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Island Princess Review

Island Princess
Island Princess - Lotus Spa Island Princess - Lido Pool Island Princess - Dining Island Princess - Suite
83% of cruisers loved it
436 reviews | Write a Review
  • Mid-sized ship, so it's fairly intimate
  • Golf opportunities onboard and ashore
  • Swim-against-the-current pool
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Island Princess Overview

Editor Rating
After an intense three-day pre-cruise land tour in Alaska that included a plane, a train and a handful of motorcoaches, Island Princess looked like eye candy when we first spied her at the cruise terminal in Whittier.

Here was our refuge, our refueling station. We had cruised with Princess once before -- on Coral Princess, Island Princess's sister ship (her twin sister, as it turns out). The two ships are identical -- right down to the restaurants, the entertainment venues, the layout and decor. Immediately, we felt at home.

That's not to say Island Princess doesn't deliver some pleasant surprises. The public space is sleek, and even though she launched in 2003, there's no hint of wear and tear. Service was very good, particularly in the dining room. And the entertainment was top rate. But the thing that really stood out during our seven-night cruise through Alaska's Inside Passage was the quality of life onboard. Island Princess does a remarkable job of creating a quintessential Alaska experience that's highlighted by a lecture series featuring a state naturalist, National Park Service "ranger talks" and a presentation by the first woman to win the Iditarod. There's even a Princess travel guide and map that allow passengers to detect their navigational positions while referencing tales, points of interest and photos of the route.

Editor's note: During Island Princess' Central America season, the educational focus shifts to the Panama Canal.

And what's not to love about the private Alaskan Balcony Brunch, which includes Alaskan king crab quiche, smoked Copper River salmon, fresh fruit, homemade pastries and chilled champagne? Or waiters distributing hot toddies on deck? Or, of all things, a reindeer chili and rockfish chowder cook-off? And where better to enjoy Baked Alaska than in Alaska?

Island Princess Fellow Passengers

Island Princess' Alaska cruises, because they tend to be shorter and occur during summer, draw a younger crowd than the Panama Canal itinerary, which trends toward 60-plus. Passengers are largely American, though during our cruise, which was fully booked, 10 countries were represented.

Island Princess Dress Code

Cruises of seven nights or more usually have two formal nights -- and folks do get decked out. Men typically wear a dinner jacket or dark business suit, while women tend to favor evening gowns, cocktail dresses or trouser suits. Otherwise, the recommended evening dress is smart casual -- an open-neck shirt and slacks for men and a dress, skirt ensemble or trouser suit for women. Shorts and T-shirts are not permitted in the dining rooms. Daytime, it's pretty much anything goes.

Island Princess Gratuity

Gratuities, which are automatically charged to onboard accounts, are $11.50 per person (including children), per day, for passengers staying in standard accommodations and $12 for passengers staying in mini-suite and suites. A 15 percent gratuity is added to beverage purchases onboard, including wine at dinner. Spa and casino staff members do not share in the gratuity charges -- if you use these services, tips are advised.

Room service gratuity is not included, and we recommend that -- especially for prompt service -- you have a couple of singles handy.
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Island Princess Member Reviews

Stay Away WaltS
After cruising with Princess for the past many years, 12 cruises in all, this was by far our worst experience. The ship is badly in need of repairs. Toilets kept plugging up, strong sewer odor by the internet/library area and other passengers ... Read more
My wife and I sailed in the Island Princess from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale Feb 4 to Feb 19, 2015. This was our first cruise with Princess Cruises (it won't be our last)! The ship has two more salings before it heads to Dry Dock in Italy. There ... Read more
If you are looking for a wonderful cruise experience that includes the opportunity to view the Panama Canal, the Island Princess is the way to go. This ship is so well run, it is like traveling with family and friends even if you are on your own or ... Read more
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