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Sail Date: September 2019
We have been on about 15 cruises, last one 15 years ago. We have been all over the Caribbean, Mexican Rivera a number of times. Been through the Panama Canal, New Zealand and Australia. First cruise I have been on were I was charged ... Read More
We have been on about 15 cruises, last one 15 years ago. We have been all over the Caribbean, Mexican Rivera a number of times. Been through the Panama Canal, New Zealand and Australia. First cruise I have been on were I was charged for a soda. First cruise I have been on were they wanted to charge me $40 per person per day to look off the stern of the ship. Charged $29 per day service charge for my stateroom and 18% for every drink or soda I ordered. And that was after I paid $4,000 for the cruise. This will be the last Princess Cruise for me. The stateroom was nice, the service was great and the entertainment was good. That embarkation and debarkation was handled great. They did a great job handling luggage on and off the ship. Picked it up at the airport, next time we saw it was in our stateroom. Getting off, put our luggage outside our stateroom and didn’t see it again until we were at the airport. I have to give them a excellent grade on that. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
After years of hearing from friends that an Alaskan cruise is THE cruise of a lifetime, we bit the bullet and pushed it to the top of our bucket list. Having cruised Princess once before (this would be our 25th cruise though only second ... Read More
After years of hearing from friends that an Alaskan cruise is THE cruise of a lifetime, we bit the bullet and pushed it to the top of our bucket list. Having cruised Princess once before (this would be our 25th cruise though only second on Princess), we had some expectations of quality of service and condition of equipment. Considering the Island Princess is one of it's oldest ships, for the most part, it met our expectations. Had we done the cruise only portion, would have rated this only "Good". However coupled with the add on land portion, the trip truly was a very good trip, nearing great. The land portion was excellent in almost all respects. Here's our impressions and tips. Embarkation: Best ever. Vancouver has it nailed. Stayed prior night near Canada Place and walked over to drop bags off at noon and just about walked on to the ship. Longest line was U.S. Customs but that went smoothly. Dining: Late dining in the Provence Dining Room. Food was ok, not great but then again, I'm not a gourmand so no complaints. Head waiter (Apollo) was attentive though at times a bit stretched. Great stablemates and conversation. Never felt rushed. Breakfast and Lunch always in Horizon for the buffet. Finding a place to sit can be a challenge during peak times. Selection was a bit limited (would have loved a real pasta bar). Cookies were overbaked. But we didn't starve. Pizza was pretty good. Burgers were not. Liked that someone was stationed at entrance to get people to wash their hands (unfortunately when they weren't around passengers wouldn't do it). Entertainment: Went to all but the last show. The dancers were very good. The singers were not. Magician (Trigg) was really good and did two shows. The comedian (also two shows) was average and second show was similar to the first, material just tweaked a bit. Guest Soprano was very good and just highlighted how much better her voice was than the regular singers. Tried to go to some of the onboard lectures but as space is limited on this ship for large audiences, if you don't get there well in advance you might as well skip it and grab another piece of pizza. Service: room attendant was efficient. Didn't see him much but when requested to leave extra towels each cleaning, he did. Though for some reason, never left any ice (no problem as I brought ice back from the buffet each morning). Room service was very good, timely and orders were always correct. Ports: Icy Strait Point (Hoonah): nothing there. Nice walk to Hoonah and back. That's about it. Juneau: Walked to chairlift and went up the mountain (on our own, no excursion). Great views, nice walking paths up top, pretty good shops. Well worth it. Then took city bus ($2 each from bus station) to Mendenhal (well as close as you can get on the city bus which is about 1.5 miles from entrance - easy flat walk on a paved path). Walk to the falls (another mile to/from) for best views. Note: no food available in park so plan accordingly. Bring water. Lunch at Red Dog Saloon - crowded of course, food was ok, entertainer was pretty profane. Skagway: best stop. Ship excursion to White Pass via railroad. Easy walk to train, nice scenic ride. Good commentary along the way. Dropped off in town, strolled around, grabbed a fantastic cinnamon roll (Sweet Tooth Cafe) and visit the NPS building and watch their show. A fun town to just stroll around and do a bit of souvenir shopping. Glacier Bay: TIP: best view is on Port side (at least it feels like the ship stayed on the port side the longest). Saw a few small calving. Very nice but the best glacier was just to come... College Fjord: Wow, so many glaciers (port side is the best). Spent a long time just in front of the largest. Peaceful and what Alaska is all about. Whittier: nothing there but hop off and on to the train (or busses). TIPs: Want better chance of seeing wildlife (whales and things): starboard on the northbound route. Better for glaciers: Port Best side on White Pass Train: Left side. If doing Denali Land portion and the Kantishna Experience excursion: sit on driver side of the bus. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
pros: professional staff very helpful ( except Dinner reservations very rude) Room Stewart very nice and accommodating security very good embarkation very organized disembarkation in ports ... Read More
pros: professional staff very helpful ( except Dinner reservations very rude) Room Stewart very nice and accommodating security very good embarkation very organized disembarkation in ports very easy Dinning Room Staff very nice but push you at least once a meal to eat w/ others. piazza wonderful sheets and pillow cases very soft entertainment top notch for cruise Cons: food not as good as other cruises shops on board open late buffet pretty limited nasty waiters in buffet they need more English speaking crew * YOU ARE NICKLE'D AND DIME'D FOR EVERYTHING... AGAIN, YOU ARE NICKLE'D AND DIME'D FOR EVERYTHING!!!!! example: hot tea, you are charged, soda's your charged, bottle water you are charged, internet $109.00 for cruise, so many, can't remember them all! excursions: expensive but what can you do, your here have see Alaska... try to chek prices private companies. Italian Restaurant.... not quality do'n bother... "on average C+" Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We are elite cruisers with Princess (have sailed on many ships) and booked two 7 day Alaska cruises from July 3 - July 17, 2019 on the Island Princess. This ship is sadly lacking in public amenities and the cabin was so small you ... Read More
We are elite cruisers with Princess (have sailed on many ships) and booked two 7 day Alaska cruises from July 3 - July 17, 2019 on the Island Princess. This ship is sadly lacking in public amenities and the cabin was so small you couldn't escape to it either. There is no International Cafe, which on other Princess ships serves a menu of very fresh food for 24 hours a day. After 11 pm the only snack available is from Room Service with a limited menu of food which you have to eat in bed as the stateroom has no chairs to relax in. There is no Skywalkers Lounge for a panoramic view of the scenery. There is no Vista Lounge as Princess took lovely lounge space and converted it to revenue producing cabins. There is no Adagio Lounge for relaxing. All that is left is the Wheelhouse and Explorers which are just bars meant to sell liquor and are not convivial day venues. The atrium has no appeal since it is constantly noisy with martini shaking and various music programs and no International Cafe to give you a nice cup of tea and a sandwich. The fitness room and gym are stuck inside with no windows to enjoy the view. The fitness room is so small you cannot stretch because of the number of people on the floor. Stretch classes have been cut from 30 minutes to 20 minutes and 10 minutes of that is taking foot impressions to sell orthotics. You cannot walk all the way around the Promenade Deck as it is always blocked off. There is no jogging track. There is extremely limited deck space since the Horizon Court is at the bow of the ship and most ships have it aft with nice outside tables to enjoy the view out the rear of the ship. There is no aft pool which also affords a view on most ships. The Sanctuary is aft instead of amidship which cuts off the last opportunity to access the rear of the ship. We felt like prisoners on this ship, Stuck in limited public lounges with the Alaskan views only slightly visible through exceedingly dirty windows in the Horizon Court, the dining rooms and whatever few public areas remain. A fleet wide Princess problem is the lack of fresh food on their ships. Frozen fish is unacceptable on an expensive holiday with easy access to port reprovisioning. The only saving graces on this cruise were the entertainment and the staff. The entertainers were very good and on the second cruise we had 3 excellent production shows. The staff (other than Customer Service) were excellent. They are the biggest strength of Princess. Although we often cruise 2 or 3 times a year we are not in a hurry to book another cruise with Princess and will probably give Celebrity or RCCL another try. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to take our family on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. My wife and I had taken this exact same itinerary 10 years ago and we knew from experience our family would enjoy it. Eleven of us did the land ... Read More
We wanted to take our family on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. My wife and I had taken this exact same itinerary 10 years ago and we knew from experience our family would enjoy it. Eleven of us did the land tour from Anchorage to Denali before the cruise, and then we were joined by 5 more at the ship for the cruise. We had a total of 16, 8 adults and 8 children. The land portion went great, Princess really handles the land portion well and we all enjoyed the McKinley and Denali lodges. Our rooms at both locations were very nice. We stayed in the newer A/B lodge at the top of the hill and our rooms were very modern and spacious. The train ride from Denali to Whittier was a highlight of the trip, especially since we got to see Denali mountain several times along the route. Lunch in the dining car was very good. They came around to see who wanted lunch and then came and got us as our time approached. Food was also very good--highly recommend the reindeer chili. Embarkation at the ship was handled well. Princess reps boarded out train at Wasilla and we completed the embarkation process prior to arriving at Whittier. Even so, by the time we got off the train and into the terminal the lines were long going through security and that took awhile to get onboard. We had set dining at 7:30 pm with two tables to accommodate our family. Although we wanted earlier dining, this worked better for us as we were getting back from excursions late on several days. Dining seemed to take longer than usual so we started ordering our desserts when we received our entrees to ensure we made the 9:30 entertainment in the Princess Theater. We took multiple excursions and everyone enjoyed them. My favorite was the Denali flight and glacier landing from Talkeetna. Hint, if the pilot starts talking about the right seat being open during his preflight spiel, quickly raise your hand for that co-pilot seat. I did and I had fantastic views of the mountain and scenery from the front of the airplane. Puppies came onboard at Skagway and the lines were very long but they moved well. It took about 30 minutes for us to get our turn and then our pup slept the entire time. Glacier viewing was superb on the south bound trip. Onboard naturalists and part rangers gave informative and interesting talks about flora, fauna, and natural sights. Angelito, our cabin attendant, was the best ever. He went beyond what is normal to ensure our cruise was the most enjoyable one we've had. Disembarkation went very smoothly and there were lots of taxis available to take us to our hotel. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise as I thought Princess was a reputable cruise line and which offered a fabulous Itinerary for Alaska. How wrong I was - the food was practically inedible and the shop felt very crowded with queues everywhere. There was a ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I thought Princess was a reputable cruise line and which offered a fabulous Itinerary for Alaska. How wrong I was - the food was practically inedible and the shop felt very crowded with queues everywhere. There was a distinct smell of sewage on the top deck and generally the ship was unclean. I was convinced that I was going to have food poisoning so I ate very little. Anything I did eat in the Horizon buffet was very bland and luke warm and the Dining Room was not much better. The Dining Room had very limited choices and inserted another menu which you had to pay extra dollars for. When you go on a cruise you expect to be able to eat from the main menu and not be forced to spend extra to get what you want. I had to eventually give up on the Dining Room and was forced to eat Pizzas and Burgers on the top deck which was not ideal as they were not that great either. The room service was quite good as I ordered breakfast in my room to avoid the Horizon restaurant in the morning, Cabin steward ok but not wonderful. Did not go to entertainment so can’t comment on that but I was very disappointed about the activities on offer. They were very limited and Princess seemed to be more interested in getting as much money out of you as possible. I don’t know when I was so glad to get off a ship. Please be warned and AVOID Princess at all costs. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose to sail on Princess because they are one of only a few cruise lines allowed to go up into Glacier Bay. My sister and I took an 11-day "cruisetour" which was a 7 night northbound cruise from Vancouver and 4 nights on land ... Read More
We chose to sail on Princess because they are one of only a few cruise lines allowed to go up into Glacier Bay. My sister and I took an 11-day "cruisetour" which was a 7 night northbound cruise from Vancouver and 4 nights on land - 2 at Denali, 1 at McKinley and 1 night in Anchorage. It also included the train from Whittier to Denali on Princess's own glass-domed railcar and all the subsequent transportation. We flew into Vancouver the day before the cruise and had a wonderful visit touring this lovely city and Stanley Park. The day of the cruise we walked about six blocks from our downtown hotel to the cruise port. The Island Princess is a beautiful ship and we were pleased to find everything was fresh and clean. The crew was amazingly friendly and always accommodating. It isn't a huge mega-ship (2200 guest capacity) and it provided a casual atmosphere with little crowds in the dining rooms, buffet, entertainment offerings and on the decks watching the amazing Alaskan scenery. They had Mark Harris, a top-notch naturalist, onboard who gave talks about AK and what we'd see, and when we arrived at the glaciers he did a live commentary of the sights. We had two specialty dining experiences - I didn't like the Bayou Café because the "New Orleans" food was not authentic and not very good IMO but the Crab Shack was better with the king crab legs. With both restaurants we didn't feel it was worth the $29 per person cost. (I suppose Princess is to blame for having such a great menu in the MDR and a vast array of offerings in the buffet.) Our agenda on the cruise was one day at sea, then to Icy Straight (a lovely little community), to Juneau (where we took an independent bus to Mendenhall Park - amazing! - and walked around the friendly city), then to Skagway (also a nice little town where we took the Princess excursion "To the Klondike Summit" - at $45 it was a bargain and a fabulous tour - and walked a gorgeous trail near the airport right by where the ship was docked). The last two days were at Glacier Bay and College Fjord, two extraordinary experiences, where the ship just floated around and we could absorb the majesty of the sights. Mark's commentary helped us learn more about the glaciers and appreciate them beyond their awesome beauty. The next day we arrived in Whittier (no time to see anything there) to begin our land tour. The debarkation was seamless as we easily walked from the ship to the train. (Our luggage was collected the night before and transported separately to each location, so no worries.) The 9 hour train ride with a knowledgeable narrator was great and that evening we were transported to first class lodging at the Princess Denali Lodge. Princess included an excursion of Denali National Park that took 4-5 hours and it was awesome. We walked some of the trails around the visitor's center and walked back to the lodge. Two days later we went by bus (with driver narration) to Princess McKinley Lodge where we stayed one night. Both Princess Lodges are peaceful and the McKinley Lodge is very secluded. There weren't many options about dining except at the lodges (especially McK) so meals were a bit expensive but the restaurants were nice. On our last day we took a bus (with driver narration) to Anchorage and stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel, a very nice hotel. The next morning we checked out but left our luggage with the concierge and rented bikes to ride the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. We saw two moose grazing in a quiet area a few feet off the trail. A fabulous day, although a bit tiring after the 12 mile bike ride. At the end of the day we retrieved our luggage and took a taxi to the airport ($20) and waited a few hours in the pleasant airport for our 1am flight home. Yes, I would definitely go to Alaska again and Princess will be my first choice! We loved the land part of the adventure but I doubt we would take it again because what we experienced satisfied our longing to see Mt. Denali (previously known as Mt. McKinley). Apparently only 30% of visitors get to see the mountain and we saw it two days in a row! We felt very lucky about that and the other great weather we had - no rain on the whole trip! We weren't sure about going early in May but we saw snow on all the mountains and people said it wouldn't there later in the season. We'd like to go back again late in the season (September/October) and hope to see the Northern Lights. They call Alaska the Last Frontier and with the help of Princess we discovered it is an amazing place and hope to return some day. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Small ship made for short or no lines, three or fewer in the hot tubs, plenty of prime seating for sightseeing and a very relaxed atmosphere. Check in was a breeze and room was ready when we boarded. Staff in buffet was fabulous at being ... Read More
Small ship made for short or no lines, three or fewer in the hot tubs, plenty of prime seating for sightseeing and a very relaxed atmosphere. Check in was a breeze and room was ready when we boarded. Staff in buffet was fabulous at being there with what ever you needed and to get drinks etc. Buffet was very clean, wide selection of foods and had plenty of fruit and a sugar-free dessert nightly. Diabetic diet was easy to maintain while getting to try new things. Room was very nice and steward was very attentive. More hangup space than was needed and made a nice alcove for dressing. Casino was small but the dealers were friendly and made it fun...just difficult to get into a table at times. Plenty of slot machines. More clocks around the ship would have been great to help get to activities on time. Missed several activities because time and looking at phone just didn't help when you are in the hot tub or wrapped up in a blanket. Negatives....Movies under the stars in thirty degree weather even with a blanket was impossible. Sitting on the room balcony was hard even with the down comforter due to the winds however during the day was doable with a blanket. Italian restaurant was OK but the shrimp was tough and overcooked. "cooked just for you by the chef" yet the next night the buffet had Italian night and there was the food from the restaurant on the buffet. Different name for the shrimp but same flavor and texture. Sit down restaurant was very nice, waiters was nice however service was s l o w and if you didn't like something you ordered getting something else slowed it down even more. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We have completed a Coastal California cruise previously and had such a nice time we wanted to take the cruise again. We loved the Island Princess. It is a smaller ship but great for those cruisers who like to meet people and enjoy a ... Read More
We have completed a Coastal California cruise previously and had such a nice time we wanted to take the cruise again. We loved the Island Princess. It is a smaller ship but great for those cruisers who like to meet people and enjoy a smaller ship experience. Lots of wood used which made it seem warm and inviting. Entertainment was really good with a standing ovation one night for one producation. There is a Sabatinis and Blue Bayou Cafe on board. We ate at Sabatinis and had a good meal and wonderful service. There were lots of activitities including Harmonica lessons and Quilling as well as bingo. The ports were one of the reasons we chose this cruise. With Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Astoria and the beautiful Victoria BC one can't help but have a great time on shore. I recommend Butschart Gardens in Victoria. Beautiful experience if you love gardens and Muir Woods / Saulsilito in San Francisco. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise last minute after our transatlantic cruise was cancelled last minute. The cruise was wonderful; the cruise director and staff fantastic, and there were so many activities available each day and night. Both the ... Read More
We chose this cruise last minute after our transatlantic cruise was cancelled last minute. The cruise was wonderful; the cruise director and staff fantastic, and there were so many activities available each day and night. Both the production shows and the music entertainment around the ship were good. Food in the main dining room and buffet was excellent, on par (and sometimes better) than Celebrity. The only drawback was the tours offered. They were pricey and one in particular a "Cooking and Discovery" tour while we were in Nicaragua was very misleading. We arrived at the meeting time for the tour, but had to wait 45 minutes to leave. We then had to wait until a tender filled up to make it to shore. We were put on a tiny bus with uncomfortable seats for a 2 1/2 hour drive. When we got to the city, there were no restrooms available and by now it had been almost 4 hours. At the restaurant we neither cooked nor discovered. Friends at our dinner table took a tour in Panama that was terrible as well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, ... Read More
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, took 15 hours, due to malfunction of a A/C button, Embarkation was a breeze, best ever from 17 cruises with 6 different cruise lines. Arrived at 11am, checked in, on board and lunch with-in 1/2 hour. Cabin, A627, balcony, (we usually have inside, but choose the balcony to celebrate our anniversary). Very nice, large and spacious, lots of closet space and hangers. Bathroom the usual ship board bathroom, shower small, we’re 135 and 150 pounds, and we had problems, The cabin steward very nice, can’t remember his name and I’ve lost the paper with it on. We found the comforter too hot for us, he found a light blanket for us to use instead. Dining:- We had “any time dining “ as we east early at home, the MDR opened at 5.15pm every evening, we chose not to eat every evening meal in the MDR, we alternated with the buffet. We also had two B/F’s in the MDR. Lunch and the rest of the breakfast were in the buffet. The food in both areas were excellent and hot, and very tasty. I have a “blue cheese” allergy and the chef at the buffet come and talked with me to assure if there was any blue cheese in anything, it would be noted. Entertainment and Activities :- The evening theatre was excellent, by far the best we’ve seen on a cruise line. The singers and dancers out did them selves, as did the ships orchestra. Through out the ship, there were other performers who were just as good too. During the day I attended all the trivia, and as many games as I could. The cruise director and his 5 crew staff were just a riot, lots of fun. Service:- Service from all the crew, whether the desk, dining, bar, photography etc., were great, always smiling. Ports and excursions:- Ports from F. L to the Panama Canal, we have done them all before, so unless I was looking to send off emails, didn’t get off the ship, used it as another Sea Day. Panama Canal:- didn’t take any tours, relaxed on the balcony and watched the world go by, Puerto Amador, Puntarenas and San Juan Del Sur, just walked around the port. Huatulco Sur:- just walked around town. Puerto Vallarta:- Took a taxi to the “New Beach”, don’t now how new, but it is a quaint beach area, has some interesting statues along the boardwalk. Los Angeles:- Took a four hour ship tour “ Easy City Tour” not what we expected, we thought we would see some “ stars homes”. but no. It was a waste of time and money. Santa Barbara:- A very nice town, just took the shuttle up the Main Street, and saw the Mission museum, San Francisco:- I booked a Alcatraz tour on line, for the first ferry 8.45, you have to book at least a month in advance. It’s an easy 5 minute walk from the cruise port. A very interesting place, and well worth a visit. We took a “bicycle tutu”, along the boardwalk to catch the “ cable car” there was at least an hour wait, and after an hour in the cold wind, we gave up. Took a taxi back to the ship with a small detour to see some sights. Astoria:- a quaint sea side town, there’s a shuttled around town, you pick up at the dock. We visited the “Marina Museum “ Victoria:- Had a taxi tour around town, have visited Victoria before. Vancouver:- Disembarkation time. Very easy, One thing that did puzzle us we didn’t go through any customs either in Victoria or Vancouver, not even at the airport. We did see 12 police embark at Victoria, so may be they check our customs cards there, as we had to fill them out two days before hand. We didn’t travel with children and there was only a hand full on board, Would I travel with Princess again, yes, it was our first time with them, (have sailed 17 times all told) and really enjoyed the ship and line. I liked the way all the entertainment, from trivia, games and musicians and theatre were on two decks, 6 and 7, making it very easy to get from one to another. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise because I had heard they were a notch over Royal Carribbean. The Island Princess is an older ship. No wow factor. A lot of elderly people some in wheelchairs and walkers. Activities were few. Music was very good. I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had heard they were a notch over Royal Carribbean. The Island Princess is an older ship. No wow factor. A lot of elderly people some in wheelchairs and walkers. Activities were few. Music was very good. I loved the cleanliness of the ship and the stateroom. BUT hated the very small shower stall. However the water was hot and strong. The food was good. but a lot of repetition. Great deserts. Great lattes on fifth deck, but not included,. The first evening I felt like I had boarded a shopping mall . They pushed selling everything from jewelry to pictures and wine. The pictures that were taken were over priced and we were not allowed to take our own pictures when disembarking everything had a price.That was really sad. I took one Princess tour to see the Indians that was very nice. However the trip to the area was gross. Lots of garbage everywhere. On the return to the ship we passed Colon city.What a horrible place. looked war torn and garbage dumped everywhere; knocked down buildings everywhere. Panama is not taking care of the people. And I would never return.. I was totally bored by the pool it was too deep for me, 7.5 feet. and they seemed to show movies half the morning.. and I did not go on this vacation to watch movies. No rules were applied as passengers bogarted the best lounge chairs with towels for hours at a time,even in the theatre people held chairs. The grill by the pool served decent hamburgers but their hot dogs and knockwurst and pizza were not of good quality .We had to stand on line to get grill food. The shows were good. we chose anytime dining but the lines were long and they actually let people ahead of others who had made reservations which I felt was kind of unfair. The people who served the food were very nice, but seemed stressed and tired at times. Same with the activity staff. Not enough activities. In summary it was nice. but I would not go on princess again. Unless its a new ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same ... Read More
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same birds and monkeys at the boat dock in their sales area up closer. Did swim with stingrays and the Hell tour, always loved the Cayman Islands. Limon we did the Rain forest walk,I do not recommend this for anyone with walking problems. You go up a steep hill and it's loaded with rocks to see a couple of frogs,it had a great view of the Caribbean sea .Saw a lot of poor and trashy cities that you should not go into un-escorted in Colon and Limon. The ship's crew was efficient and treated us well. The food was above par. Wife liked the lobster but not the rice it was served on. Maybe its just me but I feel that now that they have all these specialty restaurants on the ships the great food is served there at a cost. Here is a thought for Cruise lines . Offer menu items to be served off the specialty menu in the regular dining room. One partner may want a great steak and is willing to pay the price while others in same party are not willing. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Experiencing the Panama Canal was on my "Bucket List" especially since my Grandfather was one of the many electricians that helped build the original one. The partial-transit worked well for my time restraints. I will say my ... Read More
Experiencing the Panama Canal was on my "Bucket List" especially since my Grandfather was one of the many electricians that helped build the original one. The partial-transit worked well for my time restraints. I will say my friend and myself were some of the youngest cruisers at 61! The majority of the fellow passengers seemed to be well over that and limited mobility abound by many - scooters and walkers! Some younger families with only a handful of kids onboard. Don't know if was off-season or just before spring break. Boarding was a breeze and the cabins were ready before 2 p.m. Our mini-suite was standard but a bit smaller than some of the larger ships I've ben on The beds were comfy and the room décor is basic and the colors are dull. Our Cabin Steward/Housekeeper was outstanding. Liezal was always friendly and warm. She did a great job on keeping our room clean and comfortable. She always inquired how our day was and how we were doing. We had the "anytime" dining which was o.k. My recommendation is to arrive before any of the evening production shows get out or you will wait for 45 minutes in a very long line to be seated. I found the service to be professional but slow at times. The food was good. We mainly ate at the buffet. The selection changed every night and enjoyed the specialties. Indian dishes seemed to be offered as a regularly featured evening optional fare Lemonade is on the drink menu but you have to ask for it. Sabatint's Italian Restaurant was good and the service was excellent. The selections were somewhat limited but the meal was tasty. Reservations were readily available and we had no problem getting in I thought the ship's entertainment productions were just o.k. The song and dance routines were boring along with the magic show. They did have a pianist that was exceptional. We didn't get the opportunity to go to Grand Caymans since the seas were too rough and tenders could not operate safely. It was a disappointment for many of my fellow travelers. The ship went ahead to Cartegena early. This particular port was my least favorite due to the pushy street vendors who will follow you and knock on the tour bus window! I will say once we were on the actual horse carriage tour ti was a beautiful ride through the old city. Going through the Panama Canal was fascinating. You can watch it from your room balcony and live stream on your cabin t.v. You don't have go to the bow of the ship. Limon, Costa Rica is beautiful. We took a tour of La Hacienda. The bus ride was 2 hours each way! It is long and windy, so take care if you get motion sickness. The Hacienda was interesting but felt the drive was too long for the short time we were in port. Jamaica is always one of my favorites. Took the tour of the Raft Ride on the Martha Brea. Again the bus ride was over an hour each way. The gentle bamboo raft ride was relaxing with view of the lush vegetation. The "captain" will try and sell you some carvings that he did and there are vendors along the river that will try an sell you trinkets. My complaint is on the way back te bus stopped at a funky trinket mall for a half hour. There are several sea days during this cruise which were enjoyable. Time to catch up on much needed rest and relaxation. I took line dancing lessons that were fun, and watched several of the "Movies Under the Stars". If you want to do a Arts & Crafts project plan on showing up at least a half hour early because the class filled up fast and people were turned away, Finally, disembarkation was a breeze since we took a excursion at the Everglades Airboat and Airport Transfer. I think we were some of the first people off the ship. The tour was short but fun and got us to the airport by noon or so. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
In 2015, Princess refit this boat and added space for about 300 more people by shrinking the cabins. Staff was leaned. Restaurants were not expanded. Cabins were shrunk. The results we experienced were as follows: - Poor food ... Read More
In 2015, Princess refit this boat and added space for about 300 more people by shrinking the cabins. Staff was leaned. Restaurants were not expanded. Cabins were shrunk. The results we experienced were as follows: - Poor food service in all venues. ( Time of service, Replenishment, Quality, Ambiance,Noise). One waiter and an assistant handled 22 people in our area. We missed shows due to long wait times as a table close to us gorged on 4 lobster tails each at one dinner and staff was run crazy trying to keep up as our table waited to get served at all. - Meat came out overcooked. I sent my lamb back 3 times until the Head Waiter intervened and brought me a properly cooked piece. - The buffet restaurant became a better option than fine dining. Food was properly cooked with ample seasoning. However, it was crowded and loud. - 2 couples in our group tried the Crab Pot. It was waterlogged and inedible. Fortunately they were given their money back. - Anytime dining resulted in us almost sitting on top of other couples with no option for privacy. I have eaten in MacDonald's with more space between tables. - No cabin seating other than the bed. Our room did not match the picture online. Carpet and furniture were worn and resembled a 2 star interstate hotel. - Slow inconsistent room cleaning due to 1 room attendant handling 17 rooms. Do not expect a towel animal on this cruise. You are lucky to get a towel. - Staff unable or unwilling to resolve issues. Need to find a Senior Officer in order to get any resolution. Promised refunds then are never processed. They will say anything to avoid actually dealing with the issue. They would not allow me to escalate my issues. I had to find out who was in charge of an area and track them down myself. Seemed as if staff was either untrained or burned out. - No answer on room service and dining reservation lines. Waited over 15 minutes in one case and gave up. - Internet is time based and a ripoff. Of 300 purchased minutes, was only able to actually use 100. Do not buy this option unless you constantly want to be scolded by the Internet Manager for not logging off. Found out later that even if you log out, the slow service will keep you logged in wasting your time. I was promised a refund after submitting a complaint. it never appeared on my final bill. - Ports are on the yet undeveloped sides of islands. Tours then take 65% of the allotted time for travel leaving little time to enjoy sites. Colon is a slum. Falmouth has no amenities. Porto Limon has about 8 streets and is mostly undeveloped as of yet. Used to be a Banana Port. Only options for the independent traveler if you do not book a tour are the fake tourist shops in the port buildings. Only Cartagena and Georgetown presented opportunities other than tours for exploring the island. -Ship itself is in need of another update (Carpets worn, Furniture worn, Elevators break frequently.) - Fitness area is cramped with no windows. - The My Princess app is not aligned with the paper Princess Patter. It is not user friendly. - Announcements cannot be heard in the rooms. You have to open the doors to hear and often cannot hear most of the content. This is a safety issue. Only positives we hit on the cruise were the service staff themselves. Most of the Waiters, Bartenders, and Room Stewards were warm and friendly often more helpful than management. We are young active Seniors. Ship activities seemed to be focused on an older , less mobile demographic. Napkin Folding was not high on our agenda. The Cruise Director while flamboyant was not a good fit. It did not seem that this ship was designed for those with mobility issues. Long elevator waits, crowded elevators, and malfunctioning elevators forced those with mobility issues to use steps. We have cruised throughout the world on three other lines. This was by far the worst cruise we have ever taken. We left more stressed than we arrived. We will never cruise Princess again! It seemed to us that Princess was stuck in the past and no longer innovative. Ship and systems were designed to put profit over quality. Our gift for being a past customer was an invitation only presentation on new cruises. On other ships we would have had a Captain's reception not a sales speech. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Wanted to see the new Panama Canal. Entertainment was good. Many options during the day and evenings. The food was good in the Resturant but service was very slow. Anytime dining was not managed well. Long lines/wait even though there were ... Read More
Wanted to see the new Panama Canal. Entertainment was good. Many options during the day and evenings. The food was good in the Resturant but service was very slow. Anytime dining was not managed well. Long lines/wait even though there were many available tables. The grill food was good but there again service was slow. Pizza was ok but not up to my standards. Crooners bar was my favorite - usually not too crowded after dinner. Easy listening music in the Atrium made it easy to enjoy a drink and conversation without having to yell to be heard. The buffet was ok for breakfast but I did not like the choices for lunch or dinner. The formal nights allowed for those who wanted to dress up to do so but also allowed those who didn’t bring a suit to enjoy the evening without any problem. (I really do not see the point of having formal nights) Excursions were a disappointment. The descriptions of the trips did not match the experiences. Our cabin steward was very efficient and more than exceeded our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I am confined to a wheelchair and cannot stand. I was unable to find any wheelchair accessible excursions provided by the Island Princess at any port of call during the whole of this cruise. A few of the excursions were labelled as ... Read More
I am confined to a wheelchair and cannot stand. I was unable to find any wheelchair accessible excursions provided by the Island Princess at any port of call during the whole of this cruise. A few of the excursions were labelled as wheelchair accessible on the website and I had booked these prior to the cruise. Unfortunately, when on board, I was informed that while the location was wheelchair accessible, the transportation was not. Only two of the ship’s doors opened automatically. The others could only be opened with considerable effort and had a ledge that made it difficult for a wheelchair to roll over. Unlike other cruise ships such as Celebrity there were no hoists to lift me into the pool. The noise levels in the Horizon restaurant are extremely high. At one lunchtime I measured sound levels over 90 dB over a sustained period of time. This level of noise can produce permanent damage to hearing. It is especially dangerous when someone is exposed to this for a sustained period, such as your staff. We were constantly bombarded by sale offers. On exiting from dinner, we were confronted by half a dozen "paparazzi". A man dressed as a giant bear blocked our paths on the deck. Our television always started with the Princess channel offering more sales opportunities, not the channel we had just watched. Over the trip at least three dozen sheets of paper with advertising offers were left on our bed. Travelling with Princess cruises would be considered again if these problems could be corrected. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise. I would never choose the Island Princess again. The hallways to the rooms were very narrow & the bathrooms & showers were very, very small. Much smaller than any other cruise ship I've ... Read More
I wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise. I would never choose the Island Princess again. The hallways to the rooms were very narrow & the bathrooms & showers were very, very small. Much smaller than any other cruise ship I've been on. The shower head in the tiny shower was fixed to the wall. All other shower heads I've ever had could be removed to spray hard to reach areas. I'll never step foot on this ship again because of the bathrooms! I had an inside room. The room had very comfortable beds & large comfy pillows. There was plenty of room to hang our clothes & large shelves to store folded clothes or other items. It had a refrigerator, a large tv, & a safe. We had My Time Dining but we changed it to early dining when I found out I had to call after 8 o'clock each morning to reserve a time for My Time & we wouldn't have the same waiters. We had good waiters & 2 lovely couples at our table. The food was just average. The cuts of meat they served were poor quality. Breakfast was good in the Horizon Buffet. The entertainment was very good for the most part. We had 1 great shore excursion & a couple of hiccups on 2 of our excursions. The shore excursion team gave us a 30% refund on 1& a 20% refund on another one. Embarkation was delayed because of sanitizing the ship due to the Norivirus. We got on & off of the ship easily because my friend had to have wheelchair assistance. Finding a place to park was very confusing! The ramp we were supposed to go up had lots of red cones & the stations were unmanned & had bars across them. We found out after circling around several times that we had to approach the bars, get a ticket from a ticket dispenser to make the bars go up, & then go up the ramp to the parking deck. We had to keep up with the ticket so we could pay for parking after the cruise. I've always paid to park before the cruise & had attendants at the stations as we entered. There were not very many shops on this ship & the photos were pricey. Read Less
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: February 2019
A pleasant trip, with the Panama Canal and Cartegena being our highlights. The captain skillfully managed the ship in the high winds. Because of the winds, we were unable to stop at Jamaica, but that was ok for us, as we had been there ... Read More
A pleasant trip, with the Panama Canal and Cartegena being our highlights. The captain skillfully managed the ship in the high winds. Because of the winds, we were unable to stop at Jamaica, but that was ok for us, as we had been there last year. There were a lot of people with scooters, walkers, and canes on this trip. Some had a very hard time walking with the rocking of the waves. Some got sea sick, but we were fine. On 'at sea' days, we watched 'Crazy Rich Asians' and 'Instant Family' in our room. Both were recent, good movies. Cartegena is busy, but colorful. Lots of vendors trying to sell their goods. We took the horse and buggy ride of the old city--interesting, but the driver could not speak much English--but he did try. The bus tour guide had perfect English, and was very knowledgeable. The ship is small so that it can go in the Panama Canal. It was thrilling to be on the ship as it passed through. We took the Rainforest excursion, and felt it was well worth the money. One downside to the smaller ship is there was no easy place to go for a good walk--none of the floors had a circular path. Our room (Mini-suite) was decent, but carpet and sofa could use some updates. The bed was SO comfortable, and the bathroom had a full sized tub, which was nice. There was an outbreak of the norovirus, but we did not catch it. About 40-50 people contracted it. Immediately, the crew was spraying off all handrails, doors, etc. with disinfectants. The Horizon Court switched from 'help yourself' to staff service. Handwashing by all guests was strictly enforced. We give the crew credit for trying their best to contain the virus before it got worse. The ship's food was usually good, we especially enjoyed the Horizon Court for breakfast and lunch. The traditional dining was ok, but we were at a table of 10. All great people to visit with, but the table was so long, it was hard to have a conversation across the end of it. Also, it was in a fairly noisy area of the dining room. The food was usually good, and service was good, too. The theatre was busy every night. My complaint was shared by many--it was too loud. After the first night, I took earplugs with me. I mentioned it to staff, who said they would pass it on--but no change was made. The guest entertainers were excellent--but the staff entertainers were mediocre. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Choose cruise because Panama Canal was a bucket list. The ship getting on and off was rather easy, The evening shows was not the quality we are used to with Royal Caribbean. The afternoon filler entertainment was boring and we had other ... Read More
Choose cruise because Panama Canal was a bucket list. The ship getting on and off was rather easy, The evening shows was not the quality we are used to with Royal Caribbean. The afternoon filler entertainment was boring and we had other couples tell us the same thing. The anytime dining was a mess. We had signed up for the 7pm dining and ended up with the any time room. First night after we boarded and got to the any time room, we ate with rather poor service and after we got done, there was a line to get in that stretched all the way to the bar. Heard from another couple it took them an hour to get a table. Had to constantly get up to refill our drinks. The Hamburgers on level 15 was awesome and ate there several times since we didnt want to deal with the crap at anytime dinning One thing we did like was that they had 1st run movies running all the time either on Room TV and the huge TV out by the pool. Good thing due to the rest of the entertainment for us was boring. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We used Princess to go to Asia . It was good but had faults so we used Norwegian . Decided to give them another try . We did this Panama and other stops cruise . Ship was old but ok , Decore was good oldie woldie . In places a bit ... Read More
We used Princess to go to Asia . It was good but had faults so we used Norwegian . Decided to give them another try . We did this Panama and other stops cruise . Ship was old but ok , Decore was good oldie woldie . In places a bit worn . We had a disabled cabin . Good room , good cabin , good space . Small tv where as non disabled get a large tv . I thought this unfair and voiced my concern . A drawer was broken and took 3 days to repair . Beds very good . Cabin cleaner steward very poor little attention . Did not get tipped . Tv channels pretty good bbc cnn fox other . Drinks are expensive and Princess still dont offer inclusive drinks . We decided sos not to have any bother wed take the drinks package 689 usa dollars per person . After thought and discussion . Very expensive and poor . You can have 15 alcoholic drinks per day . Wine by the glass if you have a bottle they take 25 % off bottle price . Daylight robbery . you can have cocktails up to 12 dollars . Or Coffee liquers . All count towards your 15 . You can still only use 1 dining room unless you want to pay 29 dollars to visit other s , per visit . It boring food is poor very bland , little choice or change . Because people dont want to pay 29 dollars , they all want to use the cheaper normal restaurants , 2 of them . Both have long lines waiting and it took us 2 hours on one dinner . Awful . Entertainment wasnt to bad . Very good pianist , metal drums player , couple of groups . Shows , but hard to get there when you wait 1 hour plus for dinner . Staff are very good , friendly and helpful in bars and restaurants . There are 2 pools , nice sizes , Sun lounge areas . Bars are good . There is a grill , Pizza bar , Ice cream bar , And a buffett section . That is good but gets packed . And carrying food is like a ski slalom . Tipping is done at the end 13 dollars a day per person officially . We signed out of it and tipped those who helped us and were good at their jobs . Many became our friends . Cant get my head around why Princess dont do inclusive drinks , other than they are greedy and get every penny out of you . On the tv show you can see how they set up to get maximum sales . Shore excursions are very quick and expensive you get rushed about . In Jamaica you are treated badly they just bombard you for money where ever you go . It poored with rain and the excursion staff non princess hid under building s and let us get soaked . Gave us no care at all . Dodge that stop . Princess dont send anyone on the excursions ,so they are not watched , checked , remarked on . All staff at Locations know this . Read Less
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
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 4.3
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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