Strangely, we were upgraded without request or warning from Plaza deck double cabin to Baja deck minisuite. We chose the position and location of our cabin for a reason--lower and center for stability in case of rough seas. We were arbitrarily put on the next to highest deck and in the most forward cabin where we felt every twitch of the wind and intermittent whacks from heavy waves under the bow.
We originally wanted twin beds because each of us have different sleeping styles. The mini suite had a large bed, but with a single mattress. The room was spacious, had a full bathtub (although with repaired cracks)and a pleasant and competent steward. While towels were soft and absorbent, the tissues and toilet paper provided reminded me of something I would expect in a third world country.
The sheets of tissue from either box or roll were thin, hard and non-absorbent--hardly what you expect of a first-class hotel, which the cruise line thinks it is. Lights went on the More
blink and even though we mentioned it, no action was taken. Water from the tap was either luke-warm or very hot--the cold-water tap, I mean.
Food was good if slight in portion. On the other hand, everyone we spoke to who had used a specialty restaurant said the portions there were too much.While some passengers were a bit enthusiastic in their eating, they were able to pig out at the Horizon grill if they couldn't do so in the main dining. Coffee, tea, water and particularly un-juicy juices were available. Otherwise the hand was out for everything else--automatic tip or service charge included. Orange juice was watery from concentrate or from the bar, out of a can. Poor quality concentrate at that, for a boat that sails out of Florida.
Of the few things we wanted to see on land, we looked into charges for independently arranging a tour. It turned out that one tour company could not serve us at their reasonable rate should we be staying in a hotel inland, but must book the higher priced Princess tour for the same tour company.
Everyone we spoke to complained about the internet charges and the addition of another specialty venue at the $20 rate. Many complained that the port stays were too short in Aruba, Cartagena and Jamaica. I could have enjoyed more time ashore, but I realize that it would curtail the cruise line profit if I put money into the local economy rather than their pocket or in those shops they own or have an arrangement with.
Princess wants to claim that we are now family and favored guests. Perhaps that would be true if vampires wanted money rather than blood. Less
Island Princess Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America
Time was short. Many tours I might have taken include Dunn River falls, which we had done once years ago. We didn't want to spent the short time we had ashore on that, so we went to Margaritaville instead.