Island Princess Cruise Review by richla: Wonderful Cruise!
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We stayed at the Marriott SpringHill Suites. They have a shuttle from the airport and a free shuttle to the cruise ship the next day. It also includes a nice breakfast and free Internet. There were a lot of cruisers staying there. We are Platinum Members and boarding at the terminal was fast. We were checking out our room in no time.
We had a balcony cabin on the Aloha deck. Our section of balconies are a bit set in. They are just as nice, however, you can't see straight ahead or straight back as the other section balconies protrude out more. It was really minor, but had a nice price break. It was a standard Princess Veranda room and our room steward was always helpful and did his job superbly.
Food & Dining: Years ago we changed to "Anytime" dining rather than the fixed seating. It's called other names on different lines, but the same. It allows us the flexibility to eat at whatever time we want and at whatever size table. We had no waiting on any night. The service More was very good. In fact, we like our waiter so much, we actually ended up reserving a table in her section many of the nights. I know it's subjective, however, we found the food very good both in main dining or the buffet in the Horizon Court. We also ate in the specialty steak restaurant and found it better than most ships.Entertainment: Of course, this is also very subjective. My wife and I love to ballroom dance. The Wheelhouse has a rather large wood dance floor and plenty of seating. The band "Phoenix Rising" was excellent and took requests. The mixed it up, including rock & Roll, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba and even Tango. The leader Joey was fun to visit with. The explorer Lounge had "Icon" they also did some ballroom, and mixed in disco, and hustle type songs.
The shows we went to instead of dancing were good, especially the comedians. We were all rolling with laughter. They also weren't too long and drawn out. That allowed us more options in the evening.
Activities: They had the who range of usual trivia and other fun things to do, including games, deck parties, etc. The Enrichment lecturer was very interesting in his talks. The Panama Canal lectures were fascinating. Of course they had the usual shopping lectures. Of course those are totally optional to attend. They were the same as all cruise lines we've been on. My wife like the free jewelry drawings. If you weren't interested, then you don't attend the presentations and find other fun things to do, or just relax. My wife always looks forward to a massage at least once.Ports: I'm not going to spend much time on these. They were all fun and interesting. It pretty much is what you make of it and decide to do or not do.
The Panama Canal transit takes the entire day. There is a running narrative as you watch. There is plenty of opportunity to take photos throughout the day. I do suggest attending the canal lecture given prior to that day.
Getting off at the San Pedro Cruise Terminal was easy and fast. We look forward to another cruise with Princess. Less
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