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5 Princess Island Princess Repositioning Cruise Reviews

The cruise must have been sold out. Hard to find any area for 'down time' except in our cabin. The buffet (Horizon Court) was always busy and it was sometimes difficult to find a comfortable seat to enjoy your meal. Speaking of ... Read More
The cruise must have been sold out. Hard to find any area for 'down time' except in our cabin. The buffet (Horizon Court) was always busy and it was sometimes difficult to find a comfortable seat to enjoy your meal. Speaking of which - we found the food very tasteless and unappetizing. Tried the dining room and ordered prime rib - I literally needed to saw through it, it was so grizzly. Definitely not 'prime'. Our last night onboard I ordered the steak in the dining room - same thing - a piece of steak which I had to saw through...such a disappointment. Plus the menu was very limited - not a lot of options. So the food/dining experience was a 1 out of 5. Loved our cabin - great view, nice sized balcony, really nice in late afternoon. Regarding 'service' - it was slow in the lounges/bars - at times; I often got up and went to the bar to order a beverage as wait staff were either not around or busy talking to each other. Was not terribly impressed with dining/bar staff ... they were always polite but did not really seem to 'see' me; hard to explain. We went several time to the Library - never any available tables/lounge chairs...always occupied. We sat on the sofa at the 'librarian's desk' and watched several (30+ people) come in one side and walk out the other side of the Library doors - no seats, some even came back after 30 minutes or so and found nothing had changed. Many (all?) tables seat four but most of the tables had two people at them -- perhaps put more tables for two? - also it would be wonderful if the Library was enlarged -- there is definitely a demand. We sat on the sofa and played Scrabble on our iPad. There was no signage to inform people where the games/cards were stored ... many people at the 'desk' waiting for the librarian to ask...Entertainment was very good - Teacake and AJ Jamal were great - but again there was standing room only - just packed - and not good air quality (Princess Theater). Disembarkation was excellent (LA). Regarding if we would travel on this particular ship again - if the price was right - yes. Many years ago we did a Princess cruise and it was spectacular - the food was excellent and the ship had many places for us to enjoy down time - that's about all I can remember - except it was an 'inside' cabin and now after having just enjoyed a cabin with a balcony - we will always go with a balcony cabin in future cruises (if the opportunity arises). Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We live in Georgia. We booked this cruise for a halfway meeting point with friends from Hawaii who are also frequent cruisers, and to make a port call in Oregon, a state we have never visited before. This is our 30th cruise overall, 25th ... Read More
We live in Georgia. We booked this cruise for a halfway meeting point with friends from Hawaii who are also frequent cruisers, and to make a port call in Oregon, a state we have never visited before. This is our 30th cruise overall, 25th on Princess. We were successful in our first goal, disappointed in the second. We booked our air travel through Princess EZ Air and flew without incident from Atlanta to LAX. The transfer to the ship was slow but the expedited embarkation went smoothly. Our balcony cabin was as expected and the service provided by Jojan (Joe) was excellent. There was no complimentary mini bar in our cabin (Elite status) and it took me five tries to get it delivered, two complaints to the cabin attendant, two calls to room service and finally a visit to the front desk where the desk officer called the room service supervisor directly. That did the trick. We enjoyed the production shows, especially "On the Bayou," skipped the comedians and ventriloquist. We ate breakfast and lunch daily in the buffet, dinner most nights in the anytime dining room, three nights at a table for four by request, and two nights at a shared table. We had friendly, enjoyable companions at every meal. I must say that "any time" dining has now become first and second seating. If you want to reserve a table for any times other than 5:15 or 7:30, you're out of luck or you have to endure a long wait. The food was always good and service excellent with the following exception. We ate one night at the Bayou Cafe Steak House. The service was not better than the AT dining room and the huge steaks were of uneven quality, part tender and part tough. One of the four had to be sent back to the kitchen. I consider we wasted our money on the specialty restaurant. Our travel agent had booked end of cruise transfers to the airport for us. Separately, I booked an end of cruise excursion in Vancouver. The first day of the cruise I went to the excursions desk, turned in my transfer tickets and asked for a credit on my cabin account. I was assured then and later by the excursions supervisor that I would see the credit on my final statement. The final statement showed not a credit, but an additional charge for two more transfers (total four transfer tickets plus two end of cruise excursion tickets). My first visit to the front desk was deflected by the answer, "You have to wait for the excursion supervisor to come to her office at 8 o'clock." We were due to get off the ship at 8:15. Back to the desk at 8 and a different, much more responsible officer immediately made the correction (without reference to the excursion office) and we were on our way. Sad to say, we missed our port call in Astoria, Oregon. After two days of rough weather, the captain announced at dinner that we would skip Astoria for safety's sake and to make our port call in Victoria on time. However, by that time the sea had calmed considerably. IMO, we could have stopped at Astoria for four to six hours and cut short the 18-hour port call at Victoria by six hours. I do understand that there were many more people booked on ship excursions in Victoria than in Astoria, ergo, for Princess it was as much a financial decision as a safety issue. We had a very nice excursion in Vancouver followed by a 19-hour trip home, seven hours in the air and 12 hours waiting at multiple airports. That's nobody's fault: It's hard to get an afternoon flight from the west coast to the east coast. We had a great time reuniting with our friends, met many nice people, recognized a few Princess officers and crew from past cruises, and enjoyed our visits in San Francisco, Victoria and Vancouver. We were disappointed at missing Astoria. We were unhappy at the mini bar, transfer tickets and steak house situations. None of those were up to usual Princess standards and I attribute them to lack of attention or carelessness by higher level management or supervision on this particular ship. We will cruise on Princess again; we hope for a better experience next time out. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
At the outset I always want to describe myself as someone you will find in the gym, restaurants, bars or casino - not the shops or shows. I am a lawyer in my 60's that practices with a large firm in Los Angeles. Living in Los ... Read More
At the outset I always want to describe myself as someone you will find in the gym, restaurants, bars or casino - not the shops or shows. I am a lawyer in my 60's that practices with a large firm in Los Angeles. Living in Los Angeles I could not pass up a brief repositioning cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver. For very little I was able to book a standard cabin with a balcony - no stops -just two days at sea. This was my second Princess cruise - my first being a 14 day cruise on the Diamond Princess, which is based in Japan. The Island Princess is one of their older and smaller ships and really does not compare to the newer and larger Diamond Princess - which is really great, including its Japanese toilets (the Diamond Princess was built in Japan). In the past few years I have also taken cruises on Regent, Silversea and Crystal - which I may mention for comparison. 1. Getting on and off - very good. The staff was friendly and efficient in Los Angeles. In Vancouver there were quick and easy choices of getting off. I chose the 7:30am walk off and precisely at 7:30 I was on my way to the terminal - no muss nor fuss. 2. Food - the food on the Island Princess was very good, as was the food on the Diamond Princess. Frankly, for the money, it's a great deal and really not that much different than what you get on Regent or the other high end ship main dining rooms these days. The selections on the Island Princess main dining room menu were more limited than Regent, Crystal, Silversea or the Diamond Princess. The selections in the buffet are about the same - with pretty good coffee (the coffee on Regent was terrible). There are two speciality restaurants - which are priced at $29 per person (this must be a recent increase from the $25 per person which is mentioned in other recent reviews). I did not try them as their menus were not all that exciting - to me at least. The service in the main dining room was ok. The waiters seemed to wait for a whole bunch of dinners to be ready from multiple tables before getting them and staggering out with 10 covered dishes on the tray. The service in the buffet was very good - better than my last Regent cruise (Voyager - I have a separate review there) where there were not enough tables and servers to handle everyone promptly. Overall, Silversea (Spirit) had the best dining - but the Diamond Princess is a close second together with Crystal (Serenity). 3. Cabin - very comfortable bed and pillows - two uncomfortable chairs. As noted by others, the shower is small with an annoying shower curtain. The water pressure was good. I am 5',7" - 140 pounds - and just fit......... 4. Bars - good, with fast service. 5. The gym - not good. As noted by the professional Cruise Critic "critic", the gym was recently moved from a top deck with views to inside space on deck 6. I did not catch this and before the cruise (there are a number of You Tube videos showing a beautiful large gym with nearly 360 degree views) and was very disappointed to find a small claustrophobic gym that seemed like an afterthought. Moreover the equipment is old and the free weights seemed to be on the heavy side (no it was not because of my bar experience the night before). 6. The casino - a let down. Here again, on You Tube you will see a large casino with a fairly good sized craps table - not any more.....It appears the the remodel that pushed the gym to the 6th deck also took half of the casino. The craps table is gone and the tables that remain (blackjack and three card poker) are pushed up against a wall so that there is very little room to move around. There are a number of slot machines (although no where near what you see in the posted You Tube videos) which have a varied number of games, including a block of Quick Hit machines - which a lot of people like. The staff in the casino were friendly. 7. Other - the front desk was well staffed and organized - no lines. The same cannot be said for the Diamond Princess. The ship was clean - but the absolute cleanest and brightest (of all ships I have been on) was the Diamond Princess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
CRUISE This was a combination of three cruises back to back. We boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale, cruised through the Panama Canal and on the Los Angeles, Vancouver, and finally Whittier, Alaska. It wasn’t on my bucket list, but ... Read More
CRUISE This was a combination of three cruises back to back. We boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale, cruised through the Panama Canal and on the Los Angeles, Vancouver, and finally Whittier, Alaska. It wasn’t on my bucket list, but the Panama Canal transit was amazing and the highlight of this cruise. Although, I usually don’t buy the Reflections DVD, I did this time so I can relive the transit experience again and again. PRECRUISE We flew into Fort Lauderdale a day before our cruise. We rented a small car from Thrifty at the airport and returned it to their port location after dropping off our luggage at the pier the next day. Thrifty had a free shuttle to the ship and we hopped on after turning in our vehicle. The cost of the rental was probably not much more than several taxi fares and gave us so much flexibility. With three ships in port, hotel rooms were at a premium. We ended up staying at the Residence Inn in Dania Beach. It is close to the airport, but so quiet. Actual embarkation was quick. THE SHIP Please, please, please, everyone just quit saying that the Island Princess was ruined by adding all those cabins, etc. etc. The ship is beautiful. The atrium is amazing. It has a wide promenade deck with lots of chairs. I don’t feel the ship was crowded at all. There were so many quiet places to sit and relax. I missed Skywalker’s and the International Café, but the Island Princess never had these. And the staff! The hotel and restaurant staff were stellar. OUR CABIN We were in a balcony room on the forward Dolphin deck. I’ll just say it was ready for a rehab. Tired, tired, tired. DINING We always choose anytime dining. The Island Princess has lots of tables for two, so we rarely waited. There were lots of regional (Caribbean and Alaskan) items on the menus. We ate at Sabatini’s twice. The cover charge the first time was $25, the second was $29. We also discovered Alfredo’s pizza. It is not to be missed! We also purchased a wine package; we had to ask about it. ENTERTAINMENT Well the musicians were fantastic! My husband became a Phoenix Rising fan and I was a Josh Wheeler groupie. I particularly enjoyed pianist Christopher Contillo. The ship’s band was great; they are so talented. Even the Princess Pop Choir provided an outstanding performance. Everything else was …. Since when did happy hour become the entertainment? There were so many happy hours on this ship it is surprising there was any booze left to drink. POST CRUISE We purchased Princess transfers from Whittier to Anchorage. It took more than three hours to get to the Hospitality Center with unscheduled stops at the airport and Earthquake Park. After all that we had time for lunch and the trip to the airport and no sightseeing. WHY DOESN’T PRINCESS? While there are thousands of captive passengers waiting to leave the ship, why doesn’t Princess do a better job of servicing the public restrooms? Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our fourth transatlantic, our 20th cruise on the Princess Line and the third on the Island. During this 31 day repositioning we found the Island clean, though a little dated, with excellent always-with-a-smile service and the ... Read More
This was our fourth transatlantic, our 20th cruise on the Princess Line and the third on the Island. During this 31 day repositioning we found the Island clean, though a little dated, with excellent always-with-a-smile service and the food selection tasty and varied the entire time. The entertainment was over and above the usual cruise fare, even at times world class. We always get a mini-suite, this time choosing C204, an elongated mini-suite without a balcony. The cabin window was large enough to always give us an adequate view but, of course, nothing like a full sliding glass door. There were a few times that I did miss the balcony but the extra room made up for what was lost. I will say we would never book this type cabin on any Caribbean cruises as we are heavy balcony users in warmer weather. The cabin was quiet and just a few feet away from an outside door leading to the front of the ship. Only a couple times during rough weather did I find a rope across the door entrance that denied access. Believe me this front ship area afforded a spectacular view when entering Venice’s canal way. But it didn’t take us long to realize that this was not the same ship experience we had when taking the Island Princess through the Panama Canal, twice. This time we found crowded public spaces, overlapping events, that kept people waiting outside venues in large crowds if anything went long, and witnessed people in long lines trying to get into the anytime dining room. Fortunately, we opted this time for the traditional dining time slot, even though for some unknown reason every night, and I mean every night, our dinner took two hours, from beginning to end. When coming out of dining we would see long lines a floor down of people waiting to get into the anytime venue and talked to people over and over that were very unhappy about waiting, with a buzzer in hand, to be called for the anytime experience. What we did observe, now that the large Universal Lounge has been taken out, was staff that had to constantly juggle limited venue options. An example was a speaker, in the Explorer Lounge, giving an excellent talk on WWII that was barely audible because of the bingo players signing up outside, not a few feet away. The cruise line has not only taken away an extremely large public space but has added an additional 100 cabins to the Island that was never in the initial configuration. The fabulous former fitness center has been moved to a unappealing windowless lower level that I ended up not using because of the smallness and lack of ambience. The Princess Theater, I guess, because of all the additional passengers has had all the side aisles removed which meant the nightly climbing over people to get to your seat routine. We will definitely go on another Princess vacation as we have reached Elite status and having your laundry done is a perk not easily surrendered but we will watch carefully and never go on another ship that has been reconfigured to take away public spaces so that additional innumerable extra cabins could be added. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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