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Sail Date: February 2019
On my bucket list for years and could never convince my past wife to get on a ship and the timing was right. I have read some of the reviews and cannot agree with them as they sailed at a bad time. My cruise was FANTASTIC, the Panama Canal ... Read More
On my bucket list for years and could never convince my past wife to get on a ship and the timing was right. I have read some of the reviews and cannot agree with them as they sailed at a bad time. My cruise was FANTASTIC, the Panama Canal visit was the highlight, on board service was excellent and I never had to wait to be seated. The waiters did not hover over you but watched and knew when attention was required.I was not pressured into buying more drinks than I wanted. Ten days and not a bad meal, food was top notch. The buffet on deck 14 was all anyone could hope for. Housekeeping was above and beyond, I had an ocean view cabin (605) and it was always kept neat and tidy, any time that I left for a walk or a meal, things were tidied up while I was away. There was always something on the go for entertainment and the movies under the stars helped end the evening on a high note.I am giving it some serious consideration for an Alaskan cruise and it if possible definitely be on the Island Princess. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose this cruise to see glaciers and to go on a land tour to Denali National Park. The food on the boat was outstanding. The service, outstanding as well. This was our first cruise, so we have nothing to compare to, but we would go on ... Read More
I chose this cruise to see glaciers and to go on a land tour to Denali National Park. The food on the boat was outstanding. The service, outstanding as well. This was our first cruise, so we have nothing to compare to, but we would go on this cruise tour all over again. The entertainment was phenomenal, as was the live music all over the ship. The amount of time we spent at Glacier Bay was perfect. The excursions we chose were great. The naturalist that was on board was AMAZING. He gave lectures about all kinds of things, and narrated over the PA system several times. We left the cruise knowing SO much information about nature and the wildlife I Alaska. We had a little incident, at 3 am one morning we woke up to the smell of burning rubber. They quickly resolved the issue, called our room to report the cause, andDelivered a plate of chocolate covered strawberries to our room, and an apology. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this to get away. My embarking in San Pedro was very easy. My habit on cruises is going to the "international café" for morning coffee. After several mornings I met some very lively people who turned out to be CC ... Read More
I chose this to get away. My embarking in San Pedro was very easy. My habit on cruises is going to the "international café" for morning coffee. After several mornings I met some very lively people who turned out to be CC members. Some were in the Pop Choir with me. They soon asked me how many cruises I have been on. I was told about CC as I hadn't heard about the group. They urged me to join which I doing. I am sailing aboard the Pacific Princess in January. I was aboard the Pacific Princess in 2016 LA to Sydney. I like the small ships as it easier to get around. The newer Regal and the Royal are far bigger than the earlier ones. The Island P. is somewhat confusing and it took me several days to make my way around the ship. The gym was very well equipped, but it was hidden away below decks with no ocean view unlike the others I've worked out in. The cabin was good with a big window. My attendant was one of best I have ever had. The food choices were more than I could enjoy and I was able have cuisine from many regions The tours that I took were very good especially to the Guatemala coffee plantation. Unfortunately other tours were canceled due to the heavy rains and flooding we ran into. I now have a certificate saying I transited the Panama Canal Ta Da! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I've always dreamed of a cruise to Alaska. I booked the Pan Pacific in Vancouver to make this an easy trip. The ship was a pretty perfect layout for weather, lots of room on deck 7 outside but away from the weather. Balcony cabin ... Read More
I've always dreamed of a cruise to Alaska. I booked the Pan Pacific in Vancouver to make this an easy trip. The ship was a pretty perfect layout for weather, lots of room on deck 7 outside but away from the weather. Balcony cabin in the back of the boat, also on deck 7, offered perfect viewing experiences as well, without having any crowding at all. Overall, really enjoyed the cruise. The service from the steward, bar staff and dining staff was very good. The food not the best, but always can find something to eat that is reasonably good. The entertainment was so so. The ship is in good shape. The covered pool was too cold, ironically the outside pool was a good temperature, but very over-chlorinated. The ship has carpeting on the upper decks, which I found harder to work with than wood deck. When it rained the carpet got logged/ and would wet your shoes with splashes. However, my guess is it is less slippery. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our first cruise, so it was all new to us. Having read previous reviews of this ship we did wonder if adverse comments were true. More of that later. We are an early 60s British couple recently retired, travelling with a ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so it was all new to us. Having read previous reviews of this ship we did wonder if adverse comments were true. More of that later. We are an early 60s British couple recently retired, travelling with a relative. The cruise was 16d/15n from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale via the Panama Canal, with stops in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Aruba. The ship was built in 2002 and refitted last year, with extra cabins added at the rear of Deck 7 Promenade. It is one of two built to Panamax size to suit the Canal, although larger ships can be taken when new locks and channels are commissioned later in 2016. Standard of fit out and furnishing was excellent, with much polished and varnished wood, chrome and marble. Maintenance continued throughout the voyage, and at each stop crew were on shore painting out rust and tug marks on the hull. Previous posters complained about the addition of cabins in the 2015 refit, cutting off the stern part of the Promenade Deck. This wasn't a problem for us when walking , as you could either turn around and walk a long U shape, or cross a landing to do full circuits. There were also comments about crowding in public areas, but we only found a problem in the breakfast buffet in Horizon Court at peak time. The answer was to order hot drinks, cereals and fruit from room service, then to have a cooked breakfast when the crowds had subsided. A daily news letter listed activities, talks and shows, with extra information sheets on destinations. There were also regular deliveries and reminders about "enrichment" (shopping) opportunities. It was irritating how Princess constantly tried to squeeze more money out of the passengers, through on-board shopping, wine tastings, photos and DVDs, the casino, and exorbitant behind the scenes tours at $150 each. Although we only saw a few shows they were varied and good quality. The food was varied and of good quality. Our dining option was the late sitting of fixed time, which gave time to relax and have a drink before dinner, especially after shore excursions. Although we three had asked to join a table of eight we were on our own for the first two nights. The Maitre D' then placed two other couples on the table with us after they changed their options. We like to think that he was proactive to ensure compatibility. The dress codes, including formal nights, were generally adhered to and enforced. Most passengers were American, with some Brits, Germans and Canadians, and generally older than us. Although there's a teenagers' area we only saw one young person and one toddler. Previous reviewers said that some staff were rude. Without exception, all staff were friendly, attentive and efficient. The only rude people we met were some passengers, who talked to staff as though they were inferior beings. Some vocabularies don't include "please" and "thank you". Doors to decks had stiff closers for obvious reasons, and when holding them open for passengers some didn't thank or even acknowledge me. It was irritating on shore excursions when passengers had loud conversations when guides were talking. A "sailaway" party was planned for departure, but was cancelled as we sailed away four hours late following a faulty software update on the ship's control systems. There were four sea days before the first stop at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, which gave us time to familiarise ourselves with the ship and to get over jet lag. A shore trip took us to to a coffee plantation and Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Both were worth seeing. At the next stop in Puntarenas we visited a rain forest where a modified ski lift takes passengers above the canopy. Tours started late as another cruise ship was moored at the same pier, and space was limited for coaches to reverse to the ships. The walk around Panama was interesting, when we anchored off Fuerte Amadore and were tendered ashore. At Cartagena and Aruba we decided to do our own thing. The cruise dock at the former is in a commercial port, but there's a shopping centre a short walk along the dock. Check out the emeralds, and haggling can reduce the marked price. Aruba's pier is next to the city, and there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to visit. The short time in port meant that some trips would have been rushed. Due to a late return flight to the UK we booked a disembarkation tour at Fort Lauderdale, cruising the Intercoastal Waterway before transferring to Miami airport. The coach driver and guide were confused about where to drop passengers for Virgin Atlantic, and dropped us at the furthest point. We then had a long trek through the airport with our luggage. It is worth paying to use an airport lounge, with drinks and snacks, as the catering provision in the airport is awful. Our cabin was one of only 8 mini-suites on the ship, with the same area as balcony cabins. There was some shuddering when sailing into heavier seas, and there was noise when docking due to being directly above the bow thrusters. In their wisdom Princess have put all laundromats at the stern, so the round trip from a bow cabin like ours to wash or iron was 500 metres. Given the number of sea days we paid for the all inclusive drinks package, which was value for money. If you tot up specialist coffees, bottled water for the cabin and excursions, cocktails before dinner, glasses of wine with, and liqueurs after it is worth it. Don't order bottled water from room service as you still have to pay for it. My wife lost a crown during the trip and I asked the front desk if treatment could be arranged during one of the stops. They never got back to us. We will definitely cruise again, and probably with Princess around the UK or to the Baltic, so the ships will be different. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such ... Read More
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such friendly helpful staff. The food is always cold so do not except too much, the deserts in the Horizon is really good for choice and the staff up there are the best always asking if you would like coffee or tea , Water nothing was too much for them to do for you. The free ice cream on the Lido deck is free and really good. The biggest problem was the shaking of the cabin at the AFT deck lido deck 14 on island princess shaking these are new cabins even though they were clean and nobody could look down on you and were not noisy the shaking is like being on one of those fitness shaking machines all the time. The shows were very short and some of the acts were terrible. The Films on Deck at night were good with free popcorn and cookies. The Burger bar is very good very hot food and fresh. Room Service which is free try the steak sandwich in the afternoon what a treat. The cabin Staff were so good always cleaning and perfect. Always sun lounger’s room in the pool space for all as there are 2 main pools and a splash pool on top deck forward. Be careful with the photographs can be very persistent. One of the best things is Any dinning you can go for dinner between 5:30 and 10 o'clock and sit a a different table every night. When shopping on board we found that staff very unhelpful and always looking at their watches rather than helping you. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
This was our second Princess cruise and we've already booked another for February. Must admit it helps living in Central Florida as there's no need for airfare, etc.! I'd registered for the CC Roll Call so already ... Read More
This was our second Princess cruise and we've already booked another for February. Must admit it helps living in Central Florida as there's no need for airfare, etc.! I'd registered for the CC Roll Call so already "knew" several others that were on the cruise from information we'd exchanged on this site. It was so much fun as we already had others to meet for Anytime Dining, etc. A roll call member had set up a Meet&Mingle with the Island Princess and there were about 25 people that showed up. The cruise director and six other senior staff members came and spent about 15 minutes talking with us. The cruise director said that Princess enjoys CC members who are on cruises as "we" are all pretty knowledgeable about what o expect. We went mostly to see the Panama Canal and are happy we did the cruise as a partial-transit. As it was, we spent more full-days at sea than we'd have liked. It would have been much better to have days with shore-time mingled better with full-days at sea. The Canal was as expected. I'd read the Princess excursion that went through all the locks to the Pacific side was worthwhile, but also that it was too long. I agree and wish we'd done something different. Once you've gone through the first lock into Lake Gatun,you've seen how the locks work, no real need to see them all. Plus, the long bus ride back at the end of the day takes you through rush hour...ugh! We were in a mini-suite A-503 and enjoyed the space with so much time at sea. The cabin was mid-ship and so convenient although the balcony was smaller than most due to its location. It was a short walk up one flight of steps to the Lido deck so it was easy to go up for meals at the Horizon Court or the pools. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
This was my sixth cruise and my third cruise with the Princess line. My flight arrived in Fort Lauderdale on the day before embarkation and I spent the night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites near the airport. Although the hotel is ... Read More
This was my sixth cruise and my third cruise with the Princess line. My flight arrived in Fort Lauderdale on the day before embarkation and I spent the night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites near the airport. Although the hotel is close to the airport, there was little noise from aircraft. The Fairfield offered shuttles to Port Everglades for $8.00 which I used. The Island Princess suffered an outbreak of the Norovirus on the previous cruise and embarkation was delayed until 1:00 p.m. while the ship was disinfected. This was only a thirty minute delay from the original schedule. I arrived at the terminal at 1:10 p.m.. Quite a few passengers were already there and a long line formed. Still, I was in my cabin at 2:25 p.m. and this included checking my luggage at the curb, check-in, security check and getting to my cabin. My luggage arrived shortly before the Emergency Stations drill at 3:45 p.m. My inside cabin B724 was located aft and was clean and in good condition. There was little noise from other passengers in this area and it was three cabins away from a partially covered balcony at the stern. The TV was a 26-inch ViewSonic flat screen. Two 115V outlets were available at the cabin's desk. The cabin door seemed to be a bit warped at the top and required a little more force than usual to close it. It wasn't a problem for me but some might find it annoying. The Island Princess seemed less crowded than the Crown Princess and Emerald Princess that I sailed on previously. The public spaces featured a decor of light wood with brass colored metal and were all in good repair. Norovirus precautions were in effect during the first days of the cruise and passengers could not serve themselves at the buffet and even the bread in the dining room was handed out with tongs. Despite the added workload, the crew members I encountered were friendly and seemed in good spirits. Food in the Provence (traditional) dining room was very good. The twice-baked goat cheese souffle was my favorite appetizer and chocoholics shouldn't miss the Love Boat Dream dessert. Service was excellent and food was always served at the appropriate temperature. The always available fettuccine alfredo was delicious, but needed more sauce. The Horizon Court buffet was busy on the mornings of port calls, but I was always able to find a seat. There were themes such as Oktoberfest and American BBQ for lunch or dinner on some days. In addition, a British pub lunch was offered on three days in the Bayou Cafe. Production shows consisted of "Piano Man", "Motor City", the high energy "Do You Wanna Dance" and "On the Bayou" which featured a New Orleans voodoo theme and was held in the Universe Lounge. The schedule was: "Piano Man": Thursday 3/29 at 8:15 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Friday 3/30 at 9:30 p.m. "On the Bayou": Saturday 3/31 at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday 4/1 at 6:45 p.m. & 8:30 p.m. "Motor City": Wednesday 4/4 at 8:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. "Do You Wanna Dance": Thursday 4/5 at 8:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. Other entertainment included The Comedy Magic of Lorenzo Clark, the hypnotist Asad, comedian Billy Vader (one night only) and the music and comedy of Duncan Tuck. Piano player and singer Tom Franek attracted a following in the Crooner's lounge and did two shows in the Princess Theater as well as one in the Universe Lounge. Author L.C. Hayden presented a series of entertaining and informative lectures on writing techniques and publishing for aspiring writers. Excellent port lectures were provided by former Canal Zone resident William Fall who also did the on-board commentary as we passed through the Gatun locks. One comedian aboard described our port call in Aruba as a drive-by. Passengers were allowed off at 7:00 a.m. and all aboard was at noon, although the ship waited an extra 45 minutes for a passenger with a medical issue to return from the hospital. My Princess excursion was the Semi-submarine, Shipwreck & Island Drive which left at 7:30 a.m. and included a semi-submarine trip around the sunken German ship Antilla, a visit to the Casibari rock formations and a bus tour of the north side of the island which included stops at the California lighthouse and the natural bridges, the largest of which has collapsed. On the semi-sub, we circled so that both sides could see the wreck while the guide gave a lively narration about the Antilla and the marine life we saw which included a sea turtle and many small fish that swam right up to the windows. At the Casibari rocks, I climbed the steep steps for a panoramic view, but the climb required squeezing through a tunnel-like gap in the rocks and was not recommended for people with mobility issues. There was a botanical garden at the base of the rocks. The tour took the entire time we were in port. The next port was Cartagena, Columbia. I booked the Highlights of Cartagena, Fortress & Las Bovedas tour through Princess and was in the Princess Theater at 8:50 a.m. along with passengers going on other tours to await disembarkation. Princess issued a sticker to wear with the tour number, but Columbia was quite humid so I put it on my hat where perspiration wouldn't affect it. The first stop on the tour was the massive Fort of San Filipe (started in 1536), considered the most formidable of Spanish defensive complexes. The climb to the top of the fort was steep but gave a good view of the layout of the defenses. Also covered on the tour were the old city walls near the ocean, a brief stop at the small shops (former dungeons) of Las Bovedas, the Inquisition Palace, San Pedro Claver Sanctuary and a walk through part of the old town. A final stop was made at the Pierno Gallo shopping center which featured jewelry stores although there was a shop with coffee products and souvenirs. They offered free samples of their coffee candy which was tasty enough for me to bring a bag home. The tour took most of the time in port and all aboard was at 2:30 p.m. for our next stop in Panama. The Island Princess lined up for its approach to the Gatun locks at 6:30 a.m. the next morning and passengers lined the decks to watch the transit and listen to commentary by port lecturer William Fall. It took over an hour and a half to transit the locks and the ship then anchored in Lake Gatun. At 8:40 a.m. tours were called to commence tender operations. My tour was the Panama Canal & Locks Transit by Boat. At 9:30 a.m. I was on the bus headed for the town of Gamboa to embark on the Fantasia del Mar, a 434 passenger tour boat operated by Canal & Bay Tours. Our tour left the dock about 11:30 a.m. and the buffet lunch started at noon, done by sections on the boat to control crowding. Food included chicken skewers, ham and cheese sandwiches, pasta salad, fruit and muffins. Tubs of iced soft drinks and bottled water were available throughout the cruise. We passed through the Galliard (Culebra) Cut, under the Centennial Bridge, transited the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks, where a thunderstorm struck, and finally passed under the Bridge of the Americas before docking in Balboa (Panama City) on the Pacific side at 3:15 p.m. Meanwhile, the Island Princess had passed back through the Gatun locks headed to the dock in Colon. Our bus to Colon from Balboa arrived back at the ship at 5:10 p.m., hindered somewhat by heavy traffic. Departure for Limon, Costa Rica was at 6:30 p.m. Photographers found their lenses fogged up immediately when coming from an air-conditioned cabin into the humid morning air at the Canal. It took about twenty to thirty minutes for lenses to warm up. Wiping a lens only helped for a few seconds. Island Princess docked in Limon a little after 7:00 a.m. and the call for my Veragua Rainforest tour came 45 minutes later. The bus arrived at the combination research center and park around 9:30 a.m. and we were offered a choice of the more strenuous path to the 65 foot high waterfall or a less strenuous path through the rainforest before being split into groups, each with a guide. Next our group visited the day and night frog exhibits featuring live poison dart frogs and then entered the insect hall with its colorful collection of mounted butterflies and a live butterfly garden. Following an included lunch of a turkey sandwich and fresh fruit our group watched a researcher mount a butterfly for display and then took the roughly ten minute ride down the aerial tram. Our guide pointed out a sloth in the trees and other items of interest on the way down. Once down, we followed the guide along a boardwalk to a viewing platform at the Puma Waterfall. The walk involved going up and down a number of wooden steps which would have been very difficult for persons with mobility issues. After viewing the waterfall we rode the aerial tram back up to the last part of our tour: the reptile habitat. Here we saw live lizards and snakes including the highly poisonous Fer-de-Lance. A thunderstorm started as we approached the reptile habitat, but we were able to view it and return to the bus without getting soaked and departed at about 12:30 p.m. for the hour and fifteen minute return trip to the ship. All-aboard was at 5:30 p.m., so I used the time to buy some t-shirts and carved wooden items from the vendors set up near the ship. After a sea day the Island Princess anchored off Grand Cayman Island shortly before 7:00 a.m. and tender operations started shortly afterward and I was able to get on a tender 45 minutes later. I chose the Atlantis Submarine Scenic Adventure which left from the North Terminal at 10:05 a.m., so I walked around a bit and took the local bus to the Hell gift shop and rock formations. The bus (really a van) left from the bus terminal on Edward Street near the Public Library and took about 40 minutes to reach Hell, as it stopped to pick up and drop off locals who worked at the resorts along Seven Mile Beach. It only cost $2.50 each way and the friendly drivers accepted U.S. currency. After mailing a postcard from Hell and taking a few pictures of the rock formations, I waved at the next bus, they picked me up and 25 minutes later I was at the North Terminal (across from Margaritaville) in time to join the excursion group. The Atlantis dock was just past the South Terminal on South Church Street (near the Hard Rock Cafe) and our group walked with a guide to the ticket office and boarded the boat to the submarine. The sub was air conditioned with large windows, very smooth underwater and the air pressure stayed at sea level so there was no effect on the ears. We saw a sea turtle and numerous fish including a barracuda and a lionfish. The narrator on-board was humorous and knowledgeable and the entire trip took about an hour and a half with around 45 minutes of dive time. This left plenty of time to check out George Town as the last tender left the North Terminal at 4:30 p.m. I visited the Cayman Islands National Museum located in the Old Courts Building on the corner of Harbor Drive and Shedden Road (across from the harbor). The small but interesting museum had a short film, a Natural History Gallery with a sea turtle nesting diorama, a submarine model with underwater video, exhibits on the geology and habitats of the islands and a Cultural History Gallery which featured a catboat with an animatronics fisherman. The staff was very friendly and the museum was a welcome break from the souvenir shops. After another sea day the Island Princess docked in Fort Lauderdale along with five other cruise ships. I booked the Everglades Airboat Ride & Flamingo Gardens tour since my flight didn't leave until late afternoon. Passengers on this tour met in the casino at 8:10 a.m. and ten minutes later we were allowed off the ship. It only took twenty minutes to find my luggage, clear customs and find the waiting tour bus. It took until 9:20 a.m. to collect all the people going on the tour. Our first stop was at Everglades Holiday Park where we saw the Gator Boys (as seen on Animal Planet) alligator wrestling show. We then took a thirty minute ride through part of the Everglades in a covered airboat holding about 25 people and spotted an alligator and some birds. The park was quite crowded as it was a Saturday during spring break and six cruise ships were in port. We left the park at 11:25 a.m. and went to Flamingo Gardens, a sixty acre botanical collection and wildlife sanctuary featuring native south Florida wildlife and a walk-in aviary. The bus left the park at 1:10 p.m. for the Fort Lauderdale airport. One nice feature of this tour was that your luggage was carried on the bus and you could leave carry-on items inside while at the parks. In addition to the driver there was a guide with us throughout the tour who was quite informative. Princess also offered a service called EZCheck where they pick up your luggage the night before disembarking, deliver it to the aircraft and issue your boarding passes on-board, eliminating the need to check in at the airport, just proceed to security. The cost was $20.00 (added to your shipboard account) plus any regular baggage fees charged by the airline. A Princess shuttle cost $14.00 to the FLL airport and $19.00 to MIA. There were a total of four times changes during this cruise. The Princess Patter always notes them on the front page and the cabin steward places a card on the bed on the night before the change which occurs at 2:00 a.m. In conclusion, I was very pleased with the Island Princess and the service provided by its crew. The itinerary was varied and interesting and I enjoyed all my shore excursions. Hats off to the crew for their handling of the Norovirus outbreak on the previous cruise. 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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