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11 Princess Island Princess Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Unwelcoming excursions for wheelchairs and unsafe, uncomfortable handicap washroom. The excursions was unadaptable, unwelcoming for wheelchairs and all our water excursions was cancel out, without letting you see fit to make your own ... Read More
Unwelcoming excursions for wheelchairs and unsafe, uncomfortable handicap washroom. The excursions was unadaptable, unwelcoming for wheelchairs and all our water excursions was cancel out, without letting you see fit to make your own decisions. It was disappointing because we were so excited for the island princess to enjoy some water and the island feeling. We did not get to do any snorkeling or any water activities and been deprive from it because of wheelchair unfriendlyness and discrimination. However, the diamond princess excursions allow you to have freedom in choosing your excursions and you can decide if the excursions is right for you in real time or can choose to sit out if you feel uncomfortable. Whereas, Island princess excursion will just cancel you out without gaving you the freedom to choose. Handicap washroom was unergonomic, uncomfortable, unsafe because the handrails was design horizontal poking at your back. On comparison, the diamond princess to Japan with handicap washroom was design much better and the excursions was helpful than “ Island princess cruise for being wheelchair unfriendly.” Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Outstanding value for the cuisine that is included and onboard entertainment. I would not recommend the premium restaurants as many have complained about the food quality for the extra price. Long wait times for Anytime Dining. You need to ... Read More
Outstanding value for the cuisine that is included and onboard entertainment. I would not recommend the premium restaurants as many have complained about the food quality for the extra price. Long wait times for Anytime Dining. You need to reserve your dining times to avoid. Ports of call on this itinerary are below average and the excursions are not worth the money. This cruise is clearly targeted for senior citizens. It is not recommended for ages 55 and below. Very laid back vibe. The staff on this ship are very well trained and accommodating. Countries represented are mainly from the Philippines, India and China. They have the most pleasant demeanor and disposition unlike some cruise lines that represent Eastern European cultures. Princess has an amazing reputation for providing excellent quality food and highly skilled chefs that prepare a variety of international dishes. Our new preference for cruise companies is clearly Princess. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess ... Read More
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess Theater were outstanding. We also enjoyed free ice cream at top deck viewing ocean and mountains. The balloon party at Atrium on the last day was phenomenal. It was a very decent trip overall. We flew to Anchorage the day before. We took a bus trip down to Whittier where we embarked the ship. The first two days were all on ship without stops. The ship sailed through Harbour Glacier the first day and Glacier Bay National Park the next day. Then she stopped at Stagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan the next three days. The last day was all on sea again and the ship arrived at Vancouver harbor the next morning. The only major drawback was that no internet access unless you want to pay a ridiculous fee (e.g., $69 per hour). We remember that about 15 years ago, almost every hotel around world charged internet fees. When someone started to offer free wifi access, it became popular and soon every other hotels followed trend. I would imagine that this will happen to cruise ship as well. Someone smart enough to provide free internet access (even for a couple of hours per day) will immediately gain popularity. We are looking for our next cruise trip choice with this feature at top of our list. I was also expecting a Poker tournament but it did not happen. The casino was too small to host one. There was only one poker table and it was electronic. I did not see anyone playing poker the entire trip. Certainly it probably saved me a few bucks but I was disappointed nonetheless. Also, the photos were too expensive ($35 per picture). We would've bought some if the rates were lower. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
If you've never sailed during the holidays you are missing out. We choose this particular cruise aboard the Island Princess specifically for the dates that included Christmas and New Years. And the destination was a bonus as well. ... Read More
If you've never sailed during the holidays you are missing out. We choose this particular cruise aboard the Island Princess specifically for the dates that included Christmas and New Years. And the destination was a bonus as well. Having sailed with Princess twice before we knew a bit about how they operate but we were completely thrilled with this cruise. The Island Princess was beautiful, decorated for the Holidays and had just been refurbished a year or two before this sail date. Embarkation in Los Angeles was a breeze. The terminal is specifically dedicated to Princess Cruise Lines and it shows in the efficiency of how things are handled. We had a balcony cabin on deck 11 Baja deck and our cabin was clean and very comfortable. The beds are new and extremely comfortable. Our cabin steward was and friendly and very accommodating. When asked initially to have a clean wine glass every day it was always there. We always like traditional seating for dining and sat at a table with 3 other couples. Its a great way to meet people and always fun. Our dining staff went out of their way to assist us all with any requests and always anticipated any needs. The entertainment on board was exceptional and their stage productions were first class. The Princess Theater was beautiful and the seats were comfortable. That's a big deal, because we've been on other cruises where the seating was awful. The only criticism I have for that is that you had to get there early in order to get a seat. Princess tries hard to discourage seat savings, but it seems old habits die hard for some people. Lots of things to do during the day when at sea and their pools and seating around the pools is comfy and clean. The was always a deck hand available to take a drink order or assist in any way needed. One thing about the refurbishment that I didn't like was that the promenade deck is blocked off now and you can't walk completely around the deck. They added cabins or something and so in order to get a good walk in you have to cut through the ship to get to the other side of the boat. The ports were very nice and we went on excursions in each country using Princess tours. Buses where clean and in well working order. Plus, great air conditioning which is a necessity in the countries we visited. Now let's talk about the staff on board and their Leader Captain Michele Tuvo. He was absolutely fantastic and the involved Captain we had ever encountered on any of our cruises. He was out and about every day and interacted with everyone. His daily weather updates were informative and funny and each sign off was for him to say "never the less Bye, Bye! He was loved by all, staff and Cruise guests and towards the end of our 19 day cruise you could hear everyone saying to each other - never the less, Bye, Bye. And that's how I'll end this review - never the less Bye, Bye! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The cruise was nice and the view of the glaciers was fantastic. The overall service of the crew was good. Thank you for such a good service to us. However, the first show in the Princess Theatre on 19th July, 2017 was not a nice ... Read More
The cruise was nice and the view of the glaciers was fantastic. The overall service of the crew was good. Thank you for such a good service to us. However, the first show in the Princess Theatre on 19th July, 2017 was not a nice experience to Chinese women. In the talk show at 9:45 p.m., the male speaker (humourist?) talked about Chinese women walking through him several times. He did not say "some Chinese women". He said "Chinese women". That was a generalization and was racial prejudice as well as sex discrimination. Not all Chinese women are like that. I and my friends are Chinese women from Hong Kong. We found that talk show offensive and insulting. It was the first show on board the ship and it nearly spoilt our holidays. Fortunately the rest of the journey was delightful and we enjoyed the trip on Island Princess. The restaurants were nice. We enjoyed the Crab Shack in Horizon Court as well as the food served in Bordeaux and Bayou Cafe & Steakhouse. All excursions on the shore were enjoyable. We enjoyed the performances on the ship too, particularly the piano and singing performances. Once again, thank you for your good service. We look forward to your reply telling us what action your company will take to make improvement to your talk show. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because it included Alaskan waterways and land cruise. Departure city of Vancouver was a plus, so we arrived a day early to tour and that was not enough. Disembarkation went fast and smooth because we chose a city tour ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included Alaskan waterways and land cruise. Departure city of Vancouver was a plus, so we arrived a day early to tour and that was not enough. Disembarkation went fast and smooth because we chose a city tour that delivered our luggage to the ship and left us off at the pier at 2 pm with sail-away at 4:30 pm. The ship was refurbished in 2015, but still is an older ship. We were warned that it would be crowded, but we did not notice that. Our ocean view cabin was a bit small, but we rarely were in it because of all the lectures and shows. We really enjoyed "anytime dining" because we enjoy meeting new people and were not stuck with missing meals to attend an activity. The lectures on wildlife, Alaska and the glaciers really made the trip. We were joined by National Park Rangers on two occasions. Port excursions were very interesting. We chose excursions advertised by AAA and travel agents, rather that Princess, which we thought were more costly. Our land tour was top of the line, with a tour guide that traveled with us the entire 6 days, staying at Princess Lodges in Talkeetna, Denali and Fairbanks= and all meals and three excursions were included. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
What a great cruise. We did the land portion of the cruise/tour first and we are glad we did. Starting with 2 days in Fairbanks, followed by 2 days at the Denali Lodge and then on to the ship, was much better than doing it the other way. ... Read More
What a great cruise. We did the land portion of the cruise/tour first and we are glad we did. Starting with 2 days in Fairbanks, followed by 2 days at the Denali Lodge and then on to the ship, was much better than doing it the other way. Those that we met in the lodges coming off the ship agreed that they would have preferred doing it the way we did. Our time in Fairbanks was mostly taken up with a wonderful river cruise and panning for gold. The river was very high but the scenery was spectacular. The Princess Lodge in Fairbanks is very nice but the eating options are pretty limited. It was a short visit so we did ok but more food options would be nice. The trip to the Princess Lodge in Denali was uneventful, and the Lodge is beautiful. There are plenty of eating options both on property and close by. The 8 hour bus ride in the Denali National Park was much better than expected. Having heard we would be on school buses, we were a little wary. They are school buses, but the seats are much better than the school buses I remember. The scenery and wildlife were wonderful and well worth the time in the bus. There were numerous stops for rest areas, although the facilities were pretty primitive (glorified outhouses). The Island Princess herself is an older vessel but she has been recently refurbished and is wearing her age well. She's small but well appointed. Our cabin was very nice and our steward (Morvin) was among the best we've had in 15 cruises. In fact, the entire crew was wonderful - helpful, friendly, and professional. The 2 larger lounges, The Wheelhouse Bar and The Explorers Lounge, were both used for many other activities so we rarely went there for drinks, but the La Patisserie became our meeting place and it was a very nice, quiet spot for a glass of wine with friends. We were part of a large group (11 people) and chose Anytime Dining. We were accommodating efficiently every night in the MDR. The food was very good to excellent, always at temperature. The menu was a little short, but we always found something to look forward to. The staff in the Horizon Court (buffet) was outstanding, clearing tables quickly and always there for drinks, etc. The food was typical buffet fare but it was hot and fresh. We enjoyed all of our excursions and didn't hear any complaints on excursions from anyone else. Horseback Riding in Skagway was a very pleasant ride with very knowledgeable and fun guides. In Juneau we did the Mendenhall Glacier & Whale Quest. The stop at the Glacier was not long but there was plenty of time to see the Glacier and tour the Visitor's Center. The Whale Quest portion was outstanding. We saw many humpback whales, including one group that was Bubble-Netting, which they rarely see in these waters, according to our guide. We also saw a pod of Orcas. All in all a very pleasant day. In Ketchikan we went on the Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles Excursion. The boat was small and there were only about 15 people on the tour. We say numerous eagles' nests and several Eagles, including 2 beautiful specimens on top of the lighthouse. We also saw a group of Harbor Seals sunning themselves on the rocks. The Captain and crew took excellent care of the passengers. All in all, it was a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first cruise, so it was all new to us. Having read previous reviews of this ship we did wonder if adverse comments were true. More of that later. We are an early 60s British couple recently retired, travelling with a ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so it was all new to us. Having read previous reviews of this ship we did wonder if adverse comments were true. More of that later. We are an early 60s British couple recently retired, travelling with a relative. The cruise was 16d/15n from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale via the Panama Canal, with stops in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Aruba. The ship was built in 2002 and refitted last year, with extra cabins added at the rear of Deck 7 Promenade. It is one of two built to Panamax size to suit the Canal, although larger ships can be taken when new locks and channels are commissioned later in 2016. Standard of fit out and furnishing was excellent, with much polished and varnished wood, chrome and marble. Maintenance continued throughout the voyage, and at each stop crew were on shore painting out rust and tug marks on the hull. Previous posters complained about the addition of cabins in the 2015 refit, cutting off the stern part of the Promenade Deck. This wasn't a problem for us when walking , as you could either turn around and walk a long U shape, or cross a landing to do full circuits. There were also comments about crowding in public areas, but we only found a problem in the breakfast buffet in Horizon Court at peak time. The answer was to order hot drinks, cereals and fruit from room service, then to have a cooked breakfast when the crowds had subsided. A daily news letter listed activities, talks and shows, with extra information sheets on destinations. There were also regular deliveries and reminders about "enrichment" (shopping) opportunities. It was irritating how Princess constantly tried to squeeze more money out of the passengers, through on-board shopping, wine tastings, photos and DVDs, the casino, and exorbitant behind the scenes tours at $150 each. Although we only saw a few shows they were varied and good quality. The food was varied and of good quality. Our dining option was the late sitting of fixed time, which gave time to relax and have a drink before dinner, especially after shore excursions. Although we three had asked to join a table of eight we were on our own for the first two nights. The Maitre D' then placed two other couples on the table with us after they changed their options. We like to think that he was proactive to ensure compatibility. The dress codes, including formal nights, were generally adhered to and enforced. Most passengers were American, with some Brits, Germans and Canadians, and generally older than us. Although there's a teenagers' area we only saw one young person and one toddler. Previous reviewers said that some staff were rude. Without exception, all staff were friendly, attentive and efficient. The only rude people we met were some passengers, who talked to staff as though they were inferior beings. Some vocabularies don't include "please" and "thank you". Doors to decks had stiff closers for obvious reasons, and when holding them open for passengers some didn't thank or even acknowledge me. It was irritating on shore excursions when passengers had loud conversations when guides were talking. A "sailaway" party was planned for departure, but was cancelled as we sailed away four hours late following a faulty software update on the ship's control systems. There were four sea days before the first stop at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, which gave us time to familiarise ourselves with the ship and to get over jet lag. A shore trip took us to to a coffee plantation and Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Both were worth seeing. At the next stop in Puntarenas we visited a rain forest where a modified ski lift takes passengers above the canopy. Tours started late as another cruise ship was moored at the same pier, and space was limited for coaches to reverse to the ships. The walk around Panama was interesting, when we anchored off Fuerte Amadore and were tendered ashore. At Cartagena and Aruba we decided to do our own thing. The cruise dock at the former is in a commercial port, but there's a shopping centre a short walk along the dock. Check out the emeralds, and haggling can reduce the marked price. Aruba's pier is next to the city, and there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to visit. The short time in port meant that some trips would have been rushed. Due to a late return flight to the UK we booked a disembarkation tour at Fort Lauderdale, cruising the Intercoastal Waterway before transferring to Miami airport. The coach driver and guide were confused about where to drop passengers for Virgin Atlantic, and dropped us at the furthest point. We then had a long trek through the airport with our luggage. It is worth paying to use an airport lounge, with drinks and snacks, as the catering provision in the airport is awful. Our cabin was one of only 8 mini-suites on the ship, with the same area as balcony cabins. There was some shuddering when sailing into heavier seas, and there was noise when docking due to being directly above the bow thrusters. In their wisdom Princess have put all laundromats at the stern, so the round trip from a bow cabin like ours to wash or iron was 500 metres. Given the number of sea days we paid for the all inclusive drinks package, which was value for money. If you tot up specialist coffees, bottled water for the cabin and excursions, cocktails before dinner, glasses of wine with, and liqueurs after it is worth it. Don't order bottled water from room service as you still have to pay for it. My wife lost a crown during the trip and I asked the front desk if treatment could be arranged during one of the stops. They never got back to us. We will definitely cruise again, and probably with Princess around the UK or to the Baltic, so the ships will be different. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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
We decided to celebrate our 43rd anniversary with friends that were first time "Princess Cruisers" and expressed how wonderful their service was as well as entertainment and onboard activities. What happened? Heard many ... Read More
We decided to celebrate our 43rd anniversary with friends that were first time "Princess Cruisers" and expressed how wonderful their service was as well as entertainment and onboard activities. What happened? Heard many complaints from many passengers expressing the lack of... We were quite disappointed with the changes. I may be in the "60"+ group but we're not dead! There was everyday at noon live music for 1 HOUR ONLY, no poolside activities (or if you call chip shooting) an activity for all...I missed something. The miniature golf course was in bad need of either being completely eliminated or in serious repair. Food was ok for me since i'm not much into rich foods. Our friends thought different, "complete disappointment". Entertainment, OMG! That was REALLY disappointing, where did Princess get their Comedian/Magician's from? What happened to the great shows, i.e., Circus de Soleli, Broadway, etc.? They may of been on the stage a whole 30 to maybe 40 minutes. Felt completely rushed. WOW is all I can say. Excursions were the best. We've have been a loyal followers of Princess and decided to do this cruise and bring more followers, but, I'm not sure they will return. After the build up telling our friends what great service, food and entertainment, etc. it didn't happen the way we wanted it to. I'm hoping they will try Princess again and hope Princess relooks at these disappointments.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Review of Island Princess Partial Transit of the Panama Canal, Dec 20-30th 2010 Here is my personal review of our recent cruise. We are not frequent cruisers; this is our 4th cruise, and our second with Princess. Some in the group were ... Read More
Review of Island Princess Partial Transit of the Panama Canal, Dec 20-30th 2010 Here is my personal review of our recent cruise. We are not frequent cruisers; this is our 4th cruise, and our second with Princess. Some in the group were new to cruising Even though we live in Florida (Tampa), we decided to drive to Ft Lauderdale on Dec 19th and spend the night there. We stayed at the Marriott Springhill Suites, and were able to leave our car there during the cruise for no extra cost. It was a nice place to stay and the shuttle service both to and from the ship was efficient and timely. There is no charge to get to the ship, but a 10 dollar per person charge to get back to the hotel. We had family that flew in from Michigan the day before the cruise left, and also family that drove from Michigan, so this was a good place to meet up. We took the 12:45 shuttle to the port on Dec 20th. As another poster pointed out there was some trouble with the magnetic scanning of ID cards that held us up for about an hour or so, and then people that had come in after us all of a sudden were sent to the check in lines before us. This was upsetting to me, I do not at all mind waiting my turn, but I do not appreciate people getting ahead of me when I have been waiting patiently. There was definitely not enough Princess staff available to handle the crowds and keep people in proper order. However, this was a minor irritation. We finally made it aboard around 2:30 or so and found our lovely mini suite with balcony, Deck 10, Caribe. I loved the room, and with my two nieces along in our room it was great to have the extra space. We have never had a balcony or mini suite before. However, I would never book in the back of the ship again, it was very rocky and noisy at night with all the vibration and the first night there was a lot of knocking outside that was very loud, but that seemed to get corrected after that night. Room and smoking: Loved the balcony for my husband who smokes cigars. He only smokes outside, and was courteous and did not usually smoke if other people were out on the balconies near ours. He also kept the balcony door closed when smoking. I walked all of the halls, and on level 5, port side there was some awful smoking going on at all times that penetrated the entire hallway. I really think Princess should ban smoking in all cabins, but that is just my opinion. I am okay with it on the balconies and in the cigar lounge, etc. I am not a smoker and never have been. Bedding: We both thought the queen sized bed was very comfortable, and also the pillows were great. We slept well for the most part even with the vibrations and rolling seas! We like a firmer mattress, and found this perfect. Steward: We were lucky to have a fine gentleman named Nestor who took great care of us and our room. The girls loved him. He was always around. We tipped him extra on Christmas and when we left. Dining: We opted for early seating, which we were told was 6 pm, but our card said 5:45. We arrived anytime between 5:30 and 6 depending on what we were doing that day. My husband is a very slow eater and many times we did not finish up until 7:30. Our servers were Noel and his assistant Francis. Noel was more reserved, and Francis more light hearted and he was very taken with our grandson who is 13. We also tipped them extra on Christmas Day as well as the last night. My husband ordered cappuccino the first night, I ordered coffee and our grandson had hot cocoa and after that night Francis remembered and we did not have to ask for it again. We all thought the food was pretty good, some choices better than others. I loved the cold fruit soups. I agree with another poster that said the halibut on Christmas Eve was overcooked, it was. Also the gingerbread soufflE was a big disappointment and I was really looking forward to it since so many previous posters had raved about it. In fact, I thought they must have made a mistake; it was very light in color and had only a hint of spice to it. The cream sauce over it was delicious however. The vegetables were always very good, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, asparagus, bok choy, etc. My favorite was probably the red snapper with a fabulous couscous, also the prawns and lobster was surprisingly good. One of my nieces was seasick and ordered green apples two nights in a row! The sorbets were delicious. We ordered room service several mornings for breakfast, I always wrote in bacon and hard boiled eggs, and always got what I ordered and also the various times I ordered it (6:15 am one day). One morning I ordered the corn beef hash for my husband and it came. We did eat in the dining room for breakfast one morning, and the rest of the time in the Horizon Court. Their oatmeal is fabulous; does anyone know how they make it? I would love to get that recipe. We tried the pizza twice for lunch, it was pretty good, and tried the grill for lunch twice as well, the fries and hamburger were good. We did not eat any lunches in the dining room. We loved the soft serve ice cream; it was a very good rich flavor. We did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants; we did not feel the need to. We liked the food and thought there were plenty of choices. None of us are gourmet foodies, but we all like to try new foods and are not chain restaurant type people usually. Sanctuary: We went up there the first day to see it, but none of us used it at all. Spas: My husband went down for a shave and massage one day and really liked it, and then made the staff very happy by buying several of their products for a ridiculous amount of money! Pools: We had three kids in our group, ages 15, 13 and 12. They loved the pools and hot tubs and spent hours in them. They also went into the Lotus pool in the evening when it was usually deserted, even though it said adults only, there were no adults around and they were well behaved so we let them use the pool. I even used the Lotus pool the last evening, it was lovely and relaxing in there. MUTS: I think 2 adults in our group liked this in the evening, and they saw three movies out there. They really liked it. I thought it was too cold, but probably would have tried it if it had been warmer. I sometimes thought it was too noisy out by the outdoor pool during the day, and could have lived without Stevie Wonder blasting me. Kids Programs: All three kids were enrolled but probably partook in the activities only a few hours each. For my two nieces they could not tolerate the motion back there, and I agree with them, it was very rocky back there. My eldest niece said it was very cliquey and that a lot of the kids seemed to know each other and were not inclusive. Entertainment: Because of the kids I personally did not get to as much of the entertainment as I would have liked. I went to Piano Man and it was okay. I went to the first night of Willie Tyler and Lester and thought it was just okay. I took my two nieces to see Tribute and we all really liked it. Just one of my nieces went with me to see "Do You Want to Dance?" and we both thought that was the best. Sea and Seasickness: This was only our 4th cruise and by far the roughest. One day there were gale force winds and according to the ships log is was "mild seas" and that was a big fat lie. I was not bothered by sea sickness at all, but a few times had a bit of a queasy stomach which was quickly remedied with chewing on some ginger capsules. I have experienced horrible seasickness in the past, but seem to be a better sailor as I age! My sister and her husband and both my nieces were bothered by seasickness, three of them to the point of vomiting and I am sure cursing that they ever decided to go on their first cruise! They all had sea bands, were taking the bonine, green apples, ginger, and an aromatherapy inhaler. Nothing seemed to help, only time. My sister and her husband were on the 5th floor, in the middle of the ship and their room was so much smoother than ours. In fact when the kids were sick they went to that room and slept on the floor and they could not tolerate the motion in our room. I even tried to switch rooms due to the motion but was told the ship was full and we were not able to switch rooms. My one niece actually vomited one night in the dining room, they had to cordon off the table and decontaminate the area, but no one was restricted to their rooms by staff. Ports of call: Aruba, 4 of our group went snorkeling and liked it. The other 5 of us went to the DePalm Island/beach. Unfortunately we were not able to dock where we were suppose to in Aruba, so this excursion entailed about a 20 minute bus ride to get to where we needed to take the boat to the island, my niece vomited on the bus (luckily into a towel), and my sister was sick once she got off the bus. Luckily for them this was the end of their sea sickness and neither of them were bothered again with it on the trip. The swimming was wonderful here.We loved this excursion, but it was way too short, and then even shorter because of the unexpected bus ride back and forth. Cartagena: Very hot. We took the walking tour and loved seeing the old town, but did not like how the tour was run. We had 12 minutes in the museum which was ridiculous, and only 5 minutes in this shop that sold emeralds and that was a bigger joke. Even if I had wanted to buy an emerald there would not have been time. Our guide started out good but ran out of steam; he did not do a good job of keeping the group together. I have heard a lot of good words about private tours in this city and I think that would be a better deal. The city skyline in this city is beautiful and impressive. There were lots of persistent vendors. Panama: Since it was Christmas Day none of us took a tour. I got up at the crack of dawn and went forward through the "secret" door on deck 10. It was great seeing the canal that way and well worth getting up so early for. We did get off in Colon for some shopping and that was fun and convenient. Look for the handmade baskets and nativity sets, they are beautiful. I did not personally see them, but my sister and her husband did, they really enjoyed the shopping there and went back out to purchase me a few nativity sets, quite a bargain for 15 dollars each. Costa Rica: My husband, my two nieces and I took the 10 hour tour that started out with a bus ride to the canals where we boarded the small river boat for 90 minutes or so on the river. I loved that, our driver and guides were good. We saw 2 toed slots, 3 toed sloths, frogs, birds including a green heron that I had never seen before and the amazing Jesus Christ lizard. We did not see any howler monkeys, but it was rainy all day. We then got back on the bus and went to where the aerial tram was. First we had lunch at the rainforest cafe, did a bit of shopping; bought some Costa Rican coffee, and some delicious candies called chocolates Britt that was dark chocolate covered orange jelly, and also pineapple. Both made in Costa Rica which I liked. Also bought a t- shirt which I was happy to see was made in Costa Rica. We then went on the aerial tram for about 70-80 minutes. It was lush and green and beautiful, but very wet and we saw no wildlife. Each tram carries 6 people and a guide. Then it was about a 2 hour ride back to the ship. We had no time for anything else. It was a full day and expensive, but I am glad we did it. Some in our group did the off road excursion and really enjoyed that, and others did the closer aerial tram and nature center and did not think it was worth the money. The only complaint I had on this excursion was it seemed disorganized at first. It was raining quite hard, my husband was in a wheelchair and were were directed to one bus, then my husband got out of the w/c to get on the bus and we were directed to another bus which we walked to then to another bus then finally to a 4th bus. All of this in the rain with my husband walking with his cane and his w/c getting drenched. Again because of this many people boarded the bus before us, even though we were there first. This really bugs me. I will again say I do not mind waiting my turn, but get very annoyed when I have waited my turn and others get ahead. This was very disorganized. Jamaica: The weather was cloudy and not that warm. Six of us did the plantation and Dunns River falls. The kids loved the falls. It would have been better if it had been warmer, but cannot control the weather. I did not like the vendors in Jamaica. Our driver then took us to a store near the "Taj Mahal" where I bought 5 Cuban cigars at 10 dollars each for my husband, he said they were not very good! One problem in Jamaica; once again we were not able to dock where we were supposed to, and I don't think it was possible to walk easily to shopping or the Margaretville, but I could be wrong. Miscellaneous: Christmas day was fun on the ship. They had a lovely kids program and each kid received a Princess teddy bear from Santa. All the Christmas decorations on the ship were lovely. The crew party that started at 11pm on the second to last night was a lot of fun; the kids really enjoyed dancing with the crew and the conga lines. I see previous posters complained about the toilets, we were not affected, thank goodness! I thought everything was pretty clean and well maintained, except at the outdoor pool area. It was quite windy much of the time out there, and lots of napkins, etc blew around and trash was very noticeable in some areas here. I noticed this on more than one occasion and more than one day, and think Princess should beef up their staff in this area and take notice of this. We had fun making our gingerbread house, making cards, playing bingo, trivia and family feud. We read and played games in the game room. My husband enjoyed some time in the cigar lounge. We spent very little time or money in the casino, and we usually like to spend some time there. My husband bought a coffee card, and did not quite use it all up. We used the self serve laundry and it was very convenient. It costs 1 dollar per wash and the same to dry. I would recommend bringing some quarters, and your own detergent although there was a change machine available as well as soap to purchase. The girls were very disappointed that they could not get their passports stamped anywhere, they had hoped to get a stamp from each country they visited. Staff: We found all of the staff courteous and friendly. Overall: It was a great trip and I would recommend Princess cruise lines and I would cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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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