1st of all, it was a fabulous cruise. I traveled with my husband and 8 others, and we all loved the Island Princess. The ports were great, with Puntarenas, Costa Rica being our favorite. The real thrill is going through the Canal itself. We read the book "The Path between the Seas" by David McCullough before the cruise, so going through the Canal seemed somewhat familiar. It's a long read, but very informative, and one I would encourage anyone going on this cruise to read. There was someone aboard who gave lectures on the Canal, and there was always commentary on the Stateroom TV while cruising through it.
Some of the things we enjoyed doing on the ship was meeting with our friends for a drink at the Crooners Bar on Deck 7. We fell in love with Alan, our bar steward who mixed a martini with his whole body. The other stewards tried to copy his technique, and they came close. Mickey and Franco were also very good. I enjoyed the morning Zumba class with Bernie. She was great, and made our workout a lot of fun. I also joined the Pop Choir and had a blast rehearsing with entertainer Joe Sackenheim, a very talented and sweet guy. On the day of our performance, we all celebrated afterwards with champagne.
The only negatives we had were not having enough hand sanitizers throughout the ship. They were in the public bathrooms, and at the Horizons Court, but not at the dining rooms. I hated bringing my purse along, so I didn't have my own and felt a need to use the rest room to wash my hands before dining. The other gripe I have, is the pictures taken on the ship and at the ports. We felt like we were hounded by the paparazzi at every turn. We often ducked the photographers, because we knew we would not be buying the high priced photos. At the end of the cruise, there were thousands of pictures that were unpurchased sitting in boxes. If Princess reduced the price by half, they would make more money in the long run, since people would be more inclined to buy. At 19.95 and 24.95 a picture, you know there's an incredible mark up.
The disembarkation process in San Francisco was not good. There was one delay after another, and we thought we would never get off the ship. I love that ships are arriving in departing in San Francisco, since it's close to home, but they need to make some major adjustments at the port and the instructions given on the ship.