MS Caribbean Princess is a modified Grand Class cruise ship owned and operated by Princess Cruises, with a capacity of over 3,600 passengers, the largest carrying capacity in the Princess fleet until June 2013 when the new Royal Princess, another Princess ship superseded its record. She has 900 balcony staterooms and a deck of mini-suites. She was the first modern cruise ship with an outdoor theater, which Princess bills as "Movies Under The Stars".
Caribbean Princess is slightly larger than the other ships in her class (Star Princess, Golden Princess, and Grand Princess), due to the addition of an additional deck of cabins called the Riviera deck. Another difference is that, being initially designed to cruise the Caribbean year-round, there is no sliding roof over the pool area for shelter in poor weather.
On March 12, 2012, Caribbean Princess suffered an issue to her port side propulsion engine, which required her to return to her home port of San Juan, Puerto Rico after a stopover in St. Maarten. The problem caused Princess Cruises to cancel the next two trips (scheduled for March 18 and 25).
In November 2013 a scheduled Thanksgiving week cruise departure was delayed from the Houston cruise port due to inclement weather conditions. Above average winds combined with safety concerns related to the narrow and extremely busy Houston ship channel were cited from the ship's bridge as the main reasons for the delay. Further complications with pilot boat scheduling were also announced over the ship's public address system. The Caribbean Princess finally departed on the next day, however two of the exotic ports of call (Belize and Roatan) were cancelled. An unscheduled stop at Costa Maya was added to the itinerary, but the advertised 7 night sailing with 3 stops ended up as 6 nights of actual sailing with only 2 stops. Princess cruise lines did not openly offer its passengers credits, discounts or compensation for the inconvenience and changed itinerary.
The Caribbean Princess experienced a norovirus outbreak in January 2014 sickening approximately 200 people on board. The scheduled cruise ended two days early.
During March 2014 the Caribbean Princess had to wait at the Houston port and was delayed about two days after a bulk carrier ship and oil barge collided in Galveston Bay. The crash spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the water. Houston ship channel traffic was stopped, with thousands of cruise passengers stuck.
On August 3, 2016, the Caribbean Princess experienced a power outage while on a British Isles cruise. The ship completely lost propulsion about 25 miles southeast of Dublin, Ireland in the Irish Sea, and was left adrift for nine hours. During the power outage, air conditioners, lighting, hotel functions, and toilets were all functional. The ship regained power and sailed to her next port on her itinerary.
On August 26, 2013, the crew of the Caribbean Princess deliberately discharged 4,227 gallons of oil-contaminated waste off the southern coast of England. The discharge involved the illegal modification of the vessel's on-board pollution control systems, and was photographed by a newly hired engineer. When the ship subsequently berthed at Southampton, the engineer resigned his position and reported the discharge to the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency. An investigation was launched by the United States Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division which found that the practice had been taking place on the Caribbean Princess and 4 other Princess ships since 2005. In December 2016, Princess Cruise Lines agreed to plead guilty to 7 felony charges and pay a $40 million penalty. The charges related to illegal discharges off the coasts of Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. As part of the agreement cruise ships from 8 Carnival companies, including Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line, are required to operate for 5 years under a court-supervised environmental compliance plan with independent audits and a court-appointed monitor. According to the US Justice Department, the fine was the "largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution."
Caribbean Princess sailed her maiden European season from Southampton, England. She later repositioned back to New York City, New York sailing to Canada/New England as well as Bermuda. She then moved to Ft. Lauderdale to sail to 7-Day Southern Caribbean cruises. In April 2013 and April 2015 she moved once again back to Europe, sailing out of Southampton, where she sails various cruises around the British Isles & Northern Europe and the Mediterranean during the summer and fall months. In November 2013, she began sailing out of Houston, Texas and will return there for the 2015-2016 season. For the 2016-17 season, she will reposition to Fort Lauderdale for a whole series of Caribbean cruises, which is what she did in the 2013-14 and the 2014-15 seasons.