As a solo traveler, I got a really good deal, which is rare obviously. I just wanted to get away and try and build up my next tier for cruising on Princess. Additionally, I wanted to check out the ship and try and relax and have a good time, which I did. As a previous passenger on the Pacific Princess last month, I really enjoyed the Island Princess even more. It was bigger in scale scale, the service was slightly better, the crowd was a little bit younger, the food was better and the entertainment was absolutely outstanding.
The cabins are laid out much differently than the Pacific. They are smaller in square footage but I like the layout better. For example, there is ample closet space and a bathroom, which is more private and secluded then on the Pacific Princess since you have the closet as a divider! Additionally, the balconies have a glass transparent structure that allow you to look at the ocean with little to no obstruction.
One thing I do not like about most Princess ships is they have balconies that protrude under other balconies. On this particular ship, the forward section of balconies are at level from top to bottom decks on the ship. This means you're not looking down on someone or turning your head and looking up at a sea of balconies looking at you. For the most part, their larger ships really missed the mark on "private balconies" in my opinion! If you want more private on this type of ship, select one in the forward section.
The ship, three years newer than the Pacific Princess, felt much newer and did not show her age. The public areas were completely shiny and new, the carpeting was in great condition and so was all the furniture throughout the ship.
The entertainment on board was outstanding. The show, "On the Bayou," was wonderful and is only shown on the Island and its sister, the Coral as they built a stage made just for this show that rotates, has hydraulic lifts and spins. The "Piano Man," at the Princess Theater was also superb and featured songs of Billy Joel, Elton John and Barry Manilow.
One thing Princess is extremely behind on is there anal-retentive nature about dressing formally on a formal evening. They seem to forget people are on vacation and although some people want to dress in formal attire, many do not. It should be "formal optional" and Princess really falls behind the mark in this domain.
The only drawbacks are the formal evenings and the disembarkation was not the greatest. I did a "self-help" disembarkation, meaning I did not purchase a princess transfer this time. When I went to the "platinum lounge," the Captain's Cruise Circle hostess (Julie) told me to "be gone." That really put a damper on the last memory I had getting off. Being that I enjoy the rest of the crew so much I did not allow her rudeness to interfere with the good time I had but I did leave immediately when she pointed me out to the gangway.
Another drawback, their afternoon tea is extraordinarily rushed and you could tell the servers do not want to do this additional task. They are downright rude and passing around sandwiches and tea as quickly as possible. Although they wear white gloves, it is certainly far from white glove service. Princess needs to rethink this and make it a little bit more as they advertise it.
Lastly, I really appreciate that Princess allows people to have gluten-free bread and rice milk or soy milk for those of us who prefer an alternative to dairy or gluten. Great product, I recommend anybody to go on this beautiful ship!