This was a family trip with 6 of us traveling together. We sailed from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles and had a wonderful time on the Island Princess. First off - the weather was fantastic. I fully expected to get rained out a day or two but not to be...we got some rain one day and that was it. The people on Island Princess were the best. From our cabin steward "John" to our wonderful waiters Jorge and Gyorge and our head waiter Sorin and the whole staff - they made us feel so special as if we were the only ones of importance on the trip. Even Dr. JP who we had to see late at night was so helpful.
We did not take an excursion in Aruba because the stay was too short - would have liked to stay longer. The iguana's were wonderful to see just behind the Radisson Resort a short walk from the ship port. We hired a taxi in Cartagena Columbia. The street vendors are very aggressive but thankfully our taxi driver warned us to ignore them and it was not a problem. We did enjoy our trip to the Old City. Could have skipped the commercial stop at the emerald factory - it was crowded and rushed.
The trip through the canal was everything I expected it to be - an amazing adventure of human ingenuity 100 years old. It is an all day adventure so schedule your time. Avoid the top of the ship view points as it gets hot and crowded. Go to the lower decks 10 or 11 for the best views. We took the train ride back to Gatun Locks. The ride was enjoyable but could have done without the sandwich. Gatun Locks was crowded as we got there late in the day and only had 30 minutes - would have liked to stay longer - so much to absorb. We took the Pura Vida Gardens/Sky Walk excursion in Puentarenas Costs Rica. It was our favorite. The guide (Edwin) and driver (Eric-'eagle eyes) found us Howler monkeys in the trees, macaws, iguanas, etc. to experience on the drive to the sky walk. The walk itself was fun but did not see as much wildlife as we had hoped. We did see some tucans on the walk. The gardens were spectacular and the hosts there hosted us to an authentic lunch with rice/beans which was very good. Our excursion in Mexico was the Mayan Tree of Life and Chocolate Discovery. While it was interesting - I would have preferred to see more ruins. and less of the town nearby.
We did Anytime dining and had a fabulous wait staff that was attentive and made us feel so special. We had a blast celebrating Halloween on the ship with a costume party and trivia! The many activities on the at sea days made the trip fly by way too fast. We're already planning our next trip