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Sail Date: February 2019
our stwerd was awesome. He there when we needed something. Said hi in hall and talked with us. The Buffet was okay. Lots of food from different countries. Not my kind of food so I just picked. Breakfast was the same old thing and ... Read More
our stwerd was awesome. He there when we needed something. Said hi in hall and talked with us. The Buffet was okay. Lots of food from different countries. Not my kind of food so I just picked. Breakfast was the same old thing and the bakery was the same at breakfast. Lunch and dinner bakery was great. Main room dining was good. Photographer they know their job. They do great shots. I loved all my 129 pictures. Get the photo package be you sail. Save $50. Do all shot and have fun with them. This cruise did not have very many kids on board. You only see them at food time. The shore excursions was good. Grand tuck stay away from the town tour with lighthouse. Big disappointment. Shop around ship or do water trips. Pamama canal going thought locks was awesome. tour after to see new locks pamama city and ride old train back to ship. Have to do it. Pools and hot tub very relaxing Try out spa. Got good programs. Getting on and getting off ship was very smooth from Fort Lauderdale fl. We carry-on our luggage. Bags 24 and 28 inch and two smaller one too. Long drive from lubbock tx. Two day drive. 3600 mile around trip. Nice drive if you have time. Oh yes!! Holiday Inn express off of us 84 and I 595 just 10 minutes from ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Itinerary was great! food in mdr was average at best. any time dining was a big waste and princess needs to correct because the wait was always over anhour. sabatini's and bayou cafe were excellent. beware the crab shack was ... Read More
Itinerary was great! food in mdr was average at best. any time dining was a big waste and princess needs to correct because the wait was always over anhour. sabatini's and bayou cafe were excellent. beware the crab shack was only held one evening and we had already booked dining on balcony for two which was awesome and we recommend for any princess cruise! the entertainment consisted of comedians. there was only one production show and it was one song after another and no big deal. staff was excellent but the cruise director hid for most of the ten night cruise. the ports were really outstanding. did a tour with dora the explorer in cartagena, columbia, and would love to visit again. the rain forest in limon costa rica as also worth doing. stayed on the ship during the panama canal transit and enjoyed the whole day watching the ship go through the locks! Read Less
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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: January 2019
Fantastic experience! Stateroom was beautiful but I can confirm the vibration is excessive, even for an aft stateroom. However, the overall quality of the room and that balcony during the transit far outweighed the vibration being a ... Read More
Fantastic experience! Stateroom was beautiful but I can confirm the vibration is excessive, even for an aft stateroom. However, the overall quality of the room and that balcony during the transit far outweighed the vibration being a problem. Would book it again in a heartbeat. Balcony dinner was FANTASTIC. Club Class dining was wonderful and we were able to have the same server every night and never a wait. They accommodated my no dairy / no gluten needs without a problem. I found the food to be exceptional. Canal transit was the highlight for sure. We opted to stay on board instead of doing an excursion and watched the transit from our aft balcony going into Gatun and then from deck 11 forward leaving Gatun so we got both perspectives. Great choice in my opinion. We embarked from terminal 2 but were bumped to a different terminal upon return but they handled it wonderfully with minimal inconvenience. We stayed at the Hilton Marina the night prior to sailing. Great location, not impressed with the grounds at all. Not a good representation of a Hilton property. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
To call it "Bucket-List: cruise would elevate it to something it never was really intended to be. We were looking for a Christmas getaway that was warm and yet included sights never scene. So we chose the 10-day Panama Canal cruise. ... Read More
To call it "Bucket-List: cruise would elevate it to something it never was really intended to be. We were looking for a Christmas getaway that was warm and yet included sights never scene. So we chose the 10-day Panama Canal cruise. We chose the Island Princess ship because there's no gimmicks, no flashy anything. It is stately and has order to it. No one will accuse it of being a party ship or rave about the late-night entertainment or all the kids' activities. It's a mid-sized "Love Boat" filled with mostly boomers—some rich that popped for all their kids and grands to join them for Christmas break. The staterooms are plain and adequate with ample storage. There's a choice of restaurants but not such a vast selection as to cause confusion. You can count the choices on one hand. Ports of call included Jamaica, Columbia (ask for Pepsi products and not "Coke"), Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, and the highlighted Panama Canal. It's a partial transit, that is, the ship goes through three locks into the huge Lake Gatum. Then it eventually turns around and goes back through the same set of locks. Sound boring? It's not. It's really fascinating and it takes nearly all day to accomplish this turnabout. Typical excursions are offered at each port of call. Those staying on-board have an okay (not great) choice of activities on board from Trivia to gingerbread house making. The food quality is fair and the buffet has a different theme every evening. I didn't hear anyone saying they just had to get the recipe for this or that anything. The nightly entertainment need not be booked in advance as is the case on some ships (I dislike that). The theater is spacious enough. The musical/dance productions got better as the cruise progressed and never a repeat. A magician or comedian would alternate shows on nights when the dancers needed a break. The theater would also host an occasional movie, but most movies were "under the stars" on the Lido deck which seems to be the norm these days. A couple of the sailing-only days were rough. The trade winds on the Caribbean can be a little testy during late December but, for the most part, the rainy season of central American and hurricane season is over. No worries there, but still pack the Dramamine. The best surprise is no surprise. Princess Line's consistency in delivering a quality product at a decent value with no surprises is commendable.. In my humble opinion, Princess Line's Panama Canal locks cruise on Christmas Day with the ship all decorated and Christmas carols (carols...and not just songs) playing is a good route to go for those seeking a different kind of Christmas vacay. . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Why we chose this Cruise: We selected this journey because we wanted to go through the Panama Canal during the winter time to avoid the cold weather. Our travel agent recommended the Island Princess to facilitate our vacation. The trip ... Read More
Why we chose this Cruise: We selected this journey because we wanted to go through the Panama Canal during the winter time to avoid the cold weather. Our travel agent recommended the Island Princess to facilitate our vacation. The trip started out terrific. The flight to Ft Lauderdale, the transportation from the airport to the Hilton, and transportation from Hilton to the ship for boarding was seamless and pleasing. We are Experienced Travelers: We consider ourselves experienced travelers, thus our review is based on our experiences we've had on other cruise lines as a comparison. Signs of Obsolescent: The Island Princess was built in 2003 and reportedly was refurbished in 2017. Its early December, 2018, and the Island Princess looks and acts very old and tired. Floors squeaked a lot, doors were difficult to open, and some of the furniture appeared to look like its ready for a second hand store or as if it just came from one. The last days of Holland-America's original Westerdam (a cruise we took many years ago) at least managed to have furnishings that was quite serviceable and not old or tired. Unfortunately, the Island Princess will continue to be used as a cruise ship until the public gets so tired of old at NEW Prices. Poor Management: The Island Princess appeared to have an occupancy rate of about 75%. How did we know that and if so, why did the Island Princess have so many vacancies? Security-wise, my wife and my name was posted at our cabin entry, as well as all the other passengers at their respective cabins. Determining the number of vacant units was easy. Count the units without a name on the door, then multiply the vacant units times 2. Data Mining: The Island Princess is a fertile ground for harvesting names of affluent passengers off each cabin entry, then research the names on the internet, then solicit the guests for the business or sell the data to other businesses looking for a quality database. For +- $6,000 per couple, which includes the basic food, boarding, and a database of 2,000 names would be a gold mine, business could be really lucretive. Over a 16 day period, that data could be harvested with at your leisure and without notice. Imagine what that database would be worth. Risky Stops: One excursion stop in Nicaragua, the ship had a sign in English on the side of the ship telling all boats to keep X amount of meters away from the ship. We nearly didn't get off the Island Princess for fear for our own safety concerns. We quizzed an officer, who stated that sign is put up at every stop. We asked other guest if they remembered seeing that sign during any stop and no one noticed any sign being posted. The way the officer answered our query left us feeling he was not being truthful. Excursions: We try, if possible, to book our own excursions as most lines tend to mark up the excursion costs to unreasonable levels and often take you to stops where the vendors pay the ship(s) a percentage of sales, or the ships own an interest in some of the shops. The only reason we would use a ship excursion is if the time to return to the ship is short or doesn't leave much wiggle if the excursion is running late. We carefully research the excursions and select ones that come highly recommended through several sources. Money, Money, Money: This Island Princess made us feel like we were in the tv series "Green Acres," where the guests were the Douglass' and the Island Princess was Mr. Haney. You could choose different dining options, such as flexible or traditional dining, anytime buffet dining or specialty dining. In the flexible (and the traditional) dining areas, you are handed a menu with a normal selection of food, along with a flyer with various cuts of fish, meat and poultry from 20.00 per selection. If my wife and I ate in the dining room 2 times a day for the 16 days and each selected the "better choice of food", we would have added another $1,200 to the costs of the cruise. Deceptive Pricing: We chose not to imbibe because the "added" food costs was deceiving as well as unreasonable. I get it the ship makes money selling alcohol and perhaps soft drinks, but also for food. The cost of soft drinks is so inexpensive that had they charged a more reasonable fee or didn't charge for soft drinks at all, the cost of their food costs would be considerably less as consumption would be less. Slow Food Service and constant up-sells: The meals in the dining room would also take forever to serve. During the dinner wait, we would be approached several times to purchase expensive alcohol or soft drinks. They weren't selling much of either at any of the tables we sat at. Most resented the constant up sell. They tried a few times using a gimmicky shot glass drink for $3.00 including the princess shot glass. We often asked for ice tea or hot tea and several refills which was included at no charge. Truth be known, if the Island princess priced all the up charges in their price to begin with, They would be grossly overpriced compared to the competition. The first Shore Excursion: The first stop was in Cartagena. We weren't scheduled to be in Cartagena very long and probably would have taken a shore excursion with Princess, except that none of the excursions interested us. Being from California, Humidity was not something we were used to and after two days of heat and humidity at sea, arranging transportation into town a back was looking much more appealing. Overpriced excursion transportation: The Island Princess had the answer - a hop on - hop off bus that costs only $45.00 per person. Outrageous! We walked not more that a block from the ship and found taxis that escorted 3 or 4 of the guests into town for a total of $20.00 for the ride to town. The cab ride back was even less. We spent 15.00 for cab rides for the both of us for the day. We were $75.00 to the good in Cartagena by walking a block and not letting the Island Princess extract anything from our wallet. In fairness, the cab drivers did try through language diversion, to extract more fees at the end of the ride but when the word policia was mentioned, the issue disappeared rather rapidly. We heard one "non Island Princess based" shore excursion arrived late and the Island princess left without the four passengers. Do your homework on the excursions to avoid that kind of a debacle. I've been in situations with other cruise ships, where the ship's planned shore excursion showed up late and the ship waited. One bright side in Cartagena: The best sight we enjoyed was the bird and animal attraction right on the port and the price was Free. They had a shop where you could buy soft drinks and other souvenirs, but not mandatory. We took extraordinary pictures of the exotic birds and animals. The relative short stop was just fine (do to our lack of handling hot humidity), although seeing the Fort more closely would have been nice. Overpriced Products: Now, back on the ship sailing toward the Panama Canal, we decide to explore the shops and specialty restaurants. The shops were selling mostly upper-end, over-priced junk. The jewelry being sold was some one-of-a-kind, never heard of type stone. Unless you have more money than God, wait til you get home and visit your trusted jeweler. That isit will save you considerable dough and guaranteed the quality will be superior. The trick to Specialty Dining: We checked out the specialty dining and was planning a nice anniversary dinner. We came across a phrase, “Requires Cover Charge (min $60.00 per couple)” We didn’t have a problem paying for a very nice dinner out but was highly offended with the ship’s usage of “Cover Charge.” If I wanted to have a financial migraine, we would have brought our financial planner along and try and watch where he was trying to stick us with nasty up charges and hidden fees. We were supposed to be on vacation relaxing, not waiting for the next pocket extraction, similar to a nasty tax audit. We chose not to participate in their food scamming extraction fees and use that money instead at restaurants with far superior reputations for food and service - and for a whole lot less. Most of those restaurants did not appear to be very crowded. Excursion Lectures: The Island Princess scores an A++ rating regarding the Island Princess' ship moderator / expert Bill Fall concerning his lectures on the rain forests, tradewinds, Panama Canal and its construction and the various geo-political issues of the various countries. He was genuine, knowledgeable and interesting to listen to during his shore excursion talks. Entertainment Talent: The talent employed by the Island Princess was a solid B+ to an A-. Nathan Foley, an Australian TV personality and musical performer sang many 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s songs. Nathan had his own TV show in Australia - just not well known in the US. Mike Wilson, a comedian did a decent performance. John Bressler, a pianist and singer played a marvelous piano with lots of fantastic tunes. Mark Preston, a singer and former member of the Letterman musical group, had the most powerful voice of all. The Princess Troupe that performed several musical acts was definitely exciting. All the talents were definitely fun and entertaining. Other musical Entertainment: The talent displayed in the four-story lobby was soothing - similar to musicians used in real fancy hotels or elite shopping centers. It didn’t move us much. In fact, the noise created added to the noise factor of the ship. There were few places to spend your time if you wanted quiet or privacy. Our cabin didn’t have comfortable seating to read and study; and laying down to read wasn’t great if you were reading anything more technical than a novel. Makeup of the guests on the Island Princess: The age of the average guest was around 75-80 years of age. I’m guessing about ½ of the guests were first time cruisers and the balance were exceptionally experienced. I don’t think there was more than 10-12 young kids on the ship. I noticed a few newly married couples but most were elder guests. Misc Activities: They had a beginner and an advanced class on cameras that lasted no more than an hour. Why the pre-made camera presentation was teaching people how to shoot pictures in manual mode was beyond me. The class included an overview of all functions. The class did more harm than good. Most of the guests didn’t use their cameras enough to know how to make all the proper settings on the fly in manual mode. You guessed it. The Island Princess was selling cameras also. Photos taken throughout the cruise were very pricey. Excursion through the Panama Canal and the port stop in Panama City: Going through the Panama Canal was fun, but then came the port stop in Panama City. We had to use tenders to explore Panama City. The way Princess handled this deserved an F+, and that’s being very generous. If we had made arrangements with a non Princess excursion company, we would have ran the risk of getting back late due to the hour lost clearly through their negligence. If we had made special arrangements to meet an outside shore excursion guide, we would not have been able to make the connection. Was this a punishment for not using their excursions? If you booked a shore excursion with the Island Princess, you got preferential treatment for the use of the tenders. If not, you had to wait to get a tender to go ashore. We waited an hour to get a tender. Kinda makes you wonder what would happen if you had to use the lifeboats to abandon ship, who would pilot the tenders. This was horrible and we’ve never had that problem with any other cruise line. Dealing with Greedy taxis: Once on shore, we were ambushed by tons of greedy taxi drivers trying to charge 3 to 5 times more for a ride than what was reasonable for the area. However, after saying no walking for a block or so, we did find a taxi ride that was significantly cheaper. We got to see the old town and the Bio-Musio. Traffic in and around Panama City was horrible, but we knew that before we arrived. Princess’ atrocious mishandling of the tenders made it worse. Comparing Princess to Norwegian: We considered Norwegian Cruise Lines to be safe transportation to get us from one port to another, with sleeping arrangements comparable to the Motel 6 of cruise lines, with safe food consumption comparable to MacDonalds of cruise lines. What we didn’t get from Norwegian Cruise Lines was the constant annoying up-sells for overpriced alcohol, food, soft drinks, merchandise, excursions, and transportation. We found Princess’ food quality was slightly better than Norwegian Cruise Lines and Princess’ prices seemed comparable and reasonable, at least on the surface, but with all the nickel and diming we had to endure from Princess, its difficult to recommend any Princess Cruises to our friends and relatives. When you add the up-sell and excursion costs to Princess’ initial cost, you will probably find Princess is far more pricey than some of the classier cruise lines available, such as Viking, Holland America, or Oceanic. In addition, weigh the food and services passed on due to the excessive expense, that are normally included with the classier cruise lines. Port Stop in Costa Rica: The stop allowed for a lot more time, so getting back to the Island Princess without worry of being left behind was not a problem. A number of us made prior arrangements with Odyssey Tours for the 10 in 1 Tour package. We spoke with other guests that took the ships excursion instead. Most of those guests were very disappointed and discovered their excursion didn’t come close to seeing the number of things our tour package did. In addition, their excursion was quite a bit more pricey. Port stop in Nicaragua: We selected the ship’s excursion for Nicaragua, which included a trip to Granada and the rain forest. This excursion was excellent. We are concerned because we were being watched so closely by the civilian police. It felt like they thought we were up to something. In reality, I was carrying a very expensive camera and I was a target for thieves. At one point a local was ordered to distance himself from me. The political unrest is something you need to review prior to taking a future excursion here. I think the stop in Nicaragua was questionable on Island Princess’ behalf. The guide was very knowledgeable and insightful. The bus said free Wifi. When we asked how we could connect to it, the guide’s answer was it was disabled. We strongly suspect Island Princess instructed the Tour company to disable it, so we would be forced to use the ship’s Wifi system when we returned. Most of us didn’t use the ship’s wifi as it was atrociously overpriced. Port stop in Cabo san Lucas: The Island hired one or two tenders from shore to transfer the guests to and from the ship to shore. In addition, it appeared the Island Princess also used 4 of its own tenders for transportation at well. We visited the city and our visit went without incident. The bonus was being able to take pictures of the Arch and the beaches from the ship, without having to hire a boat to take you to the landmarks. Disembarking: We had argument with Island Princess’ personnel about delivering the three alcohol bottles purchased at the various port stops. The Island Princess wanted us to carry the alcohol off the ship and then place the alcohol in our suitcases. We argued we were not going to unpack and repack our suitcases to secure our alcohol purchases. The Island Princess finally agreed to deliver our alcohol, allowing it to be safely packaged in our suitcase. Disembarking the ship was anything but seamless: We were told to leave our cabins by 8:00AM and wait in the Wheelhouse room until we were called for disembarking. After realizing that room was not big enough to hold all of us, they tried to get those of us that were leaving later to go to other parts of the ship. Oops! Leaving the Ship: After our number was called to leave the ship, the Customs process and the bus transportation to the airport was seamless without further incidence. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Crossing the Panama Canal was one of our "must see" destinations. While many cruise lines offer this as an option, few offer this in depth voyage from ocean to ocean. We selected this Island Princess cruise because it was nicely ... Read More
Crossing the Panama Canal was one of our "must see" destinations. While many cruise lines offer this as an option, few offer this in depth voyage from ocean to ocean. We selected this Island Princess cruise because it was nicely priced and featured several ports that we wanted to visit. By the time we disembarked in San Francisco we were satisfied with our choice. We have done various cruise lines and itineraries over the last few years and one thing is certain, no one is perfect. Some have great food. Some have great amenities. Some have great loyalty programs. This being our second cruise on Princess we were definitely driven by the itinerary but found several other things that were pleasant surprises. Overall, our experience with the crew of this ship was very good. The Cruise director and his staff were very accessible, friendly and best of all service oriented. The entertainment on the ship was also very good. The production shows and the cast were some of the best we've seen on an ocean liner. In between we had some featured guest entertainers performing music, comedy and yes magic for various age groups. Some were better than others but overall they were entertaining and that is what they are there to do. In addition there were many activities and "parties" for the guest to participate in. Enough to keep everyone engaged and busy. As with most cruise ships, the food options on this ship were plentiful and abundant. From self service buffet at the Horizon Court, to fine dining at Sabatini's Italian bistro, to typical main dining room options, to surprise Pub Lunch options, the food was what you would expect. Most everyone could find something to satisfy their cravings. We selected the "Anytime Dining" option because we wanted the flexibility to eat whenever we wanted. We have selected this option on four different cruise lines and on various ships. We have learned that some do better than others at managing this option. While the Island Princess did a respectable job at managing the guest flow, they were lacking in consistent service delivery. Inherently the "anytime dining" option negates one of the true joys of cruising, offering a dining room staff that gets to know and understand your preferences. When you eat with different servers for every meal, you never quite connect with anyone that knows what you like. The opportunity to be surprised and delighted in your dining experience is eliminated. So much so, that in this cruise we never even got over the stage where you are recognized by the host and maitre'd as that guest that prefers to dine alone and not share a table with eight other people. I found this to be the most awkward part of my dining experience when each evening I spoke to the same maitre'd and requested a table for two and no, I do not want a table to share. After making my wishes known, I was then politely seated at a table for two in the most awkward crevices of the dining room, next to servers workstations, or next to another equally unsocial guest at a table for two that was just eight inches away from ours. It would have been nice to get a table for two by the window one evening. The only time that happened was when we reserved a table at Sabatini's, the specialty Italian restaurant. Fortunately, that was the worst part. in every other aspect dining was a fun part of our experience. On sea days, we even participated in afternoon tea with yummy finger sandwiches and raisin scones. Having gone through a recent drydock in 2017 the amenities on the Island Princess have been updated and spruced up. The common areas have nice carpeting and furniture. Technology and equipment has been upgraded in the theatre and in most lounges and bars enhancing our appreciation of the entertainment that was offered in these. The fitness center featured all new easy to use equipment as well as ample workout studio. It was conveniently located on deck six (Fiesta Deck) but was not attached to the spa area. I found this to be a plus but others might disagree. On a service level, we have nothing but accolades for the crew of this ship. Most every encounter we had with a crew member was pleasant and laser focused on providing great guest service. The embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and subsequent debarkation in San Francisco, California were about as effortless as one could make them. At each port of call we were well informed and escorted to the appropriate tender boat or gangway to venture off on our excursions. On board, we enjoyed pleasant and informative presentations by the shopping expert, the future cruise consultant, and the destination expert. All of these crew members delivered unique perspectives on the cruise experience. We definitely will entertain a future cruise on the Island Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Our ten day cruise aboard the Island Princess was everything we wanted it to be. The service, food and accommodations were exactly what we wished for. The entertainment director responsible for organizing all passenger interactive ... Read More
Our ten day cruise aboard the Island Princess was everything we wanted it to be. The service, food and accommodations were exactly what we wished for. The entertainment director responsible for organizing all passenger interactive activities did an outstanding job keeping the passengers entertained. The food service staff in our "anytime" dining room and also at the soup to nuts buffet.were very attentive and a joy to be around. The very talented bar staff were also very entertaining demonstrating their mixology repertoire. Generally we find negative details for the critique, however, it is not the case here. We chose not to take advantage of any of the tours available because of very recent surgery. We did walk off the ship in two ports but not for long. Actually, we found the ship pleasantly enjoyable with half the passengers ashore. The best part about the cruise was the exceptionally well trained staff. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The Panama Canal was always a place that I had heard about, studied in school and someplace I just felt like I wanted to visit. Well, our trip there lived up to expectations. From the time we left Ft. Lauderdale until we returned ten days ... Read More
The Panama Canal was always a place that I had heard about, studied in school and someplace I just felt like I wanted to visit. Well, our trip there lived up to expectations. From the time we left Ft. Lauderdale until we returned ten days later, we had a very enjoyable time. The itinerary included a couple of islands we had already visited (Jamaica & Grand Cayman) but since they were part of the package, we didn't complain. Visits to Columbia, Panama & Costa Rica were new to us on this voyage. Our first stop was Jamaica after a very relaxing & enjoyable sea day. We visited the local shops there as there weren't any shore excursions that really interested us. Another sea day took us to Cartagena, Columbia where we toured the Spanish fort and the old walled city. The tours were very interesting but there was quite a bit of walking. Things are a little close in the old city so it did get warm. But there was plenty to see and the trip was enjoyable. The next stop was the Panama Canal itself. We entered the Canal around 7 in the morning and I had a great spot on Deck 11 of the Island Princess to watch the proceedings. The narrator helped keep us abreast of what was going on but his German accent did make him hard to understand at times. For the third set of locks, I retreated to the stern of Deck 8 for a totally different perspective. There were plenty of photo opportunities all morning long. I didn't really keep tabs on the time but would guess that it took us about three hours to exit the canal to Lake Gatun. There, we dropped anchor at the Lake Gatun Yacht Club then transferred to a bus for the next part of our trip through the canal. Amidst intermittent rain showers, we traveled to a ferry that took us through the remaining locks on the Pacific side of the canal and to Panama City. Again, there were plenty of photo opportunities as we transited the locks and cruised along the other end of the canal. We did see some shipping that was bound for the new locks which were completed on each end. At the bay in Panama City, there was a literal parking lot of ships waiting to gravel east through the canal to the Caribbean Sea. It was really a neat sight. After docking at Panama City, we returned to the Island Princess by bus arriving at probably about 4.30 in the afternoon. It was a very memorable trip. The next day, we visited Limon, Costa Rica, where we toured a portion of the rain forest by rail and water. The monkeys in the trees and the blue heron along the shore were highlights of the very relaxing trip by train and boat. After three very busy and most interesting days, we were ready for the sea day which followed our visit to Limon. At Grand Cayman, we were able to take a semi-submarine ride that had not been available during our previous visit there. The vessel was a bit crowded but everyone could see the surrounding waters. Traveling over the shipwreck in the harbor and the boat's diver feeding the fish right outside of our viewing windows were two of the more memorable things that we saw. After the sub ride, we visited Hell, so named for the gnarly black rock formations in the vicinity. The next stop was the turtle farm where sea turtles were raised from the eggs laid by the females along the area beaches. If you are a bit bold, you can pick up one of the turtles for a neat picture. From there, we stopped and sampled Cayman Island Rum Cakes then returned to our ship. Our last day was a sea day that was capped off with the BEST onboard production we have ever seen, Encore. It was so good that we stayed for the second performance and enjoyed it just as much as we enjoyed it the first time. The balloon drop in the Atrium seemed a fitting way to end our trip... the atmosphere was as festive as any New Year's Eve party I've ever attended. As usual, disembarkation was a bit rushed but we managed. Our flight left Ft. Lauderdale at 11.30 in the morning and the flight path from the airport allowed us one last glimpse of the Island Princess as we flew overhead. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We selected this cruise as it took us to one of our bucket list destinations. As we have both always enjoyed our Princess Cruises, it was the only cruise line we considered. Boy, are we sorry we did. This was the most disappointing cruise ... Read More
We selected this cruise as it took us to one of our bucket list destinations. As we have both always enjoyed our Princess Cruises, it was the only cruise line we considered. Boy, are we sorry we did. This was the most disappointing cruise we’ve ever been on. From the lousy service in the specialty dining room, to the lack of visible service at the poolside decks and in the buffet, we were sorry this was where we decided to spend our vacation time and money. The wait staff was unfriendly and extremely slow, where it was easier to get up and get things we needed (like utensils and drinks) ourselves than try to make eye contact with anyone. A big Pet Peeve was being forced to yield to their right of way when crossing paths in aisles and walkways. I am all about being courteous and helping others, but when someone carrying a pitcher of water doesn’t step aside while I’m precariously balancing a plate, drink and utensils, I get agitated. The lack of being able to communicate verbally was frustrating as well at the customer service desk. So Much so, that I finally gave up and walked Away. 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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