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16 Barcelona Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews

We did the 12 day Mediterranean Cruise on the Island Princess which sailed from Barcelona on Oct. 1st and ended in Venice. The itinerary was great with only 2 port days. Since this was our first time in Europe, we booked everything ... Read More
We did the 12 day Mediterranean Cruise on the Island Princess which sailed from Barcelona on Oct. 1st and ended in Venice. The itinerary was great with only 2 port days. Since this was our first time in Europe, we booked everything through Princess and it worked out great - transfers, pre-cruise hotel, shore excursions. It may have cost a bit more but it was worth the peace of mind. We did not like the changes to the Island Princess and will not sail on her again. They took away the Universe Lounge, moved the gym down to deck 7 with no windows, and added cabins aft, taking away the ability to fully walk around the Promenade Deck. The staff and crew were wonderful and we found the food to be good quality. We didn't attend many shows in the evening as we were tired after long wonderful tours in each port. We had 5:45 Traditional Seating and were placed in the Anytime Dining room due to the overflow from the full Traditional dining room. It all worked out well and our wait staff were delightful. We came home tired but happy and look forward to returning to Europe soon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The ports of call on this cruise were great. Our experience on the ship was just ok. This was the first cruise for my husband and me, so perhaps our expectations were too high, but we both thought some things could have been so much ... Read More
The ports of call on this cruise were great. Our experience on the ship was just ok. This was the first cruise for my husband and me, so perhaps our expectations were too high, but we both thought some things could have been so much better. To begin with, whenever we passed a crew member on the ship, they completely ignored us, giving us not so much as a nod or greeting of any kind. Only the greeters at the buffet and our cabin steward were cheerful. The captain was not personable at all and bordered on rude. On the one formal evening where he was supposed to "meet and greet" the passengers, he hid near an elevator speaking only to his officers and studiously kept his back to all passengers. When one lady asked if she could have her picture taken with him, he rolled his eyes, stood there while his picture was taken, and then turned his back again to his guests. His welcome speech literally consisted of "Welcome to the Island Princess. I hope you have a nice voyage." and then he left the room. Needless to say, we did not feel very welcome. The Passenger Services desk was staffed only occasionally, and not at all when most passengers were on shore excursions, so if you had a question, you had to wait until it was open and then stand in a long line to get help. Sometimes you got a cheerful answer, sometimes not. We reported a problem of no hot water in our stateroom bathroom; they said it would be addressed, but it was not. Only once was I able to get a helpful answer from someone on the Shore Excursions desk (also only open a couple of hours a day, usually during dinnertime). We had booked a Princess excursion to Cinque Terre, but they cancelled it more than 24 hours in advance due to "high seas." The day it was supposed to take place dawned with calm waters, but the excursion remained cancelled. We tried to book a Princess excursion in Venice, but 5 out of about 8 were cancelled (including the one we wanted), so we went ashore on our own. (Most of our excursions were booked through another shore excursions company for the same tours at about half the price. They were very good, but required walking a little further to reach the van or bus.) The night before disembarkation, we had to have our luggage outside our door by 9pm. That early requirement made our last night on the ship very inconvenient, not having access to everything we would normally need for the night. A time requirement of 11pm or midnight would have been so much better and still given the staff an entire night to collect and sort luggage for our pickup at the port. We chose Anytime Dining. The food was reasonably good (although I would not recommend any of the beef dishes -- too tough), and often the food in the buffet was better, or at least as good as, the food in the dining room. The wait staff was excellent, meals were delivered correctly and hot, and only occasionally slow. We often were seated with other passengers and enjoyed talking with them over dinner. We would go on another cruise if it was the best way to get from port to port, as this cruise was. We would not, however, choose to cruise again if we just planned to stay on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We decided to do a cruise of the med for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and to be honest we were both not really looking forward to it as didn't know what to expect as used to relaxing on holiday and this was a port heavy cruise. We ... Read More
We decided to do a cruise of the med for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and to be honest we were both not really looking forward to it as didn't know what to expect as used to relaxing on holiday and this was a port heavy cruise. We stayed in Barcelona for 2 night before embarkation, with arranged taxi from the airport and the hotel and on disembarkation which was really efficient. The Hotel was upgraded as we wanted to be in the centre of Barcelona. On embarking we didn't get the wow factor we expected and the ships top deck looked tired and old. The outside cabin was on deck 5 and perfect as close to disembarking at ports, it met our needs, was clean and tidy and our steward was absolutely fantastic. We chose late traditional dinning which was something we were nervous about but it proved a great experience, a table of six with a couple and 2 female friends. Although a lot older than us we got on really well, they had lots of cruise experiences between them. The waiter was good and once I started to ask for recommendations my meals were really good, I made a few bad choices for steak. We ate in the buffet in the evening of formal nights as these were sea days which we wanted to relax and had really good food again. We had breakfast in our cabin most mornings as it was easier before trips and always arrived a minute before the time slot ordered. When used the pizza restaurant during one sea day which was a nice experience and it was empty at 12 midday, we liked the pizza on deck as well. The burgers on deck were not to our liking. Due to our dining time it was not easy to get to shows as they started at 10:15 to fit in with late dinning and we didn't always finish before then, if we wanted to go the show we told the waiter and he would make sure we were finished, but generally we didn't want to rush. We saw two different comedians and a magician all of which we enjoyed. I was expecting to see some shows but the one night we planned to go we couldn't get a seat. We did most of the quizzes which were mainly based around the discovery channel programs, but we enjoyed this and got to see similar faces each time. I also took part in the dance classes which were fun. We did the star gazing on top deck, but standing looking at the stars was not easy would have been better on sun loungers, also there was a lot of unnecessary information. There was less activities than expected but we put this down to the smaller size ship. The jewellery shop is a waste of space and the staff not pleasant, we had a gift we had to collect and we laughed at as when collect it was $200 off gold items. We were given champagne and chocolates as a present from my mother but these arrived as vouchers which we had to exchange, she was told they would be waiting in our cabin so not as special as she had expected. We planned trips at most ports with cruise excursions but planned to stay on board and relax when in Toulon and Kusadasi, where we felt we had the ship to ourselves. We booked trips as we thought this cruise would provide us with the opportunity to see a lot of places which we did and thoroughly enjoyed. The drinks were an issue as used to all inclusive holidays although had a soda package for myself, my husband didn't as due to heavy port stops wouldn't have been good value. We had cocktails which were good and made use of the happy hours. In summary we enjoyed our cruise but would have liked to have been with more people our own age 48 and 51 as most people were 70+ although young at heart. We came to like the ship due to its classic feel and size having gazed at others in port. Very efficient at ports and all staff were really friendly and helpful. Not decided on whether we would do another! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise and I have to say we are total converts. The ports on this cruise were all interesting and varied. The organisation from the cruise line to get the right passengers on the right excursions with the right guides ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I have to say we are total converts. The ports on this cruise were all interesting and varied. The organisation from the cruise line to get the right passengers on the right excursions with the right guides and done in such a light-hearted, non stressful way deserves recognition itself. The ship never felt cramped, the food was good and varied and the crew were unbelievably helpful and pleasant on each and every occasion that we needed them. How people can complain about the entertainment I have no idea, the "On The Bayou" show was as good as any West End musical that I have seen, yes they were only 30-40 minutes long but with bars on almost every deck and food available from dawn until midnight why tie people down to a theatre for longer than necessary? A wonderful, interesting and simply brilliant experience that I will be repeating asap. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
September 2015 proved to be the ideal time to cruise the Med on the Island Princess, as the ship had been refurbished in April 2015 and the weather was perfect. Having travelled on eight of the other Princess ships, we would now rate this ... Read More
September 2015 proved to be the ideal time to cruise the Med on the Island Princess, as the ship had been refurbished in April 2015 and the weather was perfect. Having travelled on eight of the other Princess ships, we would now rate this as one of our favourites, with excellent, friendly service and high quality food. There was a good mix of passengers on board with at least 50% from the USA, followed by Australians then Brits. SERVICE We have enjoyed excellent service from the friendly staff on all Princess ships and thought that this was amongst the best. Our cabin steward was exceptionally good. DINING We opted for fixed dining at 8.15 pm, which worked well. Fellow passengers who chose anytime dinning reported that they had initially waited more than an hour for a table. We used the revamped Horizon buffet a couple of times for lunch and thought it was one of the best we had found on Princess ships. There is no International Cafe on ships of this size and the La Patisserie on level 5 was a poor alternative. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment could, and should, have been better. We had seen most of the shows several times, especially The Piano Man, which Princess has kept running for far too long. We thought the Do You Wanna Dance show was so much better than the others, simply because the resident live band were not involved and the excessive background lighting was reduced. Everybody on stage worked hard but we felt they were let down by the production team, who let the band drown the artists. Tracy Shield did a good Celine Dion tribute act, as on the Royal Princess, but probably burst a few ear-drums. The other singers were very average and we skipped the American comedian and abandoned the grim multi-instrumentalist/singer after a few minutes. PLACES VISITED All ports visited were interesting and it was good to start in Barcelona rather than spend days getting there from Southampton. We prefer to explore independently, so have included a few tips below. Barcelona - It is well worth spending 2 or 3 nights here before joining the cruise. Toulon - The helpful Information desk on the port directed us to the public ferry to the town, which was 15 minutes walk and costs 2 euros (as an alternative to the Princess shuttle, costing 20 USD). At the Toulon office you can buy a day pass for 6 euros, which covers the number 40 bus to the cable car, return cable car trip and even the ferry back to the ship. The daily morning market at Toulon is well worth visiting. Pisa - Getting the train to Florence or Pisa is rather tedious, but Princess offer a shuttle to Livorno. At the Lavorno stop you will find people selling return coach trips to Pisa and to Florence. We opted for a 3 hour trip to Pisa. The Cathedral entry is free but you need timed tickets. Rome - Rome is easily accessible by train from Civitavecchia but, having been there recently, we explored Civitavecchia instead. Sorrento - We used the Princess shuttle, then the number 1 tram, to the rail station, where we caught the train to Sorrento. It takes 60 minutes and costs just 4.50 euros each way, which seemed preferable to the hydrofoil. Most passengers on board chose Princess trips to Pompeii, which is en route to Sorrento. Sorrento is lovely and a great base for visiting the sites on the Amalfi coast. Mykanos - You can buy tickets for the local shuttle bus (for 7 euros return) before leaving the ship. We were only there for half a day but this was ample time to walk around the picturesque town and see the windmills. Ephasus - We opted for a Princess excursion because this provided a guide and was easier than the taxi alternative. It proved to be a good choice and also took us to the House of the Virgin Mary (optional) and a carpet shop (optional). Remember to take water with you. Athens - We discovered that you can get an X80 bus from either cruise port terminal (A or B), which stops at Syntagma Square in front of the Parliament Building. It stops at the Temple of Zeus/ Acropolis and Parthenon and, amazingly costs just 4 euros for the day. Entry to ancient sights is 12 euros (6 euros if 65+) and the fantastic New Acropolis Museum cost 5 euros. It is all absolutely amazing! Venice - Cruising into Venice is fantastic, with St Mark's Square on the Starboard side and Pavoroti etc providing the background music. St Mark's Square is quite a walk from the port, and the vaporetto (water shuttle) is much easier. We re-visited all the main sites, including the Bassilica. PORT LECTURES We greatly appreciated the assistance of the port expert on board (Lindsey Jolley). With only two sea days, live presentations were limited but recorded talks were available on Channel 36. Unlike the newer ships, these programs are not "on demand", so you need to view at certain times. GETTING TO VENICE AIRPORT We had plenty of time before our flight, so we caught the Alilaguna Airport Boat, which took about 90 minutes. It is a easy 10 to 15 minute walk at each end and they are used to handling luggage. OTHER POINTS Captain Mariano Manfuso kept a low profile, as did the long-serving Cruise Director, Richard Joseph. The international entertainment team were fun and we enjoyed several good trivia quizzes. WiFi varied from excellent to non-existent, so we gave up using it after a couple of days. Unusually, many of the passengers on board were relatively new to Princess and even the "most travelled" passenger had less than 300 days with Princess. Overall, it was an excellent cruise with interesting ports, excellent food and great service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was a port-intensive, wonderful cruise. The selection of ports, although we had been to most a few times before, was perfect. We especially enjoyed Istanbul. We booked a couple of our own excursions but used the Princess shore ... Read More
This was a port-intensive, wonderful cruise. The selection of ports, although we had been to most a few times before, was perfect. We especially enjoyed Istanbul. We booked a couple of our own excursions but used the Princess shore excursions for most. We had nothing negative to say about the experiences. Embarking was very painless. We had taken a cab from our hotel and arrived at 1:30. We had a short wait to check in, then we were allowed onto the ship where our cabin was ready and our luggage already inside waiting for us. The crew could not have been more friendly and helpful. Officer Laurence of Hotel Services was most helpful and kind. Our steward Arthur and his supervisor, Officer Danni, were the best. Because we were so busy every day, and tired due to our inability to sleep in the cabin (see the cabin review), we only went to a few of the shows and onboard activities. What we did attend, or watch on the television, were average. We did not use the gym but went into it. It was small and had no windows. The public areas of the ship are nice but not as elegant as the larger ships, such as the Crown Princess. Some of the ship has had a facelift, the new decor sleek and modern. Other areas, such as the covered Lotus Pool, still have plastic plants and oversize tiki bar decor. With the addition of cabins during Summer 2015, the public spaces are smaller and there are fewer specialty restaurants. We eat at both Sabatini's and Bayou Cafe and Steakhouse -- both are attractively decorated --and enjoyed them both very much. We also utilized the in-suite dining menu, which allowed us to order from the dining room menu. It was very nice, after a tiring day, to call and have delivered more then the typical room-service sandwich. We also ordered the full breakfast, which was delivered promptly. We were told that our cabin, the Amalfi Penthouse, L721, was one of the cabins built with the new additions and some or all of it is over what was previously air space on the stern of deck 14. This is a beautiful room, but unfortunately, the vibrations and engine noise in this room makes it uninhabitable while underway at more then 15 knots or when there is any wind blowing. It nearly destroyed our vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Overall, great cruise. Had been planning this cruise for over a year to celebrate my 50th birthday with my niece and another couple. Pre-cruise we stayed at the hotel arts Barcelona, which was fabulous. Great service and a ... Read More
Overall, great cruise. Had been planning this cruise for over a year to celebrate my 50th birthday with my niece and another couple. Pre-cruise we stayed at the hotel arts Barcelona, which was fabulous. Great service and a complimentary suite upgrade. Room / boarding - boarded was very simple, no lines - boarded around 1:20 PM and went right to our cabin C731. This is a new mini suite cabin built after the recent dry dock. Room was nice, balcony seemed a bit larger than other mini suites, and located aft along of the ship (not aft facing). The room seemed more narrow than other mini suites I have stayed in. New flat panel TVs and bathroom had a good amount of space. We returned to our cabin later that night around midnight to find a very significant vibration. After trying to sleep for about an hour, I contacted passenger services. They sent the night manager to our room who felt the vibration and moved us that night to another mini suite. The next afternoon after we returned from our tour, we were able to relocate to another mini-suite as there was no way we could sleep with that amount of vibration. I have stayed in aft / rear cabins many times before and this was the worst I have ever experienced. We felt this same vibration in the sanctuary and on the top deck at the back of the ship. Second cabin we had C214 was perfect. Food - overall was average except for the specialty restaurants which were excellent Service - outstanding all over the ship ports - enjoyed all of them, especially in Italy. Highly recommend the wine tasting tours. Least favorite port was Athens, then Istanbul. Disembarkation in Venice was very easy with the transfer to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We originally looked at taking a bus tour through Europe, but if you only have a short time and want to see a lot of places, a port intensive cruise is the way to do it! Get waited on hand and foot, go to bed in the same room every night, ... Read More
We originally looked at taking a bus tour through Europe, but if you only have a short time and want to see a lot of places, a port intensive cruise is the way to do it! Get waited on hand and foot, go to bed in the same room every night, no packing and unpacking, and wake each morning with somewhere new to explore! It really was the best choice. We had two sea days, and we needed those to sleep in and recharge, ready for the next adventure. Embarkation was easy, we were told between 1pm and 5pm, turned up at 4pm and were on board with no delay. We had Anytime Dining which worked well. We noted some people had to wait for a table if they asked for a table for two, but we were happy to share and were usually seated straight away. The only time we had to wait was on a formal night, then we were given a buzzer and were called back after only about 15 minutes. Service in the Bordeaux dining room was good, with a nice menu choice each night. The food was generally quite good. We also ate in the Horizon Buffet a couple of times. They had a good choice and were open until midnight. You could have a full meal or just a salad, or just fruit, or a selection of cheese and crackers/bread or just go for the desserts, it was very easy. There was also no rush, you could stay there as long as you wanted. One day we met a nice couple at breakfast and were still there for lunch! For some reason they have the best cup of tea in there too, maybe the water was just the right temperature, I don't know exactly why, but it was good! I saw the Bayou show in the Princess Theatre, but that's the only show I saw in the evening. The other nights there were singers or a comedian or a musician, and none of them sounded very appealing. I may have been missing out on a really good show, but it was my first cruise and I was expecting more production shows like the Bayou one, not just a singer. That could be my error. We went ashore on all port days, and every time it was well organised with no delays. I hadn't been on a cruise before and was imagining 2000 people lined up for ages all wanting to get off the ship at the same time, but thankfully it wasn't like this at all! It was all quite quick and well organised to get off and then on again at the end of the tour. It was also lovely to be welcomed back on a hot sticky day with a glass of cold water and a cold wet cloth, a nice touch. Disembarkation - we had heavy bags and didn't relish the thought of getting them up and over the bridges in Venice, so paid the $44 fee for the Princess transfer. It was great for our bags - they showed up at our hotel later on, but not so great for us. We had to sit and wait quite a while before our water taxi took us, I'm not sure why but I think someone was late and we were waiting for them. Our transfer was to the train station, but we were dropped off on the other side of the canal and we had to walk and go over a couple of bridges to get to the station. It would have been quicker and easier for us to send us luggage that way and then go and take the $1.50 people mover. That's a minor complaint though. Ports - Barcelona - we had three days there before the cruise, and I would encourage people to take four or five days. It is a beautiful city and there is so much to see, three days wasn't enough for us. Book ahead for attractions if you can or take advantage of the Skip the Line QR code signs where they have them. We used the HOHO bus while we were there, and also took an organised bus tour up to Montserrat, which was lovely. Toulon - we took the Princess excursion to Saint Tropez. The bus trip wasn't bad but our guide was a bit annoying. We had the choice once we got there of going off on our own or sticking with the guide for a bit of a tour, and we decided to go off on our own. There was a market and lots of shops, and the shore to look at. There were also thousands of other tourists and it was stinking hot. It was nice to see and I'm glad we went, but that's one box ticked - I don't need to go there again. Livorno - we took the Princess excursion to Florence with time on your own. This excursion was excellent, even though our bus broke down and we had to wait half an hour for another one! Our guide was excellent and knew her stuff. She guided us around the main attractions and told us lots of interesting information about each place, and then we had time on our own and met up with her later on to go back to the bus. Civitavecchia - we booked a private tour here, from Drivers Guide Services. Claudio picked us up at the port at the appointed time and we were in Rome in one hour (not much traffic because August is apparently when they take holidays over there). He took us straight to the Colosseum so we were there before the crowds got too bad, and spent the rest of the day giving us a wonderful tour of the city and history lesson combined. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend tours from DGS. Naples - we had another Princess excursion here - the Ultimate Bay of Naples - Pompeii, Positano, Sorrento. Again we had a very nice guide and driver in a small bus - maximum 16 on this excursion. Our guide was very informative and we had some time on our own in Positano (beautiful!), then more time on our own in Sorrento before we met up to go to a hotel for a nice five course lunch (included in the tour), then on to Pompeii. I was thinking it would have been better to go to Pompeii first before it got too hot, but later heard from other cruisers that Pompeii was much, much busier first thing in the morning, so I'm glad our tour went this way around. Pompeii was amazing, and also amazingly hot! Very hot and humid, you must take a hat and water with you on this tour, and the hand fans that the souvenir shops sell everywhere help too. Mykonos - wow, so beautiful here! We docked and Princess had buses outside waiting to drop us closer to town. There were probably other ways of doing it, but it wasn't too expensive and it was easy. From there we just walked around on our own and found our way over to the windmills and had a look around the town. It wasn't a long stop here, so we didn't bother about trying to go and visit anywhere else, we just stayed in the town. Istanbul - we had a private tour booked here too - through Ephesus Shuttle. Our guide met us and was very good, very informative. No payment until the end of the tour, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. Unfortunately we were there on a Friday so missed out on the Blue Mosque, but there's still plenty of other things to see. The tour operators can change their itinerary a little for you too, if you wish to see something different. For instance we went to Topkapi Palace and wanted to include the Harem section, which they did for us at a small extra cost to cover the tickets. The Grand Bazaar wasn't anywhere near as busy as I expected, and things were quite expensive. I didn't buy very much there at all. Kusadasi - we had another private tour booked here, again through Ephesus Shuttle. Ephesus is amazing, well worth going, and the drive out there is lovely too. Include the Terrace Houses if you go. Turkey is beautiful. Our guide was very informative again, and very nice. After the tour we stopped in Kusadasi and did a little bit of souvenir shopping. Expect the hard sell though. Athens - we did the Princess excursion Acropolis and Time on your Own in the Plaka. Whatever you do, don't miss out on going to the Acropolis if you haven't been before. It is not at all like I expected, there is so much more to see than just some ruins! Our guide was lovely and once again, very informative. Climbing to the top wasn't too hard because there are several stops on the way up where the guide explains what you are seeing. Once you get to the top, the view is well worth it. Make sure your shoes have good grip, it is a bit slippery in some places. After we left there, we had a bit of a bus tour around Athens which I was not expecting. We went past a number of interesting sites and buildings, and had a short stop at the site of the first modern olympics so we could take photos. Then it was on to the Plaka. There we had a look around at the shops (lots of souvenir shops) and had some lunch at the restaurant recommended by the guide (Hermion/Epmeion). The restaurant was quite nice, but the food was pretty average. Venice - we had an extra day in Venice so didn't do any organised tours here, we did our own thing which worked out fine. Princess had a $29 return water transfer to St Mark's Square, but we just took the people mover for $1.50 and walked from there, discovering things as we went. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I went on this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary. The ship was full but not crowded. Our mini suite was very comfortable and our room steward was fantastic. The food was fairly standard and nothing was outstanding. Our ... Read More
My wife and I went on this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary. The ship was full but not crowded. Our mini suite was very comfortable and our room steward was fantastic. The food was fairly standard and nothing was outstanding. Our waiters could not bring the steaks we ordered as they were ordered three times and we got the Matre D involved. We have had excellent entertainment on all our Caribbean cruises but the entertainment on this cruise "sucked" with 30 minuet and 40 minuet shows. But the most disappointing part was the dissemination of port information. The Patter/ships newspaper did not provide all the information needed to schedule shore activities and the shore information when pre-planning is non existent from Princess Examples Venice going to visit it well the Patter says it will cost $29.00 each for a water taxi round trip or walk NO mention of other methods of getting into town. Going to Rome HAHA a bus to take you to a drop off point where you need to catch another bus to go the train station and it is an hour wait no taxi's will take you. They want Rome trips not local, so we walked 45 minutes to the train station and missed our train and therefore missed our Rome excursion. Thank you Princess for port information. By the way the bus from Princess went right by the train station. MAKE SURE that ALL tours pick you up at the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I have been on four cruises prior to this one (three with Royal Caribbean and one with Princess). We chose this cruise on the Island Princess for the itinerary (Barcelona, Toulon, Florence, Rome, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul, ... Read More
My wife and I have been on four cruises prior to this one (three with Royal Caribbean and one with Princess). We chose this cruise on the Island Princess for the itinerary (Barcelona, Toulon, Florence, Rome, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Athens, and Venice). We wanted to get a feel for various parts of southern Europe. I have traveled extensively through Europe but my wife had never been. So, we took big/long excursions in each port except for Mykonos. The excursions were great. Everything was scripted and timed. We did not wait in any lines and we really did not experience any traffic delays. (Some folks said that was because we were traveling in August and all of the 'working' locals in each city were on their August 'holiday'). Anyway, each of the excursions were very good, especially with the use of the radio receivers so that you are not required to be right next to the guide. Since we knew we were taking long excursions, and that we would be tired in the evenings, we really did not care about the amenities and shows on the ships - though everything seemed to be nice. The food was excellent and plentiful, so we were happy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was my fourth cruise with Princess and fifth cruise overall. We are an active couple, ages 46 and 55. I was a bit worried about sailing on the Island Princess after the refit, but the overall changes were not something that really ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise with Princess and fifth cruise overall. We are an active couple, ages 46 and 55. I was a bit worried about sailing on the Island Princess after the refit, but the overall changes were not something that really affected us. The gym is small and dark, but we chose to run/walk on the promenade deck instead...it is inconvenient that it doesn't go all the way around anymore, but you can either cut through the ship (and enjoy the air conditioning) or turn and go back the other way...a small price to pay for the great scenery. I didn't miss the Universal Lounge at all-I have previously sailed on the Island's sister ship, Coral Princess and I didn't think the sight lines and space constraints in the Universal Lounge were that great.I had done research before we left and knew enough not to book our cabin in the aft area due to all the vibration issues. We sat next to a couple at dinner that had a cabin in that area and they said the vibrations were awful, .like the vibrating beds they used to have in motel rooms. I was curious to see if the dining felt crowded now that they had added more people to the ship, but we didn't find that the case any more than usual. Embarkation: We arrived at the ship just a bit before 1:00. There was a large crowd, but we only had to wait about 15 minutes before our group was called and we were quickly on board. Dining: We had traditional dining at 5:30 but were seated in the Anytime Dining Room at a fixed table for 2 that we were allowed to just walk in to each night. I really enjoyed this as the Anytime Dining room seems to move at a faster pace than Traditional Dining. We ate in the buffet each morning for breakfast and also for lunch on sea days. We occasionally ate dinner in the buffet when we got in from ports too late for our early seating or on nights when we just wanted something casual. The buffet was crowded at peak times, but we were always able to find a seat. The rest of the time, there was just moderate traffic in there. They had some great shrimp dishes and even king prawns on the buffet. I really liked the specialty dish that they would cook up in a wok in the evenings at the end of the buffet area. We also ate at the Grill the first day after embarkation. I try to avoid the buffet that day and the food from the Grill was very good. We used the Anytime Dining one night when we got back later than our assigned seating and we were seated very quickly and the service in the dining room was great. I thought the food was great. It's hard to complain about something you don't have to fix or clean up. I had read some reviews about food being luke-warm...that never happened to us. We had great waiters. Entertainment: We didn't go to any of the shows in the theater, as we have seen plenty of those, but spent most of our evenings watching Movies Under the Stars. I thought Princess' choice of movies was great and love just lying on a chair watching a movie with a blanket, some popcorn & cookies and the stars overhead. It did sprinkle on us a couple evenings, but we were able to move to chairs that were under the deck. We always went to the early movie and it was sometimes hard to hear for the first part of the movie as there were still a lot of people walking by and talking to their companions. Once the foot traffic slowed down, we were able to hear the movie fine. Disembarkation: We chose to carry our own bags off the ship in the 8:30 am slot. This went very smoothly and they actually let us off just a bit early. We had purchased a fake dagger for our son in Istanbul and it was taken from us as we re-boarded the ship in Istanbul and returned to us as we disembarked on the last day. My key card beeped as they scanned it as I was disembarking to let them know that I had an item to be returned to me. It was handled very well. We enjoyed our cruise very much. It is my favorite way to travel...unpack once and wake up every day in a new place. I love Princess and find their itineraries to be better than other lines for my preferences. Already planning our next cruise for Summer 2016. Ports: We are complete do-it-yourself people when it comes to shore excursions and only took one organized tour from a private tour company. We like to be able to just do our own thing and change our plans during the day if it fits our needs. We walked and walked every day, sometimes close to 15 miles. This is pre-planned to counteract all the food we eat on board!! As I have gleaned a lot of port information from Cruise Critic, I am going to share a very detailed description of what we did in each port. Barcelona: We arrived a day early. We rode the free green bus from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 where we walked out to the RENFE train station (up the stairs and across a covered walkway) and bought a T10 ticket for 9.95. There was a ticket window there as well as automated machines. This ticket can be shared with your traveling companions. It is good for the ride on the RENFE train from the airport into town. This train ticket, if bought alone, was almost $5 per person, so the ticket paid for itself in the first use by the two of us. It gives you 10 rides (5 for each of us) on the train, metro or buses in Zone 1 (basically the airport train and then the center of Barcelona where all the tourist attractions are). We rode the train to the Passeig de Gracia stop which was near our hotel. We walked to the Block of Discord and then down to Catalunya Square and down the Ramblas, stopping at La Boqueria to wander around. My husband loved this market with its interesting and varied displays of fruit, nuts, candy, bread and meats. We circled around the Columbus Monument at the bottom of Las Ramblas and then jumped on the metro at the Drassanes stop and rode the green line toward Trinitat Nova back up to Passeig de Gracia where we changed to the purple line toward Bandalona Pompeu Fabra and rode to the Sagrada Familia stop. I had pre-purchased tickets to La Sagrada Familia online and we were able to get in quickly. It is breathtakingly beautiful. We spent a couple hours there, then hopped back on the metro on the blue line toward Cornella Centre and got off at Diagonal where we changed to the green line toward Trinitat Nova and got off at the Vallacarca stop for our visit to Parc Guell. It is between the Vallacarca and Lesseps stops on the green line. We walked down the street and then turned left toward Parc Guell. It is a steep uphill walk, but there are escalators for most of it if you chose to use them. There were signs spray painted on buildings to lead you from the metro stop to Parc Guell. We walked around the outside areas and then entered the monumental zone with our timed tickets that I had also purchased online. A very fanciful place. It poured rain on us while we were here, but it didn't last long. We walked downhill to the Lesseps metro stop (somewhat steep, which is why I chose to do the metro stops in the order I did...I didn't want to walk up). We got on the green line going toward Zona Universitaria and got off at Passeig de Gracia and walked to our hotel (Hotel Victoria Palace). The next morning, we walked back down to Catalunya Square and then into the Barri Gotic neighborhood. We toured the Cathedral and then walked around to the Martyrs' Statue and Placa Sant Felip Neri...under the bridge of Sighs structure and to Placade St. Jaume. On from there to the royal palace. We decided to pay another visit to La Boqueria market on the Ramblas and so didn't go on to the Church of Santa Maria del Mar or the Arc. This is the beauty of doing things on your own. After our trip through the market, we walked back to the hotel, packed up and rode the metro from Passeig de Gracia on the green line toward Zona Universitaria and got off at Drassanes using the last our of T10 ticket. We walked the block to the bottom of the Ramblas and crossed the street and found the port bus which we took out to the port (2 euros each). Toulon: We walked into the center of La Seyne sur Mer (where the ship actually ports) and found the bus stop. We waited for bus 8 to take us over to Toulon. It said it was coming in approximately 20 something minutes, but when that time came and went, it finally just went to saying "No Service". Instead, we walked further into town and curved around the marina where we finally found the ferry going over to Toulon. A lot of wasted time due to the bus not coming, and to add insult to injury, once we finally found the ferry stop and were waiting for the next ferry, I saw bus 8 go by, running its route once again. I just had to shake my head. It was a beautiful day and I was in France...what more could you ask? You pay on the ferry...no need for tickets in advance-2 euros each. The train station is about a ten to fifteen minute walk up from the dock in Toulon. Our rental car agency was right across the street from the station and we were in our car and on our way up into Provence in no time. We took a somewhat indirect route up to Aix en Provence as we wanted to see as much of the countryside as possible. We drove around Aix, but weren't able to get out and walk as we had hoped due to the time that was lost that morning. We took a different route back to Toulon to see more of the countryside and arrived back at the rental agency just in time to walk back and catch the ferry back across to La Seyne sur Mer. There is a ferry stop closer to the ship than the one on the marina. It isn't well marked, but on the way back, the ferry stops there before it continues to the main stop by the marina. It was a short walk back to the ship and we arrived just before all aboard time. Livorno: We also rented a car here through the local Hertz agency. They have an office right in the terminal and had our car waiting for us. They have already programmed the GPS for parking areas near the sites in Pisa, Lucca, Florence, etc. We drove first to Pisa and I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have made it out of the port without that GPS...I have never seen a port that had as many roads going here and there as that one. Our parking on the street in Pisa that our GPS took us to was free since it was Sunday and the Hertz people had told us about this in advance. We walked a couple blocks to the Field of Miracles and saw everything there. It was pouring rain most of the time we were there, but it was a sight to see none the less and fun to climb the Leaning Tower. We went from there to Lucca, as we had decided not to try and do Florence on this trip. We were so glad we chose Lucca. What a delightful city! The wall around the top is about 2.5 miles and we walked the whole of it. Great views down into the town and just a fun place to people watch. The sun had come out as we drove toward Lucca so we had beautiful weather while there. We went down into the town and my husband tried gelato for the first time...and then tried it again because it was so good. I had tried to explain how wonderful it is, but you really have to just taste it on your own. We took an indirect route back to Livorno so that we could drive through as much of the Tuscan countryside as possible. As it was Sunday, a lot of the gas stations along the highway were not manned. You could use bills in the pumps, which we figured out after a bit of trial and error as there is a central location where you put bills in and then select your pump number, but you had to have smaller bills unless you need a lot of gas because they wouldn't give you change. Civitavecchia: I had read before we left that the free shuttle bus was now taking people to a different location and that you could either take a local bus to the train station or walk. I located the new drop off point on google maps and decided that wasn't really going to work for us as we were hoping to catch the 7:52 train to Rome and they weren't going to even start running the shuttle until 7:30 which was 30 minutes after we docked. So, we got off the ship at 7:00 and just walked out of the port. No one tried to stop us and we had a couple of security cars pass us. One man even gave us directions when we made a slightly wrong turn close to the end of the port area...we went into a parking area instead of staying on the road we were supposed to. I didn't see any other people walking, but I had read of others doing it previously. It was quite a ways to walk out of the port...perhaps about 20 minutes and we are fairly quick walkers. However, the main port entrance is only about 10 minutes from the train station, so we were able to get our BIRG tickets and catch our train with about ten minutes to spare. We rode the train to San Pietro and walked to St. Peter's Square. We waited in the already long line for the basilica, but rather than go inside, we went to the right side of it and paid to climb up inside the dome. This was a great choice as the line to do this later in the day was REALLY long. There were great views from up there and when you come down, you can exit directly into the basilica without waiting in the line again. We only saw about half the basilica before it was time for our pre-purchased tickets into the Vatican. I highly recommend getting these tickets online before you go. The line was 3 hours long for those people that didn't have tickets. We wandered through the museums and finally made it to the Sistine Chapel. It was very crowded in the museums and that made it not as enjoyable for us, but it was the middle of Summer, so to be expected. The Sistine Chapel was beautiful, but we were on sensory overload after going through all those museum exhibits. We exited out the back door that lets you back into the basilica without waiting in the line so that we could see the rest of it. From there, we walked down into Rome, through Piazza Navrone to the Pantheon, on to the Trevi Fountain and then down past Trajan's column to the Forum and Coliseum. We didn't have time to do more than walk by the later two as we had chosen to spend more time at the Vatican than we planned. I had been to both of them before and my husband said he could see enough from walking around the outsides to suit him. We walked by the Circus Maximus and got on the metro at Circo Maximo and rode to Ostiense where we caught the train back to Civitavecchia and walked back to the port. I stopped at an internet cafe right at the port entrance to check in with home and then we walked to the shuttle stop that is still fairly close to the port entrance. The bus doesn't drop you here in the mornings, but the return buses do stop here in the afternoon. However, they told us that there were no more Princess buses coming even though we were 5 minutes before the last shuttle was supposed to have left the first stop...we should have still had 10 minutes to spare. No worries, we just walked back into the port. We had to go through a building near the entrance where they looked at our cruise cards, etc, but they didn't try to stop us from walking into the port either. We got back with only 5 minutes to spare after not being able to catch the bus, but good enough. We like using up our full day in port. Naples: We bought tram/train tickets from a tobacco shop on the corner of the intersection where you exit the port and then caught the train in the center of the road to the train station. The ticket machine on the tram wouldn't validate our tickets, but the man that checks your tickets had gotten on and an Italian women told him that we tried and the machine wasn't working. He wrote on the back of our tickets and passed them back to us. When we got to the main train station, we bought the rest of the tickets we would need for the day and caught the train to Pompeii. The train was VERY full. Standing room only and so we made our way to the door at the stop ahead of ours. Due to construction, Pompeii was opening 30 minutes later than we had thought, so we waited outside the gates. The ticket lines did not move very fast once they let us all in. We bought a combo ticket for Pompeii and Herculaneum and then toured through Pompeii. There were a lot of roads/areas that were closed off, so we had to keep backtracking on our walking tour. By the time we left Pompeii a couple hours later, the ticket line snaked clear around and up the exit ramps. I would suggest going there as early as possible. We rode the train back to Ercolano. We checked with Vesuvio Express and they said they had two buses leaving to go up Mt. Vesuvius, one in 20 minutes and one in 40 minutes and that we would be back in time to catch the train to Naples at 4:06 regardless of which one we took, so we hurried down the road to Herculaneum and toured through there very quickly. We got back to Vesuvio Express only to have him tell us that we could not go on that bus and make it back for the 4:06 train. His English was not very good and we don't speak Italian, so there was a miscommunication. We wished we had gone on the first bus and climbed Mt. Vesuvius and then toured Herculaeum, time permitting. Lesson learned. It was very disappointing to us as we really wanted to climb Mt. Vesuvius. We had some gelato (comfort food) and took the train back to Naples where we had some pizza...can't go to Naples and not eat pizza :) Back to the ship with plenty of time to spare. Mykonos: We decided to walk into town rather than take the (for fee) shuttle bus. I have walked it before and it is an easy walk, though there really isn't much of a shoulder on the road so I would caution anyone that doesn't like being right next to the traffic. There is also a boat that takes you from the little marina next to where you dock into the center of town and is cheaper than the shuttle. This wasn't running when I was here before (2012) and I'm not sure if it is a newer service or if it just wasn't running when I was there before because it was pouring rain. We wandered all around town, to the windmills, etc. We enjoyed just getting lost in all the little alleyways. We even ended up running into Petros the Pelican, who tried to bite my husband's stomach while I was taking a picture. I had really wanted to take the shuttle to Delos, but there was only one return shuttle that would have gotten us back in time for all aboard and I decided not to chance that it was running late, etc. as there was only a short window to make it back to the ship once the ferry docked. Something to do next time. Istanbul: We disembarked and walked out onto the main road. We got lira from an ATM and bought tokens for the tram from the machines in the middle of the road on the tram platforms. We rode the tram up to the Sultanahmet area. We toured Topkapi Palace and the Harem, Haggia Sophia, and the sites around the Hippodrome. We decided to skip the Underground Cistern (been there before). As it was a Friday, the Blue Mosque is closed until after the noon service, so we walked over to the Grand Bazaar and wandered around there for a bit. We got temporarily lost as we exited the bazaar, but quickly got our bearings and headed back to the Blue Mosque. They have moved the entrance line from when I was here before and so my husband got in what we thought was the line and they let him through, but they stopped me (I have blonde hair which you can still see even with the shawl) and told me that I was in the line for the locals going in to pray and I needed to go to the tourist line, which they pointed out. It was REALLY long, so I just motioned my husband to go ahead without me. I had been inside before and he had not, so I just waited for him at the exit. We wandered back down through Istanbul, following the tram tracks back to the Galata Bridge, across and to the ship. It was further back to the ship once we were across the bridge than we had remembered, but we made it in plenty of time. We tried the roasted chestnuts the vendors were selling on the streets before we came across the bridge...yum! Kusadasi: This is the port where we took an organized tour. You can get to the sites on your own, but it is a bit problematic. We used Ephesus Deluxe and they did a great job. We visited The Virgin Mary House and walked right in with no lines as we beat the tour buses there. On to Pompeii and the Terrace Houses...from there we did a quick stop at the Temple of Artemis. Back to Kusadasi for some shopping and an internet cafe before boarding the ship. Our guide pointed out a great shop for fresh Turkish Delight and baklava. Yum! Athens: We walked up to the metro station. There is some construction around the building and we took a wrong turn, but it was easily fixed with a little backtracking. We rode the metro from Piraeus to Omonia, then switched from the green line to the red line in the direction of Aghios Dimitri and got off at the Acropoli stop. We walked up to the Acropolis. There was a small line for tickets. The combo ticket included entrance to everywhere else we went that day. The rocks on top of the Acropolis are slippery, so wear shoes with a good tread. I actually fell while we were up there, but I was not wearing tennis shoes like usual and I am, admittedly, a clutz. After touring the Acropolis, we climbed up Mars Hill. From there we walked down to the Temple of Zeus and through part of the National Gardens. They were very pretty and I wish we had had more time to spend there. We did a walking tour on my iPod through the main part of the city and then through the Ancient Agora. The Tower of the Winds on the Roman Forum was completely covered with scaffolding, so that was a bit disappointing. We stopped at our church for an English speaking sacrament meeting (it was Sunday) and then back up through the Plaka looking for gifts. We caught the metro at Monistiraki with not much time to spare, rode the green line back to Piraeus (end of the line) and walked back to the ship. All aboard with 10 minutes to spare. We watched Sail Away from the aft deck on Deck 8. Had it all to ourselves. Once the ship was backed out and turned, we went to the forward deck on Deck 10 and watched from there as we cleared the harbor. Even landed the starring role in someone's YouTube video showing the Island Princess leaving Piraeus that day. Venice: We watched sail in from the forward deck on Deck 11. It wasn't very crowded. Everyone found a place along the rail. We walked from the port to Piazza Roma where we bought tickets for the bus to the airport the next morning (8 euros each) and then walked over and bought tickets for the vaporetto and sailed down the Grand Canal to St. Mark's Square. We toured through there, Bridge of Sighs, etc. Walked slowly back up toward Piazza Roma, shopping along the way and trying to get lost in all the back alleys. There are basically no people if you just go one street over from the main thoroughfares. I love all the little skinny alleyways in Venice. We did have to backtrack a few times when we came to streets that ended at a canal with no bridge, but that was part of the fun. We were ported overnight in Venice so it wasn't like there was a time we had to be back. We were still back well before dark, even with all our side trips. As I mentioned above, we chose self-disembarkation and carried our own luggage off the next morning. We walked to the people mover and paid the 1.50 each to ride that to Piazza Roma instead of pulling the suitcases for that 15 minute walk. Our bus was just arriving as we got into the Piazza and as it is an airport bus, has plenty of storage underneath for luggage. We were at the airport in 20 minutes...too bad the flights home weren't that short! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our 1st cruise so did not really know what to expect. When we arrived in Barcelona we were met by our driver who drove us to the port. Embarking was well organised, staff friendly and helpful. Our cabin was large, clean and ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise so did not really know what to expect. When we arrived in Barcelona we were met by our driver who drove us to the port. Embarking was well organised, staff friendly and helpful. Our cabin was large, clean and comfortable. Horizon restaurant had lots of choices and the food very good, we also had 2 lovely meals in the Bordeaux where we enjoyed afternoon tea also. We chose not to book excursions with the ship instead we hired a driver at each port which worked out cheaper each driver was very friendly and took us to some lovely places of interest and to beautiful italian resturants for lunch Sorrento being one of our favorites. The service on board was exceptional there was always happy friendly staff to bring drinks whenever we wanted them. We spent a lot of evenings in "Crooners bar" all staff there made us very welcome especially Savio Fernandes, Sandeep Gaikwad & Jenalyn Salvador. Dan and Duke were great hosts and we enjoyed the british pub night. One criticism there are not enough smoking areas otherwise had a great time already looking to book another. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Let me start with the good bits: Most of the waiting/serving staff were excellent, friendly and very efficient. The general layout of the ship and choice of bars and restaurants was also very good. Transfers to and from the ship were good ... Read More
Let me start with the good bits: Most of the waiting/serving staff were excellent, friendly and very efficient. The general layout of the ship and choice of bars and restaurants was also very good. Transfers to and from the ship were good as was the organisation of embarkation. No for the bad: The customer services desk staff were shocking!, rude, lacking in information and often contradicted each other in what information they did give. They all need a long course in CUSTOMER SERVICE! The ship unfortunately had a problem with what we believe was one of the engine shafts, I say we believe because we were given almost no information about this. The knock affects of this failure was we missed one stop totally and had two others stops that we only a couple of hours at. Obviously this was a great disappointment, especially as this was the section of the trip we were looking forward to the most as we hadn't visited these places before. Whilst we know that a breakdown can happen and that's not necessarily anyone's fault, the way it was handled was very poor indeed. We were told early one morning of the PA by the Captain that overnight this failure had happened and that the ship is now only running on one engine and slowly. He said he would keep everyone up to date and that this would not affect our trip.. Rubbish. As mentioned above it definitely did affect our trip. Oh and this was the first and last time we ever heard from the Captain. No real information was ever given about the problem only what impacts it was now clearly going to have on our trip. (Enough on that subject now). Having travelled with other cruise lines we found this one to charge a lot more for things like wifi and excursions. In fact it seemed to charge for everything and anything it could which we hadn't had on any of the other ships. The overall cost of the trip was ever increasing, which we found very annoying as generally cruising you know what you outlay is before you leave and that doesn't generally change?? Entertainment as a whole was lacking and not that great. Once again on others ships there has been a lot more going on and certainly of better quality. We were trapped inside the passport control at Venice before re-boarding the ship for an hour, the place was packed solid was soaking wet people as it was raining heavily outside. Once again no information was given as to why we were being held there and not allowed to board the ship! It turned out that the gangway had fallen into the sea! WHAT? How does that happen and thank goodness no one was on it at the time. Ok to sum up know as it could probably go on and on with bad points. We would strongly advise not to use this ship and Princess cruises. There are other much better cruise operators out there who provide a considerably better service and value for money Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
On our 3rd cruise with Princess (and first to the Mediterranean) we had a wonderful time that surpassed what we were expecting. From the start in Barcelona, we were blessed with excellent weather at every port but our last in Venice, where ... Read More
On our 3rd cruise with Princess (and first to the Mediterranean) we had a wonderful time that surpassed what we were expecting. From the start in Barcelona, we were blessed with excellent weather at every port but our last in Venice, where it rained much of the day. The cuisine & service was very good to excellent in the Horizon Court as well as our anytime dining location, the Bordeaux Room. Due to the port-intensive nature of the cruise (and early morning excursions), our activities were mainly limited to entertainment acts and production shows in the Princess Theater. We enjoyed the magician/comedian and musician/singers as well as the Production Shows. I understand Princess is experimenting with shortened shows, but 22-25 minutes seems too brief. Only the “On the Bayou” show was a full 45 minutes, and it was exceptional with beautiful sets, lighting and costuming. The Princess singers and dancers were very good, a cut above those on our last cruise. We always seemed to wind up at Crooners every night where Daniel Oliver was excellent as always - such a talented performer with a versatile and beautiful voice. The Cruise Director, Dan Appleby was both entertaining and informative. On all but sea days, we had breakfast delivered to our cabin due to the early excursions we had scheduled. Despite the limited menu, this worked out very well and allowed us to grab a little more sleep time. The condition of the ship belied its age and I noticed nothing in disrepair. I did notice cleaning work frequently being performed - no doubt the reason for the ship’s appearance. Our cabin attendant, Melchor, was outstanding and attended to all our requests tirelessly. We found that the size and layout of the Island Princess enabled us to quickly navigate wherever we went. Of course our cabin being situated between the fore and middle elevators was a big help. We scheduled all the port excursions thru Princess and found them to be very well managed. From the departures thru the returns, the logistics were well executed. All the tour guides were good with several truly exceptional, and we were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding restaurant venues and meal quality of the included lunches. I’m not sure if it was the cruise destinations and ports, but we’ve never met so many fun and personable people. So many friendships were made that we’ll continue to keep into the future. Embarkation & Disembarkation were very efficiently conducted and made for a nice beginning and end to the cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I read the forum relating to what the Island Princess would be like after her re-fit with some amusement as everyone seemed to be worrying so much! Anyway, despite having not been on this ship before we have been with a couple of other ... Read More
I read the forum relating to what the Island Princess would be like after her re-fit with some amusement as everyone seemed to be worrying so much! Anyway, despite having not been on this ship before we have been with a couple of other lines so were able to have something to compare. We were on Baja deck, mid-ship, and was a great position. Slight vibration but nothing I couldn't sleep through. The shower is tiny and we did wonder how some coped but I'm sure there was a knack to it. Shampoo, body wash and lotion provided. The ship never felt crowded, even on sea days you could find a fairly quiet spot and always a chair. Smokers - no smoking on Promenade Deck - only inside at Churchills, however, a large area on Deck 14. This was great for smokers as the non-smokers, who are in the majority, left us well alone so there were always tables and chairs. The bar staff came around regularly to ask if you wanted drinks. Horizon Court - we did anytime dining but actually only used the Horizon Court. We tend to eat late so it was fairly quiet. The food was delicious, really tasty and always a good choice. The coffee is pretty revolting but I'm a bit of a coffee snob. If you have an early start for an excursion my advice would be to order room service for breakfast, sometimes that was a little "hectic". Sabatini's - we went once for our anniversary/my birthday - personally I wouldn't bother. Ports were all great - we did Princess tours in each. Some could be a bit better organised but overall all very good. All the staff we encountered were helpful and really nice. I swore I would never go on another cruise, but just maybe the Island Princess has swung it. So in summary, don't worry, you'll have a lovely cruise, and remember we're the lucky ones cruising around the Mediterranean in relative luxury - some are fleeing their countries and risking their lives to get across. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such ... Read More
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such friendly helpful staff. The food is always cold so do not except too much, the deserts in the Horizon is really good for choice and the staff up there are the best always asking if you would like coffee or tea , Water nothing was too much for them to do for you. The free ice cream on the Lido deck is free and really good. The biggest problem was the shaking of the cabin at the AFT deck lido deck 14 on island princess shaking these are new cabins even though they were clean and nobody could look down on you and were not noisy the shaking is like being on one of those fitness shaking machines all the time. The shows were very short and some of the acts were terrible. The Films on Deck at night were good with free popcorn and cookies. The Burger bar is very good very hot food and fresh. Room Service which is free try the steak sandwich in the afternoon what a treat. The cabin Staff were so good always cleaning and perfect. Always sun lounger’s room in the pool space for all as there are 2 main pools and a splash pool on top deck forward. Be careful with the photographs can be very persistent. One of the best things is Any dinning you can go for dinner between 5:30 and 10 o'clock and sit a a different table every night. When shopping on board we found that staff very unhelpful and always looking at their watches rather than helping you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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