Having just come off of the Island Princess 10 day cruise, out of FLL to Panama etc. here is feedback from a retired Cruise & Vacation Specialist on my 5th Princess Cruise, and my 17th cruise overall.
Before I begin with problems encountered on this cruise I must share that the staff on the Island Princess are all FABULOUS!!! Also we have never traveled with a friendlier group of fellow passengers. Most people were more than ready and willing with a friendly smile and took an interest in each other on the ship. That in itself made this cruise experience quite special and memorable. Also we thoroughly enjoyed the new show On The Bayou by the ships Performers and it is indeed EXCELLENT. We had seen Piano Man show before and it is quite good too.
Up until now I'd have to say Princess cruise line was my favorite cruise line to date having cruised on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity and MSC in the past.
I just loved the itinerary on this cruise, along with the layout of the ship. I have sailed on it's sister ship the Coral Princess in the past too. However it is necessary to share that the Island Princess has areas that need attention. Particularly the cabins..
It is not a huge deal on an individual cabin basis but to outfit the whole ship with new beds(we are talking hard beds on the Island Princess when Royal Caribbean & Carnival all have such comfy beds). Sorry to share that the sheet on the bed we had actually had a hole in it. The comforter was threadbare in spots which is rather appalling...we were on a Princess cruise after all.. The lack of top sheet on the bed and just the hot comforter was not nice either.
Our Cabin Steward Benedict is so pleasant and very good at his job, and took care of us fabulously well!!!
We were in Central America for most of the cruise and the temperature was hot with 100% humidity which was indeed expected, however our cabin was so warm and other people complained of their cabin being very warm too. The ACC just couldn't seem to keep up at night, which made for uncomfortable sleeping on that hard bed which didn't help either.
The food although the first night was not up to what we had remembered on other Princess trips the fact that the food overall was very good and presentation as usual was good we have no problems with that. The anytime dining room was pleasant as were the servers always friendly and helpful too. We had anytime dining in the Bordeaux Dining room but booked a table for 2 number #24 with Nicholai every nite, as it is a lovely part of the dining room in a quiet corner beside a window where the table next is close enough to meet other guests each nite and (as we shared it was such a friendly cruise) it was a nice place to get to know fellow passengers too.
We have to wonder why?? Since Carnival owns Princess too why aren't the beds on this Princess Ship at least as comfortable as the beds on Carnival Ships?? We were just on the Carnival Miracle in Nov. and the bed, bedding and cabin were all superior to the cabin on Island Princess and on the Carnival we were in an Ocean View because that is all they had available when we booked..
Also we wonder why when the "signature desert" on the Carnival Ships is the Molten Lava Cake why they don't have it on the Princess Ships. (they could just change the name) The Molten Lava Cake is so poplar on the Carnival ship and the desert I ordered was similar but didn't come anywhere near to that 'special desert" on carnival. Some of the Princess cruisers would never deem to go on a Carnival ship but some of their features are indeed superior to what Princess offer and I'd never had thought even 5 years ago that I'd ever feel this way.