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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This cruise stopped at some ports we had not visited previously and also went into the Panama Canal and back out again. We also left winter behind for ten days and enjoyed the balmy Caribbean weather. Although Island Princess is fifteen ... Read More
This cruise stopped at some ports we had not visited previously and also went into the Panama Canal and back out again. We also left winter behind for ten days and enjoyed the balmy Caribbean weather. Although Island Princess is fifteen years old now, it has been well maintained. Our Caribe deck balcony cabin was excellent and even a bit larger than we expected. Our needs were met perfectly by our steward. Island Princess does not have an International Cafe, Wines & Vines and the rear quarter of the Promenade deck has been closed off to make an additional twenty balcony cabins. So, when one walks the deck, one must cut through the ship to complete each lap. A little irritation not found on some ships. We were moved from anytime dining to a traditional table by the Matre'D the fourth night of the cruise (since some tables were open there) and that became a great experience. Jaco and Akshay proved to be fabulous waiters and made each meal fun and flavorful. The food was well prepared and presented and on a par with the other three Princess cruises we have taken. Some items were outstanding and Jaco's knowledge of the food and desert items was quite helpful. The show "The Secret Silk" was well performed and magician Gary Carson was very entertaining. Allan at the piano off the atrium and Danny the guitarist provided great listening. The vocalist in the Wheelhouse Bar, the violin & guitar classical duo and the group playing dance & pop tunes were all excellent and enthusiastic performers. The Cartagena Old City tour was fun and informative but a bit too short. The snorkel tour on Grand Cayman was not great due to choppy, windy conditions that day. Meeting the Sloths in Limon, Costa Rica, was an educational experience but a poor photographic one due to the sloths being in cages. Ocho Rios is a pretty little port. We took a walk downtown and purchased some handmade items from the makers at the craft market. It's safe to do this during the day with good police presence. It's only a 10 - 15 minute walk one way. Our time in the Panama Canal was interesting and very informative. The canal expert on board was excellent and had great knowledge of the canal from personal experience. He delivered a wonderful pre-transit presentation and a great running narration over the ship's speaker system during the transit. Service on the ship was good and we have learned the times to avoid the buffet to minimize waiting in lines. Food in the Horizon Court was good with lots of choices. Salad greens were very fresh and tasty. Sushi was put out one day only and the pieces of tuna were very small without a lot of taste. The hand-rolls were good though. Embarcation in Fort Lauderdale was a breeze since we arrived two hours after it had started so all lines were gone. Debarcation was slower but not excessive. Being Global Entry participants allowed us to use the short line through customs and we were whisked through quickly. I try not to look too gleeful every time this happens but it's impossible not to smile. I feel for the hundreds of people we bypass but they need to get with the program too if they want the benefits it offers. Getting onto the transfer bus took longer than it should and Princess could use more employees to properly direct guests to the buses and to keep the lines more orderly. FLL is an outdated airport and shows it. Princess EZ Air saved us lots of money on our flights and has been super to use for several cruises now. We always check to see what they can do for us when booking with Princess. All in all, this was a wonderful cruise with very calm seas the entire ten days. Now I'm looking out my window at a snow-covered landscape with 8 degree temps. We have another cruise booked next month and it can't come too soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Terrible slow service in the restaurant and a bad waiter. We had a pre-paid reservation for the same restaurant for another night but canceled due to our bad experience. Princess also needs to make sure that the beautiful pictures on the ... Read More
Terrible slow service in the restaurant and a bad waiter. We had a pre-paid reservation for the same restaurant for another night but canceled due to our bad experience. Princess also needs to make sure that the beautiful pictures on the boat that shows the pictures of the food dishes should match what Is served to you. It is almost like night and day difference (have some look at the picture on display of the short ribs pasta dish and then go order it in the restaurant). You will be shocked. Also, our bathroom in our suite was dirty as there was mold on the shower grout walls. The shower curtain was stained yellow across the bottom. Also, the fitness center was truly the most disappointing fitness center I have ever seen on any cruise ship that we have been on. Stuck in a room with no windows and just staring at walls is unreal. How could you ever enjoy working out? Many comments from passengers on board said they would not work out because of the fitness center location. We have been on many cruises and will most likely not go on Princess again. Read Less
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I should start this review telling you a bit about me. At home I am pretty active. I enjoy doing a lot of different things and like trying different things. I do bicycle a lot and play volleyball. When cruising I like doing Trivia, ... Read More
I should start this review telling you a bit about me. At home I am pretty active. I enjoy doing a lot of different things and like trying different things. I do bicycle a lot and play volleyball. When cruising I like doing Trivia, building things for egg drops and scrape heap boats. I like bean bag toss or what ever else we might toss. The penguin toss was very popular, I like putt putt golf but the course on the Island princess was pretty sad. They had a sports deck but due to the construction of the protective net only tennis and pickle ball could be played. You could play basket ball but the low protective net mad that difficult. The door way and all the gaps under the net allowed balls to escape. The space on the sports deck could have been utilized better and the net could have been installed better. I am thinking the person in charge of the putt putt course was also in charge of the sports deck. All the activities like Trivia and bean bag toss were not scheduled very well. Too often I had to choose one of three that were in the same time slot and then there was times nothing was going on. I asked the staff about it and was told they had little input on scheduling and seemed as frustrated as I was. I liked most of the Ports but there was a few we could have skipped. I was not looking forward to Rio but it turned out to be a lot of fun. We did very few ship excursion and mostly went out on our own. Past cruises we were usually disappointed with the ship excursions and felt the cost was too high for what you got. This cruise was no different. My biggest frustration was the food. I am a vegetarian. They marked very few of their foods vegetarian and some dishes that are normally vegetarian they would put meat in them. I contacted them a few times but things would only change for a short while and then they would go back to their old way of doing things. In conclusion I was disappointed with the ship. I think they could have done a better job and with so many ships out there now I was surprised they didn't try harder and do a better job. This was my second Princess Cruise I was disappointed with. I will try them again in the future and hope they do better. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We booked this cruise as soon as we became aware of it through mail advertizing. For such a long cruise it met most of our expectations. The staff and crew especially Captain Tuvo were fantastic. The itinerary was the primary reason for ... Read More
We booked this cruise as soon as we became aware of it through mail advertizing. For such a long cruise it met most of our expectations. The staff and crew especially Captain Tuvo were fantastic. The itinerary was the primary reason for booking this cruise. It had three bucket list destinations and all were great experiences. The down side to this cruise was the ship. We had been on this ship in 2014 and it was fantastic. I think the ship was ruined in 2015 when it went through major renovations to add 100plus staterooms and eliminate/change venues. I should have been more careful to notice these changes before booking. I would consider booking a cruise on sister ship Coral Princess (as long as it is not also converted) but' will never book this ship again. The ship must have had major plumbing issues with flooded staterooms and public restrooms, and foul smells at various locations. (This was even after having gone through a refit less than three month previous.) This was a wonderful cruise, just not on this ship. I believe most of this itinerary could be duplicated on other ships by booking all of the segments around South America. (This cruise was also offered as three segments). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We are retired and doing a canal transit was on our list. The ship will be in dry dock soon and needs significant repairs. For us personally, this was not a major factor. Our balcony room, E-711 was fine. Nothing broke. The room is ... Read More
We are retired and doing a canal transit was on our list. The ship will be in dry dock soon and needs significant repairs. For us personally, this was not a major factor. Our balcony room, E-711 was fine. Nothing broke. The room is too small. There was a desk chair and one other chair that did not fit well in any position is the small space available. No way a small sofa would have. Comedians can have a field day on the small shower, but the balcony was of decent size. Our room steward was great. In areas of the ship there were bad odors at times, but not in our area. There were small pipe leak floods in some halls and rooms, but not in our area. Emerald deck has a great public back deck, but no seating. It would be a nice area to sit and watch the sea, visit, or read. Embarkation was very good. The room was available immediately and ready for us at noon. Luggage came efficiently. The ship was not full, so it was rare to feel crowded. The one level theatre only seats about 660 people, so there were often three shows in the evening. The entertainment was very good, The ship is currently rated by passengers as the top Princess ship for entertainment. The central plaza area has a tiny dance floor, but the Explorer Lounge and Wheelhouse bar are public areas are very nice and intensely use. They must be zoos when the ship is full. In terms of decor, colors, and art, this is a very fine ship. The crew and service staff are tops. Our time in Aruba was very short, but we had a great Princess snorkel excursion. Our time in Cartagena was also too short, but we had great private tours there and in Nicaragua arranged through the board pre-cruise discussion here in Cruise Critic We did a good Princess archeological tour with a lot of walking in Huatulco, but were on our own in Costa Rica and in Puerto Vallarta, places we've been multiple times. Cartagena, Nicaragua, and Huatulco were all first time places for us, and we loved all three. The sea days were lovely. Lots of diving birds to entertain us. The first sea day out of Puerto Vallarta gave us great views of Cabo and the Baja Coast. Lots of sail boats, motor crafts, even oared and paddled craft. Lots of dolphins breaching and even jumping out of the water in unison. The buffet, because of the excess of rooms to public space had very tight passage ways between tables to exit the area. It must really be difficult when the ship is full. The central plaza patisserie bar is markedly below average for a snack or dining space, but everywhere the service was wonderful. Don't expect a donut on this ship. We had a set dinner time at a table for 8. We started out with just 4. Nelson, the head waiter was able to find 4 more people to fill out our table. Nelson is the best head waiter I've had on any cruise. We got on well with out tablemates. Overall, the food in the dining rooms and buffert were high average, but I sometimes felt some food was being strictly rationed. I could not get extra spinach, but could get asparagus, green beans and peas. I'm on coumadin and my dosage is based on me eating a certain amount of green vegatables. Several salads I had that contained "tomato" had a single cherry tomato split in half. Just before the end of the cruise they ran out of papaya and banana. I sang a chorus of "Yes! We have no bananas!" with a tablemate that last morning. Callie, the cruise director was wonderful. He was the best cruise director ever. One evening he hosted the shows in drag. It took his feet days to recover from the spike heels, but he looked fabulous. I'm sure some female passengers were envious. Disembarkation were smoothly, very smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I enjoyed the fellowship of many Faith believing Christians on this cruise. Traveling alone they welcomed me into their group which made the trip extremely enjoyable. I was very impressed with the Sunday Services we had which were also ... Read More
I enjoyed the fellowship of many Faith believing Christians on this cruise. Traveling alone they welcomed me into their group which made the trip extremely enjoyable. I was very impressed with the Sunday Services we had which were also very well attended. The crew staff were very hospitable to the extent that they knew your likes and served them when you were in their area. I was very impressed with the culinary variety they offered so that all ethnic backgrounds would be able to enjoy their food, and those who were willing to broaden their palate had the same opportunity. The entertainment on board was great, from Halloween Celebrations, Formal evenings and Campaign cascade, Dance,as well as Language instructions, as well as the dancing group on board did a fantastic job with their productions. They were so good that the Theater was always packed, with little room left for late comers. There was enough activities for anyone's taste, Bingo, Casino, Trivia and the like. Love going on Princess voyages. Bon Voyage Amigos!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We are Princess Platinum, and although we have our issues with the company, we find their ships and staff still a cut above the other in the "reasonable" cruise line pricing sheet group. Cabin: B524; Steward, Ricky. ... Read More
We are Princess Platinum, and although we have our issues with the company, we find their ships and staff still a cut above the other in the "reasonable" cruise line pricing sheet group. Cabin: B524; Steward, Ricky. Outstanding service, room kept spic and span, and he accommodated our special needs after my wife became ill on the trip -- More on this later. Food: Horizon Court (buffet) was great as always. Sit down dinners in the Bordeaux were standard Princess menu, but very high quality food and service. Snack service good as well. Entertainment: This is an area where Princess still FAR outshines the competition. There was NOT ONE bad show or entertainer on the ship. The dancers and singers, costumes, choreography and special effects were simply dazzling! These young people are to be commended for their drive and energy at all times while on stage. Lotus Spa: We always purchase the additional "thermal package" ($349 for two for 15 day cruise), and although the spa area on this ship is smaller than on others, we never felt crowded out using the area. $35 (plus 15% gratuity) for a haircut, which is the going rate here in CA at home, but well done. Excursions: We tend to drift back-and-forth on Princess excursions, because they can be inconsistent. Snorkeling in Aruba: A++; Self walking tour (we used the hop-on-hop-off bus in Cartagena: B, as Cartagena is jam packed with beggars and other street people constantly bothering tourists to purchase their wares, even to the extent of fighting and arguing with other vendors selling the exact same item, so beware! Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary in Puntarenas, Costa Rica; A++, Simply because the young people who work there are so dedicated to what they do; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, cancelled due to high winds and seas (this is a tender port), but we have done the Mombacho Volcano hike on another cruise, and rated it A++ as well, if you are in good physical condition. Zip lining in Cabo San Lucas, A++ (second time here as well, and consistently excellent). Our biggest ongoing bitches with Princess are their asinine alcohol policy, and constant selling of EVERYTHING. Their alcohol prices are just totally absurd aboard ship, and their "unlimited alcohol" price of $57.80 per day is even worse. My God, this is a cost of $120 per day (or $1,734 for a 15-day cruise), and is more than we spend on alcohol for six months at home! Their premium wines are more than double the price that you can purchase a bottle for at any supermarket in any port we stop in, and they know it, because now they are taking bottles of wine away from passengers returning to the ship each day, to be returned at voyage's end. Most passengers we have talked to have some very creative secret ways to get around this idiocy (as do we), but it is a shame that through their GREED, Princess continues to gouge passengers. If they were to come up with a reasonable daily rate, as well as drop their on board bottle costs to something reasonable, they would A: Make a LOT more money than they are now, B: They would not have to pay three of four staffers to deal with this passenger issue in EVERY port, and C: Your passengers would be a LOT happier with you! SERIOUSLY! Same with people selling all the time aboard ship. People who wish to shop and purchase items will do so, whether staffers are constantly hawking stuff to them or not. For the rest of us, this is a BIG TIME ANNOYANCE! The trip through the Panama Canal makes this trip worth it alone. Such a magnificent work of engineering, and the local expert (Humberto) on-board spent the entire day going the just about everything anyone could ever wish to know about the canal. Finally, a word on shipboard illness. Princess (we are sure as with other lines, but probably even more so) is MANIC about on-board health, hand washing, Purell (they must go through 3,000 gallons of that stuff per cruise!), etc., some people are still just so inconsiderate of their fellow passengers, or maybe, just uneducated. This trip had a pretty aged clientele aboard, and we were astounded at the number of people openly coughing, sneezing, being in congested areas while being ill (theater, restaurants, buffet, etc). Especially on a winter cruise where people are coming from colder climates to Florida, then through Central America, and back into winter along the CA coast going into San Francisco. As such, this ship became a plague ship by the time we docked in SF. We spent the last three days of the trip locked in our cabin, as my wife caught a horrendous cold. People were wearing masks and everything else by the final day of the trip, but, still others continued to obnoxiously spread their germs amongst everyone else. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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: April 2014
The Island Princess is an older ship, but very nicely maintained. Embarkation was the best we have ever experienced, I believe. It must have taken10 minutes tops. We are “Platinum”, so were guided to a shorter-looking line. We arrived ... Read More
The Island Princess is an older ship, but very nicely maintained. Embarkation was the best we have ever experienced, I believe. It must have taken10 minutes tops. We are “Platinum”, so were guided to a shorter-looking line. We arrived at the port at about 12:30--and I think that a lot of the early-birds had already arrived. The Horizon Court was really full, but we did find a table for lunch. It was very nice to be able to access our cabin immediately on arrival. Be sure to go to your “muster station” a few minutes before the announced time, unless you are assigned to the theater. Seats fill up quickly and many people had to stand in the Universe Lounge. The entertainment was a very good variety--instrumental, vocal. production shows, and comedians. The Rhapsody Trio played classical music usually before dinner and at other times--they even had 2 concerts in the Universe Lounge--we enjoyed hearing them very much. The “On the Bayou” production show is not to be missed! Arrive 40-50 minutes early. It’s worth it. In fact. arrive at least 20-30 minutes early for any “theater” show. I saw plenty of people playing cards, reading books, or i-pads as they waited. The comedians were a mixed bag! They tried really hard. Of course, every ones’ taste is different. We enjoyed the Bordeaux Anytime dining. Tables 73-76, served by Elena and Richard, were where we tried to sit--they both had a wonderful sense of humor, and were very attentive, and remembered our preferences early on. Dinner with them was a special part of our enjoyment of the trip. We did Princess tours at 4 ports. I know lots of Cruise Critic readers prefer to book private tours, but this time we found the ship tours to be well-priced and we enjoyed them. We really enjoyed the Puntarenas rafting trip--even though the river was low, it was very fun, and we saw some wildlife. Our guide was skillful and fun. Hacienda Amayo in Nicaragua was a lazy day--Pretty music by marimba and guitar, dancers in pretty costumes, hammocks by the lake, I even milked a cow and made a tortilla, and they also had horse rides. The lunch was pretty basic, but it was O.K. Watching the locks on the Panama canal was interesting. The port lecturer gave excellent information. The MUTS was pleasant on a couple of nights. They offer a blanket and popcorn. Service was excellent, and we will surely cruise with Princess again.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This is not the first cruise I have taken, but it is the first one that was 15 days. My husband and I are fairly active and I called Princess several times prior to final payment to verify there were certain activities on board. Our ship ... Read More
This is not the first cruise I have taken, but it is the first one that was 15 days. My husband and I are fairly active and I called Princess several times prior to final payment to verify there were certain activities on board. Our ship had 4 days in a row at sea and we needed to guarantee some physical stimulus. First of all, the web site stated that there was a golf simulation screen on board. It was removed last year. There was a resistance wave swimming pool advertised. The pool didn't work as a resistance wave, it was just a pool. There were a total of 10 treadmills, 4 were broken. Several pulleys on the weight machines were broken and unable to be replaced. There was one free class at 7:30 a.m. the rest were for a fee. Princess has made the decision to not have a Bridge Director after March 2014. They will use a member of the Princess staff to run all Bridge games after this time. There is no guarantee that the staff member will have masters points and be a director. That is not going to work very well. We also had anytime dining. Meaning we could have dinner anytime from 5:15 to 9:30 without a set seating schedule. You could call after 8:00 a.m. and make a reservation for the evening. Well most of us could never get in before 7:30 p.m., which wasn't convenient if we wanted to attend an early show. We finally discovered that because so many people wanted the 530p.m. seating they just spilled into the anytime dining room and the people who signed up for "anytime dining" couldnt even get a seat until 730-745.   Read Less
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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