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9 Princess Island Princess Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Great itinerary including Panama Canal, but highlight was being blown away by extreme quality of performances & musicianship on board. Very good variety of musical styles and shows that Broadway would envy. Great jazz sets and backup ... Read More
Great itinerary including Panama Canal, but highlight was being blown away by extreme quality of performances & musicianship on board. Very good variety of musical styles and shows that Broadway would envy. Great jazz sets and backup for guest performers who were amazing also. We walked around Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure & enjoyed the city even though it was hot and humid for early October. Embarkation and our exit also were the fastest & most efficient we have experienced (been on 3 other cruise lines, but first time on Princess). We chose an interior cabin (deck 5) since not spending much time there & had the best sleep in years on a great queen bed. The cabin steward must be a magician, since the room was always clean even when we were not gone a long time -- not sure he ever slept. Again ... great music & shows & ports of call made this a super cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Entertainment and food was good and plentiful. Lots of choices on the Horizon buffet for all meals if that was your choice of dining. The dining room menu was varied and the staff were excellent..... knowledgeable and entertaining. I ... Read More
Entertainment and food was good and plentiful. Lots of choices on the Horizon buffet for all meals if that was your choice of dining. The dining room menu was varied and the staff were excellent..... knowledgeable and entertaining. I didn’t have room for dessert most nights and one evening I said “Nothing for me thank you” so after serving everyone else at the table he brought me a plate with ‘Nothing’ written in chocolate......quite a sense of humour. We had anytime dining and that worked really well....most evenings we didn’t have to wait long. We opted for a table for six....as more than that it was awkward to hold a conversation. We met lots of really nice, interesting people from all around the world. We did the full 22 day cruise from Vancouver to Ft. Lauderdale our longest cruise yet. We only booked two tours from the ship the rest we picked up on the dock....most of them just six of us in air conditioned vans with guide.....much better and more personal than the large bus loads. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I wrote how great the shore excursion in Victoria at Craigdarroach Castle was, how we'd done Butchart x2, how great the food at Horizon Court was, how we seldom got to restuarants even tho so pretty cuz loved buffet so much! The ... Read More
I wrote how great the shore excursion in Victoria at Craigdarroach Castle was, how we'd done Butchart x2, how great the food at Horizon Court was, how we seldom got to restuarants even tho so pretty cuz loved buffet so much! The sea was rockier than expected so didn't get much sleep, glad of entertainment. Best was Amethyst Trio wAlex & 2 violinists, wowza! Staff was great, esp Leo our stateroom steward, Igor in Horizon Court, Kirk at Future Cruises, Jojo in Pizzaria. Fun w/DJ doing trivia, but pretty hard questions!! Need more general stuff, widely known. Enjoyed piano player/singer, didn't remember name. So glad embarcation & debarcation were so easy, tho they had us at wrong time, was able to get it fixed. Our mini-suite was clean & comfy, plenty of toiletries & hangers, plenty of room. Sure wish we could have gotten onto balcony more, was too cold & windy! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We picked this cruise to avoid a cross country flight and for more sea days than port days. Then we added on the three day run down from Vancouver to L.A. just for the sea days. So, for us a 22 day cruise, still too short! Embarkation ... Read More
We picked this cruise to avoid a cross country flight and for more sea days than port days. Then we added on the three day run down from Vancouver to L.A. just for the sea days. So, for us a 22 day cruise, still too short! Embarkation was a snap in Vancouver, even with a full ship of three day cruisers. We did utilize the Princess Transfer and Hotel which made everything even easier. I know I am on Holiday when I see the Princess person at the A/P on arrival. Put my brain in neutral and follow their directions. We did arrive a couple of days early to visit with friends in Vancouver. The ship was in good condition and the cabin was up to snuff. Our CC Roll Call had a "sailaway" on deck and a good group in attendance. The cruise down the coast allowed us to get in to relax mode and a routine. Our cabin steward "Glenn" took care of all our special requests and was great to deal with on both of the B2B cruises. Calle Smit the CD did a superb job of organizing activities, especially the cruise long activities. He was always around and very easy to talk with, very entertaining when he ran an activity. His crew was just great, Laura and Wally stand out. I normally like to attend the lectures, but did not make one of them on this cruise. We only saw one show, the Princess "On the Bayou". We were always just too busy doing what ever came along. We had AT dining and it worked super well for us. We usually went in anywhere from 1815 hrs. to 2000 hrs. and only had to wait about five minutes once. We always ask to have a table to share and that makes it much easier and one meets some other great folks that way. They even accommodated us one evening when we walked up with a party of 13. It took about 10 minutes to come up with 1 eight top and 1 six top table next to each other. It was a rather raucous meal to say the least and late enough that we had the area mostly to ourselves with a very fun waitstaff. Just perfect for our group of new/old friends that evening. We did eat 3 times in the Bayou and once in Sabatini's. All meals were very good, I had the duck twice and it was a little over cooked on the one occasion, but still very tasty. Service was excellent. We did have a party of eleven once and when we got there for our reservation they said they could only seat a party of eight. We looked at the reservation book and it said 11, so they rearranged the tables and we had our group of 11. Way to go Bayou restaurant on the Island Princess! A great dinner was had by all. Sabatini's serving Alfredos Pizza for lunch was superb. Did that quite a few times. I did not do the Crab Shack, but really liked the Mongolian BBQ in the Horizon Court. The new layout for the Horizon Court worked very well, once everyone understood that you can just go to the area of food you want and not make a long line out the door. We did do a couple of Princess Excursions and two on our own. The Princess Excursions were good and well worth the money and piece of mind that the ship would wait for you if traffic or something held up the return. Two buses on a Princess excursion were held up by traffic and were then given a police escort back to the port. We did have to skip two ports, one was replaced and one just cancelled. This was due to mother nature, an earthquake near the one port and a hurricane on the other side of Mexico. This was all fine and Princess did what they could on the spur of the moment. All in all, a very good cruise. I can really find only one thing to complain about with Princess and their ship the Island Princess. I did miss the Skywalkers lounge and the Universe lounge for activities. I do not feel that removing these and making more cabins improved the facilities enough to warrant doing it. I will not sail on the Island again, but will choose the Coral in the future unless it is degraded to the Island's physical stature also. Our one major complaint is with the Spa. It is a contracted out operation to our complaint is with them not Princess. This was the worst experience we have had in a Spa on a Princess cruise. We will be very careful in the future on our use of the Spa. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We had a wonderful time on the 6-day Pacific Wine Coastal on Island Princess, Los Angeles to Vancouver. I had read the posts on the refurb and it took a little bit to maneuver the ship but I never found it annoying. You just adjust. ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the 6-day Pacific Wine Coastal on Island Princess, Los Angeles to Vancouver. I had read the posts on the refurb and it took a little bit to maneuver the ship but I never found it annoying. You just adjust. We did early traditional dining, which was at 5:15 p.m. (we signed up for 5:45 but it ended up being earlier). We normally don’t even get home from work until 6:15 so this was early for us but it allowed us to see the 7:30 pm show and my husband to be in bed around 10 (too early for me but he’s a creature of habit). I was afraid of the wait times for ATD given the posts for Island Princess. This early seating worked out well for us. Here’s my thoughts on the other things most people seem to want to know about a cruise: Food: We went on a Princess Alaska cruise several years ago and honestly, I don’t remember the food being as good as it was this time. I learned last time, if the waiter recommends something, go with that choice in the MDR and was sorry I didn’t heed my own advice all the time (can’t recommend the Curtis Stone seafood stew choice). I eat much more plant-based food since the last Princess cruise and was determined to order off the menu just to see if I could. Loved the Caesar salad (ordered with anchovies) and had it for my entrée twice (recommended by one of our table mates). If you are vegetarian, I’d recommend on the day they have the ratatouille and cheese tarts, skip the cheese tarts and order an entree sized ratatouille. It was very yummy! The buffet was great for breakfast and lunch with plenty of fresh fruit and salad options. And the Indian food was great as a plant-based option. There’s plenty for meat eaters and I must say I had lox every day we ate in the Horizon buffet for breakfast. We did the Ultimate Balcony Dining and I couldn’t pass up the lobster. It was very yummy and the service was exceptional but we were in San Francisco so the food got cold quickly on the balcony. Just keep that in mind if you are in a colder climate. But can you beat the view (Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco) and the experience was well worth the price. From other posts on the topic, I assumed they added the customary 18% gratuity to the bill, which they did not so we are glad we tipped the waiter extra at the end because he and his assistant truly deserved it for making it such a memorable experience. We also did Bayou Café. The food was great but I’d have to say the service was … meh. I’d like to think it’s because Lorna Luft and her husband along with a senior officer (I want to say it was the doctor) were at a table close by and got a lot of attention but honestly l’m not sure how much difference it made. The service was not bad but I certainly wouldn’t consider it good. Just so-so. I had the shrimp and my husband had the porterhouse and lobster. We really liked the food. The porterhouse was huge! Service: Excellent all around. Our cabin steward, Norman, was rarely seen but always kept the room spotless and could easily be found if needed. We always had the ice we needed for our before dinner drinks and he did a great job straightening up our cabin after our numerous midday naps. Joepep, our waiter was excellent and his assistant, Roland was great too. We loved the traditional dining experience (have done ATD the past couple cruises), loved our table mates, enjoyed meeting them and the nightly conversation. Princess has an after dinner $3 Irish cream shot (think Bailey’s) where you get a cute little souvenir shot glass. It’s great as a shot, on the rocks, or in your coffee and it’s so cool you can buy your table a round without breaking the bank. Joepep even cleaned and wrapped the shot glasses after dinner and found us a box on the last night to transport them home safely (they are in the dishwasher as we speak). Entertainment: EXCELLENT – Do not miss On the Bayou. It’s probably the best production show I’ve seen on a cruise ship. The comedian was good and I liked he wasn’t raunchy like how they are on short Carnival cruises. He definitely catered to the older crowd which made up his audience, which I really liked. The ventriloquist was very entertaining. All in all I’d say it’s the best entertainment I’ve experienced on a cruise ship. And since there were 500-600 passengers in transit from the Panama Canal cruise, there was never a problem getting a seat at the 7:30 show even if you arrived at 7:20. We totally enjoyed the naturalist’s talks – he was great and well qualified in terms of experience. I even got to see Star Wars Rogue One on the big screen so what more can you ask for! Cruise Director: Callie Smit is so funny. OMG loved him and his stories! He made the cruise fun. General comment: Others may slam Princess because the captain decided to miss the Astoria stop because the weather was terrible. We had two days of rough seas. But we are grateful he decided to put safety first. And it gives us a great excuse to plan another cruise so we can visit Astoria in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal and it embarked from our home city of Vancouver. Embarkation went smoothly but dis-embarkation took a while to get rolling but went smoothly once it started. Ship organized ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal and it embarked from our home city of Vancouver. Embarkation went smoothly but dis-embarkation took a while to get rolling but went smoothly once it started. Ship organized transportation to Fort Lauderdale airport was efficient and quick. The Island Princess is an older ship but was renovated not so long ago. There were no issues with the ship. Our balcony cabin was on the Aloha deck between midship and the stern and was quite roomy although the bathroom / shower are tight as everyone can attest to. We did anytime dining and ate dinner usually around 6.00pm. We shared a table and with the exception of 1 night when we had a wait of 45 minutes we were usually seated within a couple of minutes. The entertainment was top notch and varied. The activities were plentiful with choices for everyone. The service was very good in all areas - stateroom, dining, bar, medical clinic. We took shipboard excursions in Nicaragua (Visit to Granada which didn't live up to the expectations), Costa Rica (Aerial tram and river cruise was excellent), Grand Cayman (swim with the stingrays and snokelling was excellent). I don't think we would do it again as we have seen the canal now and the weather was very hot with extremely high humid and we found it quite draining. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This re-positioning cruise was perfect for us, as we only had to fly one way. We boarded in Vancouver, having taken the ferry over from Victoria. We had a lovely mini-suite (as we did previously on our cruise to Hawaii) and our cabin ... Read More
This re-positioning cruise was perfect for us, as we only had to fly one way. We boarded in Vancouver, having taken the ferry over from Victoria. We had a lovely mini-suite (as we did previously on our cruise to Hawaii) and our cabin steward was outstanding. We were at the aft end of the vessel (Island Princess) so there was some vibration from the propellers, but that's to be expected. I particularly like Deck 9 on the Princess ships (not sure why...but I always stay on Deck 9) The food of course was outstanding. The entertainment excellent. My only criticism would be that when we went for hors douvres in the lounge for Platinum and above, the music was awful. I looked around and I'd venture to say the average age was 70. So why were we subjected to the likes of Mylie Cirus screaming her head off? The DJ should have been more aware of the audience in the lounge and played "elevator music." The ports were all wonderful and the excursions fantastic. We even went zip-lining, and at age 67 for me and 78 for my friend (female) it was pretty gutsy! I found the announcements from the Captain were very difficult to understand. He spoke far too quickly and in a very heavy Italian accent. He obviously can't help his accent, but he should know that if he slowed down his delivery, he'd have had a much better chance of being understood. But all in all, a superb cruise again on Princess! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After spending a few pre-cruise days in Venice, we boarded the Island Princess, our first time with them so we were naturally wondering what we would find! The boarding was quite good, everything ran smoothly; the cabin was ready and ... Read More
After spending a few pre-cruise days in Venice, we boarded the Island Princess, our first time with them so we were naturally wondering what we would find! The boarding was quite good, everything ran smoothly; the cabin was ready and our luggage was placed inside shortly after. Cabin E710 is located at the back of the ship so it was quiet as there were not many passengers moving around in the corridors, but when the seas were rough there was a lot of movement and strong vibrations from both the propulsion and waves hitting the vessel. Room size was good, excellent balcony with an open view, very good storage and a small bathroom with a “very small shower” stall. The bathroom was the only drawback for this cabin, not at all suited for heavy set people; TV programming (movies, news, etc.) was first rate. We chose the “any time dining” option in the Bordeaux. To avoid delays or misunderstandings about table preferences we always reserved our table one day in advance but that didn’t always work out; so be prepared to assert yourself in order to sit where you want! The staff in general are super-duper; attentive, fast, cordial and very professional and there are so many that it is difficult to name one and not mention the others, so I will give the name of only one, that in a way, represents all of them. Gianni (Italy), the Food & Beverage Supervisor is a real professional, as well as being a very caring and honest person. But I can’t stop there without mentioning two fantastic Bordeaux waitresses; the first is Olena (Ukraine) she is one-of-a-kind, also the hostess at breakfast and lunch in the Provence; the second one is Lupita, a full-of-life Mexican who picks up the spirits of everyone. The food in the Bordeaux was excellent, with different offerings every night and many interesting choices. All dishes sampled were very tasteful - large portions, served good and hot. The specialty restaurant, Sabattini’s was also excellent, especially their steaks (!!!) as much as their pizza’s at lunch time when it becomes Alfredo’s pizza; as it’s complementary (don’t bother trying them at the Pool Pizza!) The other specialty restaurants (charges apply) are the Bayou and the Crab Shack; both menus are inclined towards the Cajun (New Orleans) food and were not of our liking. It seems that was the case for many others too, because we noted it was practically empty every night when we passed it on our way to dinner. The only time that we saw the place full was when they offered a complimentary ‘English Pub Menu’ lunch. It was really good, especially the fish and chips - so it’s not to be missed! However we were disappointed at not having other types of cuisine, such as a French Bistro or a Steakhouse. Another excellent place to have dinner is in the Horizon Buffet Restaurant (deck 14), the choices are tremendous, it’s up to you how much you eat (danger!) and the waiters are on the ready to serve you and bring you whatever you’d like to drink. Because many passengers are at the theater or in the other restaurants, the place is very tranquil at night, so you can sit where ever you wish. But another “danger” are all those pastries!!! Tremendous selection!! Lunch time there, could be easy, as long as you don’t go when tour buses are returning to the ship! Then it is, real chaos!! The other alternative for lunch is at the Provence (quite enjoyable) as much as their breakfast. Of course you have the Grill at the Pool (burgers, hotdogs. etc.), the Pizza counter, etc. Some of the conferences given such as, on WW2 naval battles were very interesting as were the three Culinary Classes given by Master Chef Alfredo Marzi!! The musical shows at the Theater were unimpressive; the bars we frequented were the Crooners (pianist/singer Oliver, great!) and the Wheelhouse were you were able to dance to live music, however many of the musicians were second rate with dubious vocal skills. The ship has a very good feature (as I believe all the Princess ships have), that is a pay Laundry room on each deck; the cost was $3 for washing and same for drying and if you didn’t need either you could use the steam iron for free. Sometimes boarding the tour busses was tranquil but more often than not it was quite upsetting and stressful. This happened mostly because many passengers were impolite and on many occasions quite rude, pushing their way to get first to the bus so they could get the seats they wanted (usually the front ones) and the same happened when leaving the bus. What was hard to believe was that most of these people were seniors who one would expect would be an example of civility and good manners; it is not the first time that happened to us and that’s why we have finally decided to do the tours on our own, to avoid extra stress. Unfortunately, what was, and will be, unavoidable are encounters with them at the Horizon Buffet. Hard to believe and harder to accept those daily occurrences at the Horizon Buffet! Fortunately, there are many other seniors that behave in a respectful, considerate, friendly and positive manner. It was quite shocking to see so many people in wheel chairs, walkers or canes! We’ve seen this on other cruises but never so many as on this one. And for that reason we got quite concerned when all of a sudden a larger and larger number of them were coughing and sneezing and looking under the weather; a few days later a Medical Alert was sent to each cabin advising on the steps to take to avoid its spread throughout the ship. They even offered Tamiflu injections! The Island Princess had been refurbished earlier in the year to mixed Cruise Critic reviews. But, from our point of view, the Exercise Room, though very well equipped is located inside without sea views, so it seems a crowded and unwelcoming place. The same goes for the Mini golf course, too enclosed and not designed for beginners. The library needs to be updated and is poorly located as many passengers walk through it as a link between forward and aft corridors. The other no-no was the $10 sale event! Wasn’t up to the standards that Princess wants to be or would like to be considered for. The overall experience with Island Princess was highly positive, thanks to the many excellent experiences we had that put aside the few negative ones. The restaurants are excellent, the food superb, very good maintenance of the ship, etc. and the BIG stars were their staff! We never ever, experienced so much attention and care, done always with an honest smile full of energy and good will. It is really a pity that it took us so long to discover Princess Cruise Lines!! But for certain, we will be back!! TOURS!!!! Here are the comments of the ones we’ve been on. 1st stop – Dubrovnik, Croatia – Tour taken: “Dubrovnik & Konavle Home Visit” Too long a ride (1+ Hr.) for a very unsavory tour with not much to see during the ride. Once there, we all got together on a big outdoor terrace where some grappa (hard stuff) was offered, some music played by a group of waiters and then off to a basement were long wooden tables were ready for us. In general the food was from good (prosciutto & cheeses) to very bad (pasta) and really bad (red wine); the same musicians were playing some music while eating. After that, back to the bus, another 1+ Hr ride and boarding the ship. Tour guide (a blond girl) was good but unapproachable. Wasn’t worth the price paid. 2nd stop – Salerno, Italy– Tour taken: “Sorrento on your own” 4Hrs 45’ Not having been there before, we chose Sorrento. Happy we did because it is a very enjoyable town with many outdoor cafes, restaurants, great shops, etc. It was a beautiful day so we had lunch on an outdoor patio facing the main Piazza (Square), food (pizza) was excellent and the wine divine!!! Restaurant’s name: Syrenuse Bar Ristorante in Via Sant’Antonino; food, wine, service and atmosphere were all excellent! Highly recommended! 3rd stop – Civitavecchia, Italy – No tours taken. This time we had the chance to know better the city that used to be a stopover before joining previous cruises, so we decided to go to shore on our own. Map in hand we started to walk around, discovering the place at our own pace. Surprisingly, we enjoyed it very much! 4th stop – Livorno, Italy – Tour taken: “Lucca” - 4 Hrs. We’ve never been into Lucca. Another great choice! Regardless there is no time for lunch at the end, being a sunny and warm day, we were able to sit in an outdoor café facing Saint Michele Square (bus drop-off/pick up point), where we enjoyed tremendously, a great Cappuccino and a fantastic ice cream cone. Needless to say, we are planning to go back and spend more relaxing time there. To make all this more perfect was the Tour guide, Isabella! Completely fluent in English, very knowledgeable who gave so many tips to all of us in case we would like to return! Isabella was the best Tour guide of all this cruise, no doubt about it. Do not miss Lucca!! And hope you meet her! 5th stop - Toulon, France – Tour taken: “Scenic drive to Bandol & Sanary-sur-mer 4.5 Hrs. After quite a very nice interior scenic drive we hit Bandol on the coast; sorry to say but it didn’t say much to us, so no comments. From there back along the coast, we reached Sanary-sur-mer around noon and are gladly able to tell you that it was a very nice town! Has all the attributes that so many of the Mediterranean fishing towns have. That is, all the flavours, sounds and smells of those places; we were lucky enough that we got there just when the fishing boats had arrived, so they were busy selling their catch of the day to the Sanary locals! We saw some people sitting around, eating freshly caught sea urchins the fishermen were selling – they eat them raw! There was an open market facing the esplanade selling a lot of food specialties, the harbor is beautiful with any type and size of boats; very nice restaurants and coffee shops with their patios open to the sea! Great town and great experience. Tour guide, double zero. 6th stop – Barcelona, Spain – No tour taken. Very well-known city for us, so we tried one thing that we hadn’t done before and that was the cable car (Telesferic) that goes from San Sebastian Tower (bus #64 in downtown takes you there- ticket $ 3 euros) all the way to Mount Montjuic; you will have the chance to take very good aerial pictures of Barcelona from up there. It is a bit pricy ($11 euros cash only, one way). Once on Mt. Montjuic, to get back to town you had to walk all the way down a very twisting and steep road till you reached a big avenue; doing this is not recommended, so we suggest the reverse trip, that is take a taxi from down town Barcelona, up to the entrance of the cable car at the top of Montjuic and once you arrive at the other end, you take bus #64 back to down town. Tired and hungry we got to the Ramblas, were we enjoyed a terrific, people-watching outdoor lunch!!! 7th stop – Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal – Tour taken: “Crater lakes, Sete cidades & wine tasting” 3Hrs 45’ Unfortunately, the weather didn’t help at all!! Cold, very windy and foggy! So there wasn’t much that we were able to see of the lakes, (formerly craters). The island’s vegetation was outstanding and we were sure that with the right weather would’ve been superb, as much as would’ve been the green and blue lakes. Fortunately, the tour ended on a very high note which was a wine tasting event twined with locally produced young cheese varieties and crackers. Really fantastic! But, the weather spoiled it! Otherwise this tour would’ve gotten really high marks! The tour guide was inconsequential. From there, we started our very, too long, crossing of the Atlantic (a general consensus). Anyway, we docked at Fort Lauderdale, very happy that we took this beautiful voyage with the fantastic Princess Cruise Line!!! See you soon!!!! Thank you so much for your patience! Have a great and happy trip!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We had a fabulous time, but I can certainly agree with other reviewers...time for refurbishing! Princess staff are all usually wonderful and it was definitely so this cruise too. We visited two of the specialty dining rooms, ... Read More
We had a fabulous time, but I can certainly agree with other reviewers...time for refurbishing! Princess staff are all usually wonderful and it was definitely so this cruise too. We visited two of the specialty dining rooms, Sabatini's and the Bayou Cafe & Steakhouse. Both were excellent. We actually went to Sabatini's twice! Read Less
Sail Date March 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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