner seating, opening for Anytime Dining afterwards. (There is no late set seating.)

Breakfast in the main dining room features two menu items that change daily and a full list of standards available every day.

On sea days, lunch is served in one of the two dining rooms. The menu includes brunch selections, as well as starters, soup, salad, pasta, entrees, burgers, combos (soup and salad, or soup and a sandwich) and desserts. Desserts are varied and delicious.

Afternoon tea, served every day, consists of finger sandwiches, pastries and cookies and a selection of teas.

The dinner menu most nights includes a changing menu of starters, soups and salads, mains and desserts. Items listed under Princess Favorites are available every night. Vegetarian options are marked with a "V."

Some nights the menu also features a "Crafted by Curtis Stone" item, brought to Princess by its partnership with celebrity chef Curtis Stone. Choices might include seafood stew with Chilean sea bass, black mussels and clams, or chicken and leek potpie.

Desserts also include a selection of always-available items and nightly specials. On rare evenings, a 

Chocolate Journeys

 option (created in partnership with chocolatier Norman Love) is available as well. The one we encountered was a chocolate pistachio dome with almond and pistachio nougatine; it got rave reviews.

Palm Dining Room (Deck 6, aft): The Palm Dining Room on Caribbean Princess is reserved only for passengers staying in suites and Club-designated mini-suites. It uses the same menus found in the Island and Coral dining rooms. Seating in Palm is set seating only, with early dinner and late dinner options available.

World Fresh Marketplace (Deck 15, midship): Caribbean Princess’ buffet, 

World Fresh Marketplace

, is a conglomerate of food stations designed to decrease congestion and move cruisers through the buffet more quickly. The U-shaped space is located between the midship Calypso Pool and the aft Planks BBQ and Steamers Seafood restaurants.

There are identical setups on either side of the Marketplace, each with three rows totaling about 15 themed stations that change from lunch to dinner, though some -- such as Eastern and Western Destinations, the Garden Soup Kettle and the two Pastry Counters -- are always there.

It can be a noisy spot, and seats during peak times (embarkation day, sea day breakfast and lunch) are hard to come by. If you can't find a place to sit at lunch, you can head to the back and sit in Steamers or Planks BBQ or try to find one of the few tables located outside by the pools.

The Caribbean Princess World Fresh Marketplace is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering food throughout the day. At breakfast you'll find all the usual morning offerings, but if you want eggs made to order, head back to the buffet lines in Steamers or Planks. Lunch offers Indian, Middle Eastern, Italian and Mexican dishes; a carvery, soups and sandwiches; prepared and DIY salad fixings and more.

Dinner selections are similar though smaller in number, plus a Family Kitchen island with items like corn dogs, pasta with marinara or Alfredo sauce, and French fries. Only one side of the buffet is open for dinner most nights.

At the two Pastry Counters, you'll find a selection of cakes, cookies, brownies and other dessert favorites at both lunch and dinner. The nearby "Specialty Shop" has a selection of gluten-free desserts (a real rarity!).

The Salty Dog Grill (Deck 15, midship): A poolside grill with gourmet ambitions, 

The Salty Dog Grill

 features items like the BLT Burger; a grilled chicken sandwich with dill and lemon aioli, cucumber and tomato, and two flavors of "street tacos."

If you're just looking for more traditional poolside grill options, the closest item on the menu is the Princess Classic burger with tomato, lettuce and red onion, plus a choice of cheese. There is no plain hot dog though; instead, The Salty Dog Grill serves an all-beef sausage-like hot dog, with your choice of toppings, and the "Salty" chili cheese dog. Sides on offer are loaded fries with either chili cheese or bacon and cheese. Vegetarian options include a veggie burger, sweet potato green chili and chili cheese fries.

Slice Pizzeria (Deck 15, midship): Also located poolside is Slice Pizzeria, with both standard and more trendy options. Gluten-free versions of the thin-crust pizza are available upon request.

Steamers (Deck 15, aft): Open for breakfast and lunch in the space normally used for the dinner-only, extra-fee Steamers Seafood restaurant is this simple choose-your-own-fixings ramen noodle bar. Choices include two ramen noodle styles (soba or glass) and two broth choices (chicken or beef), plus a selection of vegetables and meats (chicken, beef, pork and seafood), from the buffet line. There's also a small standard breakfast buffet in Steamers every morning.

Planks BBQ (Deck 15, aft): Similar to Steamers, the Planks breakfast and buffet lunch are held in the space occupied by the dinner-only, extra-fee Planks BBQ restaurant. Selections might include an open-faced roast turkey and potato on white bread sandwich, triple-deck grilled cheese, an open-faced pork belly and Swiss on sourdough bread sandwich and grilled mac 'n' cheese on white bread, along with a choice of sides. Lunch hours are more limited than at other venues, usually between noon and 1:30 p.m. There's also a small standard breakfast buffet in Planks every morning.

Coffee & Cones (Deck 15, midship): Most of the items at this specialty coffee and ice cream shop cost extra, but you can get free soft serve vanilla and chocolate ice cream in a cup or cone. Complimentary extras include sprinkles and whipped cream.

British-Style Pub Lunch (Crown Grill, Deck 6, forward): On sea days, you'll find a British-style pub lunch on the lineup of the day's activities. Open for about two hours, the menu has just four items on it: bangers (sausage) and mash, fish and chips, ploughman's lunch and steak and kidney pie. The only dessert provided is a bread-and-butter pudding. For aficionados of British or Irish pub food, the offerings at this Princess staple might disappoint, but we enjoyed our fish and chips, nevertheless.

The International Cafe (Deck 5, midship): Light bites, including a delicious selection of pastries, plus coffee and tea (basic and for-a-fee specialties) are available 24 hours a day at this popular spot in the Piazza.

During the early hours, the selections at 

The International Cafe

 are more breakfast oriented, but as lunch approaches, breakfast pastries give way to a variety of cakes, flavored puddings and fruit tarts. At least two choices are sugar-free. More substantial snacks are also available from late morning to late afternoon, including a hearty selection of sandwiches, steak and kidney pie, quiches, salads and a soup of the day.

Room Service: The Princess room service menu is comprehensive, complimentary and available 24 hours a day. It includes soups, salads and sandwiches, as well as a selection of hot dishes and pastry items.

Additionally, select drinks and a limited selection of food items are available through the OceanNow app (you'll have to have downloaded the app to your phone before your cruise), for delivery to select locations throughout the ship. There is no charge for the service, above and beyond the cost of any items you are ordering. Options include free choices, as well as those that cost money.

Caribbean Princess Specialty Restaurants

Crown Grill (Deck 6, forward); prix fixe: Princess' most popular specialty restaurant is its steakhouse, the 

Crown Grill

, with a menu consisting of seafood entrees and chops. Crown Grill is only open for dinner, though on sea days the British-style pub lunch is held here.

Starters are black tiger prawn, carpaccio of pine nut-coated lamb loin, Mediterranean-style spiny lobster cake and pan-seared Pacific scallops. Soup and salad choices are shrimp and pancetta bisque, black and blue onion soup, mixed salad and a marinated goat cheese and heirloom tomato salad. Diners in the mood for seafood can choose a mussel pot, Chilean sea bass and brioche-breaded king prawns, grilled tiger prawns or a 4-ounce lobster tail (add the lobster tail to one of the meat entrees to create your own surf and turf dish).

But what the restaurant is known for are its steaks and chops, which include Sterling Silver beef chop, Madeira-glazed Wisconsin veal chop, New Zealand double lamb chops, Sterling Silver pork chop, porterhouse, New York or Kansas City strip steak, rib-eye and filet mignon. Side dishes (order as many as you want) are delicious. Try to leave room for desert, as the choices are ultra-indulgent.

Sabatini's Italian Trattoria (Deck 7, midship); prix fixe: A longtime Princess favorite, 

Sabatini's

 underwent a complete overhaul in 2017 that included scrapping the old menu and replacing it with an entirely new one created in partnership with Los Angeles-based chef Angelo Auriana. The menu consists of five courses (diners choose one item for each course), plus the aperitivo, which features warm mini-whole wheat loafs, a Tuscan tomato and pepper spread and prosciutto. Your waiter will help you through the menu because the order of the dishes can be a bit confusing.

First is the antipasti; the five choices all have Italian names with the English explanation below. As a second course, you can choose either a celery, mushroom and hazelnut soup or an escarole, celery and pear salad. Second and third courses are the pasta and main entrees. There are six main entree choices including trout rolls, breaded veal with potatoes and artichokes, rolled pork belly Toscana and the Roman seafood al cartoccio with grouper, shrimp, black mussels, scallops, potato and artichoke. If you can't decide on just one pasta or entree, you can pay extra for each additional choice.

The four dessert choices include the obligatory, but interestingly shaped, tiramisu, plus vanilla panna cotta and fresh berries. There's also the you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it Rocher by Norman Love, which looks like an oversized Ferrero Rocher candy in a terrarium globe. (There's also a delicious tiramisu martini on the menu that tastes just like liquid tiramisu!)

Steamers Seafood (Deck 15, aft); prix fixe: On our sailing, smallish specialty restaurant 

Steamers

 was rarely frequented, which we were told had more to do with the cold-weather itinerary we were on than anything else. Yet the food was also mediocre, with a limited menu consisting entirely of shellfish, with the only exception being a crab-stuffed flounder that can be made without the crab. (However, it's drowned in hollandaise sauce and not very good.)

The menu consists of two starters and three entree choices: black and blue mussels with scallops and kielbasa sausage; steamed clams with shrimp and andouille sausage with a choice of three sauces; the "Princess Broiler," which comes served in a large skillet pan and includes broiled scallops and shrimp, and the crab-stuffed flounder, with a side of crispy seasoned fries. Diners can opt to add lobster tail and crab to any of the entrees for just $10.

Dessert choices are limited to just three items. Also on the menu at Steamers Seafood are specialty cocktails with names like Mermaid's Wish and Captain's Bounty.

Chef's Table (Deck 5, midship); prix fixe: The most exclusive restaurant on Caribbean Princess is the Chef's Table. It offers a multicourse experience with wine pairing, which takes diners behind the scenes into the galley for hors d'oeuvres and Champagne and then to a beautifully appointed table (either in a main dining room or a private room) for the lavish meal. The meal changes each time depending on the mood of the chef. Special diets will not be accommodated; diners should be up for just about anything.

Chef's Table is offered once or twice per cruise depending on cruise length and fills up almost as soon as it's announced in the daily Princess Patter. Also, to participate in Chef's Table, diners are required to sign a document that says they have not had any gastrointestinal or respiratory illness within the last 48 hours, wear a white lab coat-like jacket while in the galley and not wear shorts or open-toed shoes.

Planks BBQ (Deck 15, aft); prix fixe: The only complaint we heard about

Planks BBQ

on Caribbean Princess was that it served way too much (good!) food. A casual dinner-only eatery, this meat-lover's paradise features round or block wood tables adorned with blue masonry jars and paired with silver-studded leather backed chairs. Three courses are included in a Planks meal: appetizer, main course and dessert.

For the main course, diners choose four of six barbecued meats -- sou'wester pulled pork, chili-spiced roasted tri-tip, kielbasa smoked sausage links, Caribbean island smoked chicken drumsticks, hard cider barbecue pork ribs and chipotle barbecue meatballs. (If you're having trouble deciding, the tri-tip, ribs and sausages get the highest ratings -- and you can add an extra meat selection for a fee.)

Along with the meat, each plank also has a "heaping" serving of sides. Sauces -- tangy apple butter and cider, and steakhouse smoky bourbon and ale -- are served on the side and you can always ask for more.

For those who have room for more, desert choices are banana pudding, chocolate cake or a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Be prepared to unbutton the top button of your pants when all is said and done.

Coffee and Cones (Deck 15, midship); a la carte: Other than the soft serve ice cream, everything at Coffee and Cones carries a surcharge, including the delicious ice cream sandwiches you'll find on offer. Our favorite was the mint patty with peppermint ice cream nestled between two chocolate chocolate-chip cookies. Also available are specialty coffees (hot or cold).

Ultimate Balcony Dining (Your Cabin); prix fixe: The fanciest breakfast room service on your balcony you're likely to encounter at sea,

Ultimate Balcony Dining

includes a chilled half-bottle of sparkling wine, fresh breakfast pastries, smoked salmon with dill cream cheese, a medley of fresh fruits and berries, and quiche Lorraine.

Vines Wine Bar (Deck 5, midship); a la carte: The ship's wine bar offers tapas-style snacks when you buy a glass of wine. Food cannot be purchased separately from the wine, nor can you get food if you want something nonalcoholic.