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18 Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America

The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a ... Read More
The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a wait of about 30 minutes. when we got to our cabin we found it spotless and our luggage was outside our door. We had a wonderful lunch in the main dining room. Muster was at 3:30 and I love that we no longer have to lug life vests. One thing I did't like was a lot of deck space was removed as was a show lounge so they could add more cabins to the ship. However, despite the higher number of passengers, the ship rarely felt crowded except during show times and many trivia games. Club class dining had impeccable service. Many of the meals were very good but sometimes they weren't. the quality of meat has gone down. We had the best cabin steward. He was like a ghost but had our cabin refreshed twice a day and happily fulfilled any requests. You have to be careful with the ratings on tours. One "Easy" tour had more walking than I could do and I ended up spending most of it on the bus. The tour desk wasn't very considerate of physically challenged people. Favorite ports included the Panama Canal and Fuerte Amador, Punta Arenas Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, and Victoria BC. in Huatulco, there was a horrendous walk from the ship and two three wheel scooters that you could squeeze three people in to get to the shops and tour buses. I think after four times through the canal, it will be a long time before i do this again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Great itinerary including Panama Canal, but highlight was being blown away by extreme quality of performances & musicianship on board. Very good variety of musical styles and shows that Broadway would envy. Great jazz sets and backup ... Read More
Great itinerary including Panama Canal, but highlight was being blown away by extreme quality of performances & musicianship on board. Very good variety of musical styles and shows that Broadway would envy. Great jazz sets and backup for guest performers who were amazing also. We walked around Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure & enjoyed the city even though it was hot and humid for early October. Embarkation and our exit also were the fastest & most efficient we have experienced (been on 3 other cruise lines, but first time on Princess). We chose an interior cabin (deck 5) since not spending much time there & had the best sleep in years on a great queen bed. The cabin steward must be a magician, since the room was always clean even when we were not gone a long time -- not sure he ever slept. Again ... great music & shows & ports of call made this a super cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Sailing south and going through the Panama Canal was a bucket list Item. Princess had a cruise that fit our time line so we booked it a year in advanced. Jade and Lucy the cruise director staff made the cruise such an enjoyable ... Read More
Sailing south and going through the Panama Canal was a bucket list Item. Princess had a cruise that fit our time line so we booked it a year in advanced. Jade and Lucy the cruise director staff made the cruise such an enjoyable experience. We laughed with them and had competitions with them. they could always be counted on for a smile and a warm and friendly hello. If going, plan on packing several suitcases as the dress code in the main dining area is VERY RESTRICTIVE. It got to the point where the head waiter dismissed me due to improper attire. ( collard shirt and dress shorts) I felt it was in poor taste.' Excursions into the ports were great and the staff was very helpful on boarding and embarking. Sea Days were fun with the steady games and dancing on board. Crazy and wacky game show type games entertained us along with the many bars lounges that were stocked with ample seating areas to enjoy meeting other passengers from around the world. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose Princess lines because i have sailed with them before amazing service and cruise to Alaska in 2001 .This time i felt i did not get my moneys worth . I wish i could be compensated for a portion of my trip because there were so many ... Read More
I chose Princess lines because i have sailed with them before amazing service and cruise to Alaska in 2001 .This time i felt i did not get my moneys worth . I wish i could be compensated for a portion of my trip because there were so many issues ,example the drink packages are a total ripoff particularly with the exchange being CND to US and what types of alcohol is included in the Premiere Package, Not enough live music on the deck or at nightly venues plus the DJ was not seen therefore you could not request songs, The nightly venues closed early as well the Casino. The beverage service on Deck very poor. The cigar lounge was extremely disappointing & very small with extremely poor air filtration. I spoke to some people who smoke & they advised unlike other cruise lines who have a very nice "covered smoking area" this ship did not - it appears that more people smoke than what most think! My Wife & I heard many disappointing things from long time Princess cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We choose this cruise as it was a short quick getaway with some nice stops along the way. Would of loved to have stayed longer in some of the cities, but I guess it would of added a couple more days on, which we wouldn't of minded. It ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was a short quick getaway with some nice stops along the way. Would of loved to have stayed longer in some of the cities, but I guess it would of added a couple more days on, which we wouldn't of minded. It was a smaller ship, which we like. The state rooms are cramped and washrooms need to be made bigger. The crew were friendly enough. I don't like the fact you have to buy all the fruit drinks after breakfast and one has to ask for different juice at breakfast, as all you push on us is orange juice. That coffee syrup you call coffee is awful. You should serve brewed coffee all day free, instead of having to buy a expensive coffee card to get brewed coffee and so many specialty coffee's. We seem to be Nickeled and Dimed continually on Princess. Gratuity cost of so much a day is illegal to charge. It's up to the passenger if he or she wishes to tip. The price of the cruise is only what needs to be paid and not us forced to help pay, over and above the wages they receive from you. The dining staff were good in working with me about what I could have or not or adjusting things so I could eat somethings. Ports were good we went to, but we could of stayed longer in some, as I said before. Activities were lacking or at the wrong time and the Captain Circle meet and greet, clashed with our dinner time, so we missed it and the first meet the crew and Captain in Mid ships we also missed because of dinner. Entertainment was good, but not always two shows, so it was rushed to get too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. The cabin we had was close to the Buffet and Theatre. Not so direct to the dining room though, as we had to take 2 different elevators to ket to it. The Dining Room Beef options were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. The cabin we had was close to the Buffet and Theatre. Not so direct to the dining room though, as we had to take 2 different elevators to ket to it. The Dining Room Beef options were very poor, fatty, dry, and tough. The Beef Tenderloin was tough and fatty, the prime Rib was just plain fatty and tough. Very disappointed in our dining experience. We were not the only ones complaint of the meat selections, it seemed to be a common discussion. The cabin boy was excellent, the Production shows were awesome. Itinerary was great. The buffet seemed to have the best food and menu options, no wonder there were so many empty tables as the cruise went on. Overall the service was great, just wish the ding experience would have been better. Will probably not use Princess again, we have much better experiences on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Entertainment and food was good and plentiful. Lots of choices on the Horizon buffet for all meals if that was your choice of dining. The dining room menu was varied and the staff were excellent..... knowledgeable and entertaining. I ... Read More
Entertainment and food was good and plentiful. Lots of choices on the Horizon buffet for all meals if that was your choice of dining. The dining room menu was varied and the staff were excellent..... knowledgeable and entertaining. I didn’t have room for dessert most nights and one evening I said “Nothing for me thank you” so after serving everyone else at the table he brought me a plate with ‘Nothing’ written in chocolate......quite a sense of humour. We had anytime dining and that worked really well....most evenings we didn’t have to wait long. We opted for a table for six....as more than that it was awkward to hold a conversation. We met lots of really nice, interesting people from all around the world. We did the full 22 day cruise from Vancouver to Ft. Lauderdale our longest cruise yet. We only booked two tours from the ship the rest we picked up on the dock....most of them just six of us in air conditioned vans with guide.....much better and more personal than the large bus loads. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We picked this cruise to avoid a cross country flight and for more sea days than port days. Then we added on the three day run down from Vancouver to L.A. just for the sea days. So, for us a 22 day cruise, still too short! Embarkation ... Read More
We picked this cruise to avoid a cross country flight and for more sea days than port days. Then we added on the three day run down from Vancouver to L.A. just for the sea days. So, for us a 22 day cruise, still too short! Embarkation was a snap in Vancouver, even with a full ship of three day cruisers. We did utilize the Princess Transfer and Hotel which made everything even easier. I know I am on Holiday when I see the Princess person at the A/P on arrival. Put my brain in neutral and follow their directions. We did arrive a couple of days early to visit with friends in Vancouver. The ship was in good condition and the cabin was up to snuff. Our CC Roll Call had a "sailaway" on deck and a good group in attendance. The cruise down the coast allowed us to get in to relax mode and a routine. Our cabin steward "Glenn" took care of all our special requests and was great to deal with on both of the B2B cruises. Calle Smit the CD did a superb job of organizing activities, especially the cruise long activities. He was always around and very easy to talk with, very entertaining when he ran an activity. His crew was just great, Laura and Wally stand out. I normally like to attend the lectures, but did not make one of them on this cruise. We only saw one show, the Princess "On the Bayou". We were always just too busy doing what ever came along. We had AT dining and it worked super well for us. We usually went in anywhere from 1815 hrs. to 2000 hrs. and only had to wait about five minutes once. We always ask to have a table to share and that makes it much easier and one meets some other great folks that way. They even accommodated us one evening when we walked up with a party of 13. It took about 10 minutes to come up with 1 eight top and 1 six top table next to each other. It was a rather raucous meal to say the least and late enough that we had the area mostly to ourselves with a very fun waitstaff. Just perfect for our group of new/old friends that evening. We did eat 3 times in the Bayou and once in Sabatini's. All meals were very good, I had the duck twice and it was a little over cooked on the one occasion, but still very tasty. Service was excellent. We did have a party of eleven once and when we got there for our reservation they said they could only seat a party of eight. We looked at the reservation book and it said 11, so they rearranged the tables and we had our group of 11. Way to go Bayou restaurant on the Island Princess! A great dinner was had by all. Sabatini's serving Alfredos Pizza for lunch was superb. Did that quite a few times. I did not do the Crab Shack, but really liked the Mongolian BBQ in the Horizon Court. The new layout for the Horizon Court worked very well, once everyone understood that you can just go to the area of food you want and not make a long line out the door. We did do a couple of Princess Excursions and two on our own. The Princess Excursions were good and well worth the money and piece of mind that the ship would wait for you if traffic or something held up the return. Two buses on a Princess excursion were held up by traffic and were then given a police escort back to the port. We did have to skip two ports, one was replaced and one just cancelled. This was due to mother nature, an earthquake near the one port and a hurricane on the other side of Mexico. This was all fine and Princess did what they could on the spur of the moment. All in all, a very good cruise. I can really find only one thing to complain about with Princess and their ship the Island Princess. I did miss the Skywalkers lounge and the Universe lounge for activities. I do not feel that removing these and making more cabins improved the facilities enough to warrant doing it. I will not sail on the Island again, but will choose the Coral in the future unless it is degraded to the Island's physical stature also. Our one major complaint is with the Spa. It is a contracted out operation to our complaint is with them not Princess. This was the worst experience we have had in a Spa on a Princess cruise. We will be very careful in the future on our use of the Spa. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
> Getting on and off the ship was a breeze! The crew was wonderful! > Much of the entertainment included 2 new production shows I had not seen before! They were Wonderful! > Shore excursions are a little pricey, but there is ... Read More
> Getting on and off the ship was a breeze! The crew was wonderful! > Much of the entertainment included 2 new production shows I had not seen before! They were Wonderful! > Shore excursions are a little pricey, but there is comfort in knowing you are with an approved excursion company. Carteghena was the exception. Awful 5 hour day with no BIO break or water until the last 30 minutes! Very little bus time. It was unbelievably hot and humid ... my fault to sail so late through the Canal, but our tour guide didn't seemed concerned for the mostly over 70 group he was leading. NOT wonderful and Never again. > We enjoyed a nice standard balcony cabin with a good steward it all went pretty smoothly, Except when we didn't have air-conditioning. That was not wonderful. It happened twice -- we were miserable, and they tried to fix it as fast as they could, but ..... I can't ask for much more but the ship is getting old. The toilet seat was so beat up it looked like someone took a wire brush to it. The towels were ratty and old; the sheet were always pretty nice. But the Island Princess was looking her age on this trip. > Now you may be wondering why I keep using the word "wonderful" so often while I am writing this review. It is because I was WONDERING the entire trip WHAT is wrong with the dining room on the Island Princess ? It was a disaster. I have never seen such a confused and chaotic mess in my life, on any ship. Anytime Dining did not work. Tables were left vacant, while passengers were given electronic notifiers that you could finally go into the dining room. Many Traditional Diners were hosted in Bordeaux, but tables were not full and those folks often waited 20 - 30 minutes to get table companions and start dinner. The CLUB CLASS dining area in Bordeaux was usually less that 10% full, and no one was ever seated there except CLUB CLASS. Service was slow and spotty; rarely did we see a 2nd waiter; ordering a cocktail or bottle of wine could add a half hour to dinner time which was always more than 2 hours, which made it complicated to see a show in the Princess Theatre. Food was good, but spotty. Sometimes the meat would be hot the potatoes cold. Sometimes the Asparagus as hard as a rock, and the potatoes mushy. Getting a reservation, even if you called first thing in the morning it's nearly impossible. I was never able to do it but I did make a few people who did. It didn't seem to matter whether we came at 5:15 630 or 7 o'clock I was confused and chaotic mess. We thought about asking to go over to traditional dining, but were told it was impossible; the Plan was set. We met many passengers however, who did exactly that. Different rules for different people I guess. About half of the cruise we spent having dinner at Horizons. Not enough wait staff there either. Tables are left dirty for an hour, sometimes making it difficult to find a table. Often Horizons might be taken up with the Crab Shack specialty dining. Again fewer tables, less wait staff. Again great deal of mismanagement that I'm not a custom to on Princess. YES, we will cruise again with Princess, but won't be able to rave about they quite the way I used to. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We always wanted to go through the Panamacanal and i choose Princess, because the sailing dates fitted our plans best. The Island Princess is a small, older but nice kept vessel. Our fellow passengers were at an average in their at ... Read More
We always wanted to go through the Panamacanal and i choose Princess, because the sailing dates fitted our plans best. The Island Princess is a small, older but nice kept vessel. Our fellow passengers were at an average in their at least mid sixties. We - age 50 and 48 -were way below the average age, but this did not bother us at all. Most people we talked to, were well travelled and had wonderful stories to tell about their experiences. And with 8 seadays out of 15 nights in total. There was a lot of time to have a nice conversation. The embarkation was not as good as we had - with other cruise lines before. You had 2 stops, because your photo for the shipID was not taken at the embarkation in the building, but at the entrance of the ship, this caused another line! Our Cabin C404 was nice, but not clean. We found leftovers from passengers in the drawers and in the bathroom ( used Q-tips!) and the balcony was really ugly with food in the tiles on the floor. As other passengers wrote before, the bathroom and shower are small and a shower curtain is nothing anyone likes these days. The aircondition blew on one side of the bed, but we used a small towel to block that corner of the air outlet and then it was fine. We arranged all our excursions on our own and went in groups of 4 with two friends, who travelled with us or had fellow passengers join us - arranged on the roll call. In that case we were 6 or 10 alltogether. The canal day was perfect, the lecturer was really good and provided us with the information. We spend part of the day on our balcony or walked the outdoor decks to have different perspectives. Anytime dining worked ok most days, but i think that Princess could improve here. Food was really good and we got really good service. The entertainment was ok, we had better before, but we did not expect that much from princess, so we were not really disappointed. One thing about the ship was really BAD!! The only shady loungers were around the pool area, but there you had to stand the incredible noise from either bands, DJ or the always running Movies under the stars. Very, very loud. And it should be named Movies all day long. We liked it at night, watched 3 movies there, but i had to use earplugs. Disembarkation was very well organized! Better than other cruise lines! Wemoght choose princess again - depending on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our fourth cruise overall and the second with Princess. The full Canal Transit was our main reason for going, which left few options in our choice of ship. Complaints have been made here about the Island Princess, but on the whole ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise overall and the second with Princess. The full Canal Transit was our main reason for going, which left few options in our choice of ship. Complaints have been made here about the Island Princess, but on the whole we found her quite enjoyable. She is a bit aged, that´s true, but still elegant and comfortable. The Island is considerably smaller than Sapphire Princess, which we used on the Grand Asia Tour of 2015. This made it easier to find our way around but also created a crowded feeling from time to time. This must have two main reasons: 1. The addition of cabins/passengers and the closing of public areas made in the last overhaul. 2. The faulty system of Anytime dining ("Sometime dining…?"). The Atrium, the Theatre and the whole aft part of the ship suffered most from this crowdedness. In the canal transit, the lack of good viewpoints from the aft was particularly evident as almost all open decks there have been replaced by private balconies. The closing of the International Café in the Atrium is also regrettable. The replacement bar/café down there, ”La Patisserie”, enabled use of our coffee cards, but offered only occasional sandwiches and no gluten free choices (despite several requests; we had to go up in the Horizon to get any pastries at all with our coffee). I agree with previous posters that something has to be done in the Anytime dining room, "Bordeaux". For our part, we simply adjusted to the matters of fact and rarely went near the place before 7.30 pm. If we wanted to eat earlier, we could bypass the long lines in the Atrium by making a reservation on the phone. This was quite easy to do, but in my opinion contradicts the whole idea of Anytime dining. That said, we enjoyed the main advantage with the Anytime system, which is the opportunity to meet new people allt the time. Usually we gladly accepted to share a table, which both shortened our waiting time and involved us in nice chats over the meals. The food in the dining room was generally of good quality and variation. One of us has celiac disease, and got adequate daily guidance from the head waiter, Vincente, showing and explaining tomorrow’s menue. The need of gluten free food was the main reason for our having almost all dinners in the dining room. For breakfasts and lunches, we generally used the buffet in Horizon court. The quality there was almost as good, but we did notice some sloppy food handling by other passengers at the buffet. However, breakfasts and lunches in the dining room were simply too slow for us. Our embarkation in Port Everglades and debarkation in Vancouver (including airport transfer) were flawless. Logistics also seemed to work fine in ports with smooth transfers to excursions. The service on board was excellent and the production shows we saw in the Theatre were very good, with an extra mark for "On the Bayou". The itinerary could have been better. Some of the port calls were simply too short, particularly the half day rush in Aruba. Generally, the ship should arrive early in the morning and not leave before 8 or 9 pm. We also had four consecutive sea days between Mexico (Puerto Chiapas) and Los Angeles, which was at least one too many. (Things didn´t improve when the captain, due to a heavy storm outside San Francisco, had to cancel the planned stop in Astoria, Oregon.) We purchased this cruise as a trip from Ft Lauderdale to Vancouver and were really surprised to find out that we actually were taking two cruises, the first one ending in Los Angeles. The transit was smooth enough – both cruise cards and account were continued on the next leg – but we talked to some other passengers who would have enjoyed continuing up to Canada and, eventually, Alaska but had not got the opportunity to do so. Ports Oranjestad, Aruba We used the very short time to take a Princess tour around the island, ending on Eagle beach. Really not very much to see here apart from the lovely beaches. Cartagena, Colombia Princess tour ”Highlights of Cartagena, Fortress & Las Bovedas”: Steaming hot and interesting, at least if you haven´t seen any town in South America before. Canal Transit The weather was excellent and this part of our cruise met all expectations. Very good commentaries all day in public areas and on stateroom TV from port expert Humberto. Puerto Amador (Panama City) Honestly there wasn´t much to see here, so this stop is dispensable. Probably a night tour after the Canal transit would be enough. Furthermore, our full day Princess tour, ”Colonial Panama & Miraflores Locks Observation Center”, was completely ruined by a miserable guide. You could hardly hear what he said and if you did, you couldn´t understand his accent. Puntarenas, Costa Rica Princess tour ”Scenic Train Ride & River Cruise”. The train ride was so and so with the best views of the countryside on the train’s left side. The river cruise was much bette with several crocodiles and many different birds to see. Good refreshment stop with fruit and drinks. Puerto Chiapas, Mexico Princess tour ”Banana Farm & Community Exploration” was a highlight of our cruise. A good and knowledgeable guide took us to a small town where we visited a local school, met and talked to many of the children in their classrooms (they hade come voluntarily on a Saturday) and finally enjoyed a fine dance performance. The banana farm was also very interesting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We choose this cruise because going through the Panama Canal had always been something we'd wanted to do. Although this is listed as a 15 day cruise we actually got on in Vancouver which made it 18 days. Vancouver is a great city to ... Read More
We choose this cruise because going through the Panama Canal had always been something we'd wanted to do. Although this is listed as a 15 day cruise we actually got on in Vancouver which made it 18 days. Vancouver is a great city to visit. It's pedestrian friendly with many great things to see and places to eat. Overall this was an excellent cruise. I'll hit the negatives first and they really involve moving people on and off the ship. When we arrived in San Francisco the majority of those who got on in Vancouver were getting off to be replaced by those doing the 15 day cruise. Many of us doing the 18 days had excursions scheduled in SF. We were way late in getting off the ship and to our excursion and since we had to be back for sailing the excursion was cut short. In fairness, Princess refunded some of our excursion fee. Still, it seemed to me Princess should have had a good idea how long it would take to get people off the ship. They blamed customs but again time should have been managed to cope with delays most might expect to happen. Perhaps those with excursions should have been let off first. I'd have been quite willing to go early if it meant getting the entire excursion. This happened to a lesser extent when we tendered in to Nicaragua. We ended up with less excursion time. The planning could have been better. But in life things happen and it didn't ruin our cruise. My other real gripe was when we were leaving a port and there was a party up top hosting by some guy called DJ Delight. This was at night and the music was unbelievably loud. We were two decks down and mid ships and it was loud even in our room Even with a pillow over my head I could feel the thumping of the music. This happened only once so I'm hoping there were complaints and they corrected it. Having said all this we were very happy with the cruise. Service was outstanding. I'm always impressed by how hard working the staff is. Our cabin steward, Nelson, did a great job. The quality of the staff was very good throughout the trip. The food was outstanding. We mostly ate in the Bordeaux for dinner and ate in the sit down restaurants as often was we could. The buffet is fine and is good for quick meals but the sit down offers a more relaxed experience, plentiful choices, and the chance to interact with other passengers. The things to do on the ship were what you'd expect. If you like to do enrichment or like to party on into the night it's there for you. There were shows to attend as well. There were very informative sessions about upcoming ports that we found very helpful. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. So, I heartily recommend the Island Princess and her crew. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was the third Princess cruise for my husband & I. We travelled to the embarkation port (Vancouver, BC) by Amtrak, staying in Seattle, WA and Vancouver prior to embarkation. The island Princess is looking a little worn in ... Read More
This was the third Princess cruise for my husband & I. We travelled to the embarkation port (Vancouver, BC) by Amtrak, staying in Seattle, WA and Vancouver prior to embarkation. The island Princess is looking a little worn in several places, but was very clean. One thing I noticed was an ongoing mildew odor in the corridors located midship. We did not eat in the dining room. Instead we ate at the Bayou Cafe, Sabatinis, & the buffet. Evey call made to room service was filled quickly I cannot recommend the Bayou Cafe. The steak we ordered was more than half fat/gristle/bone. It was one of the worst steaks I have ever eaten. Fortunately, the meals we had at Sabatinis (dinner & breakfast) were good. The buffet offered less itiems, but they were of a better quality.than previous cruises. We didnot particiapte in any activites/entertainment. The only feature i used was the thermal suite. Although it is smaller than what i expected, I enjoyed the experience. The customer service was what made this cruise. All the crew members i encountered were friendly and helpful The only bad note was that we waited 3 hours to dismbark. This was the worst dismbarkation experience I have ever had. I probably wouldn't sale this ship again unless it was assigned a new itinerary Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We recently went on a repositioning cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale with stops in Victoria, San Francisco, Cabo San Lucas, San del Sur, Puntarenas, Panama, Cartagena and Grand Cayman. The leg between San Francisco and Cabo San ... Read More
We recently went on a repositioning cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale with stops in Victoria, San Francisco, Cabo San Lucas, San del Sur, Puntarenas, Panama, Cartagena and Grand Cayman. The leg between San Francisco and Cabo San Lucas felt very long with the three sea days. We were late getting to our excursion in Cabo due to bad weather, so were unable to see much of the port itself. Overall, the service onboard was good, met some great bar staff that went over and above, along with our room steward. Passenger services were unhelpful and a little arrogant (one in particular) telling us different information than their counterpart. One of the head waiter in the MDR was amazing, although the rest of the staff not so much. The further south we went, the ship took on a strange smell in the elevators, possibly due to the humidity, but it was pretty foul. The Captain and his crew were awesome, polite and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal and it embarked from our home city of Vancouver. Embarkation went smoothly but dis-embarkation took a while to get rolling but went smoothly once it started. Ship organized ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal and it embarked from our home city of Vancouver. Embarkation went smoothly but dis-embarkation took a while to get rolling but went smoothly once it started. Ship organized transportation to Fort Lauderdale airport was efficient and quick. The Island Princess is an older ship but was renovated not so long ago. There were no issues with the ship. Our balcony cabin was on the Aloha deck between midship and the stern and was quite roomy although the bathroom / shower are tight as everyone can attest to. We did anytime dining and ate dinner usually around 6.00pm. We shared a table and with the exception of 1 night when we had a wait of 45 minutes we were usually seated within a couple of minutes. The entertainment was top notch and varied. The activities were plentiful with choices for everyone. The service was very good in all areas - stateroom, dining, bar, medical clinic. We took shipboard excursions in Nicaragua (Visit to Granada which didn't live up to the expectations), Costa Rica (Aerial tram and river cruise was excellent), Grand Cayman (swim with the stingrays and snokelling was excellent). I don't think we would do it again as we have seen the canal now and the weather was very hot with extremely high humid and we found it quite draining. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This re-positioning cruise was perfect for us, as we only had to fly one way. We boarded in Vancouver, having taken the ferry over from Victoria. We had a lovely mini-suite (as we did previously on our cruise to Hawaii) and our cabin ... Read More
This re-positioning cruise was perfect for us, as we only had to fly one way. We boarded in Vancouver, having taken the ferry over from Victoria. We had a lovely mini-suite (as we did previously on our cruise to Hawaii) and our cabin steward was outstanding. We were at the aft end of the vessel (Island Princess) so there was some vibration from the propellers, but that's to be expected. I particularly like Deck 9 on the Princess ships (not sure why...but I always stay on Deck 9) The food of course was outstanding. The entertainment excellent. My only criticism would be that when we went for hors douvres in the lounge for Platinum and above, the music was awful. I looked around and I'd venture to say the average age was 70. So why were we subjected to the likes of Mylie Cirus screaming her head off? The DJ should have been more aware of the audience in the lounge and played "elevator music." The ports were all wonderful and the excursions fantastic. We even went zip-lining, and at age 67 for me and 78 for my friend (female) it was pretty gutsy! I found the announcements from the Captain were very difficult to understand. He spoke far too quickly and in a very heavy Italian accent. He obviously can't help his accent, but he should know that if he slowed down his delivery, he'd have had a much better chance of being understood. But all in all, a superb cruise again on Princess! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
CRUISE This was a combination of three cruises back to back. We boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale, cruised through the Panama Canal and on the Los Angeles, Vancouver, and finally Whittier, Alaska. It wasn’t on my bucket list, but ... Read More
CRUISE This was a combination of three cruises back to back. We boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale, cruised through the Panama Canal and on the Los Angeles, Vancouver, and finally Whittier, Alaska. It wasn’t on my bucket list, but the Panama Canal transit was amazing and the highlight of this cruise. Although, I usually don’t buy the Reflections DVD, I did this time so I can relive the transit experience again and again. PRECRUISE We flew into Fort Lauderdale a day before our cruise. We rented a small car from Thrifty at the airport and returned it to their port location after dropping off our luggage at the pier the next day. Thrifty had a free shuttle to the ship and we hopped on after turning in our vehicle. The cost of the rental was probably not much more than several taxi fares and gave us so much flexibility. With three ships in port, hotel rooms were at a premium. We ended up staying at the Residence Inn in Dania Beach. It is close to the airport, but so quiet. Actual embarkation was quick. THE SHIP Please, please, please, everyone just quit saying that the Island Princess was ruined by adding all those cabins, etc. etc. The ship is beautiful. The atrium is amazing. It has a wide promenade deck with lots of chairs. I don’t feel the ship was crowded at all. There were so many quiet places to sit and relax. I missed Skywalker’s and the International Café, but the Island Princess never had these. And the staff! The hotel and restaurant staff were stellar. OUR CABIN We were in a balcony room on the forward Dolphin deck. I’ll just say it was ready for a rehab. Tired, tired, tired. DINING We always choose anytime dining. The Island Princess has lots of tables for two, so we rarely waited. There were lots of regional (Caribbean and Alaskan) items on the menus. We ate at Sabatini’s twice. The cover charge the first time was $25, the second was $29. We also discovered Alfredo’s pizza. It is not to be missed! We also purchased a wine package; we had to ask about it. ENTERTAINMENT Well the musicians were fantastic! My husband became a Phoenix Rising fan and I was a Josh Wheeler groupie. I particularly enjoyed pianist Christopher Contillo. The ship’s band was great; they are so talented. Even the Princess Pop Choir provided an outstanding performance. Everything else was …. Since when did happy hour become the entertainment? There were so many happy hours on this ship it is surprising there was any booze left to drink. POST CRUISE We purchased Princess transfers from Whittier to Anchorage. It took more than three hours to get to the Hospitality Center with unscheduled stops at the airport and Earthquake Park. After all that we had time for lunch and the trip to the airport and no sightseeing. WHY DOESN’T PRINCESS? While there are thousands of captive passengers waiting to leave the ship, why doesn’t Princess do a better job of servicing the public restrooms? Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to transit the Panama Canal. The canal experience was wonderful and very worthwhile. The ship itself is dated and needs some work. The port of Aruba was a very short visit, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to transit the Panama Canal. The canal experience was wonderful and very worthwhile. The ship itself is dated and needs some work. The port of Aruba was a very short visit, only a few hours, same for Colombia. Costa Rica was nice, so was Cabo San Lucas. We did not get to visit Nicaragua, as the seas were rough and tendering was not safe. That being said, many people were disappointed that another port was not offered, or docking early in Cabo San Lucas. The Princess Patter had the times wrong on a couple occasions, causing guests to miss activities: the rum tasting was posted at 2:30, but when we arrived at 2:15, it was almost finished, no apologies given. They "raffle" you to death in the Jewelry Boutique. They insist that everyone crowd into the store, which was hot and stuffy. They had a big sale (selling off the souveniers and trinkets from past cruises) that was basically junk. They really promoted their "Voice of the Ocean", which is a glorified karaoke contest, modeled after the television show. The grand finale was on the last evening at 8pm. We had late seating for dinner, and would have missed it, had it not been for our head waiter, who offered us a seat in the same section at 5:30. Poor planning. It should be held when everyone had a chance to attend. Last, but not least, I had a major complaint about several guests who habitually arrived late for the theater performances. They climbed over people to get a seat and were very rude and disruptive. I did file a complaint with the passenger services department, they should prohibit entry after the show has started. The staff was very friendly and our room was comfortable. To many sea days for us - 8. There was just not enough to keep us busy and would think twice about taking a cruise with that many sea days again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
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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