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17 Princess Island Princess Repositioning Cruise Reviews

The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a ... Read More
The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a wait of about 30 minutes. when we got to our cabin we found it spotless and our luggage was outside our door. We had a wonderful lunch in the main dining room. Muster was at 3:30 and I love that we no longer have to lug life vests. One thing I did't like was a lot of deck space was removed as was a show lounge so they could add more cabins to the ship. However, despite the higher number of passengers, the ship rarely felt crowded except during show times and many trivia games. Club class dining had impeccable service. Many of the meals were very good but sometimes they weren't. the quality of meat has gone down. We had the best cabin steward. He was like a ghost but had our cabin refreshed twice a day and happily fulfilled any requests. You have to be careful with the ratings on tours. One "Easy" tour had more walking than I could do and I ended up spending most of it on the bus. The tour desk wasn't very considerate of physically challenged people. Favorite ports included the Panama Canal and Fuerte Amador, Punta Arenas Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, and Victoria BC. in Huatulco, there was a horrendous walk from the ship and two three wheel scooters that you could squeeze three people in to get to the shops and tour buses. I think after four times through the canal, it will be a long time before i do this again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Sailing south and going through the Panama Canal was a bucket list Item. Princess had a cruise that fit our time line so we booked it a year in advanced. Jade and Lucy the cruise director staff made the cruise such an enjoyable ... Read More
Sailing south and going through the Panama Canal was a bucket list Item. Princess had a cruise that fit our time line so we booked it a year in advanced. Jade and Lucy the cruise director staff made the cruise such an enjoyable experience. We laughed with them and had competitions with them. they could always be counted on for a smile and a warm and friendly hello. If going, plan on packing several suitcases as the dress code in the main dining area is VERY RESTRICTIVE. It got to the point where the head waiter dismissed me due to improper attire. ( collard shirt and dress shorts) I felt it was in poor taste.' Excursions into the ports were great and the staff was very helpful on boarding and embarking. Sea Days were fun with the steady games and dancing on board. Crazy and wacky game show type games entertained us along with the many bars lounges that were stocked with ample seating areas to enjoy meeting other passengers from around the world. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We choose this cruise as it was a short quick getaway with some nice stops along the way. Would of loved to have stayed longer in some of the cities, but I guess it would of added a couple more days on, which we wouldn't of minded. It ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was a short quick getaway with some nice stops along the way. Would of loved to have stayed longer in some of the cities, but I guess it would of added a couple more days on, which we wouldn't of minded. It was a smaller ship, which we like. The state rooms are cramped and washrooms need to be made bigger. The crew were friendly enough. I don't like the fact you have to buy all the fruit drinks after breakfast and one has to ask for different juice at breakfast, as all you push on us is orange juice. That coffee syrup you call coffee is awful. You should serve brewed coffee all day free, instead of having to buy a expensive coffee card to get brewed coffee and so many specialty coffee's. We seem to be Nickeled and Dimed continually on Princess. Gratuity cost of so much a day is illegal to charge. It's up to the passenger if he or she wishes to tip. The price of the cruise is only what needs to be paid and not us forced to help pay, over and above the wages they receive from you. The dining staff were good in working with me about what I could have or not or adjusting things so I could eat somethings. Ports were good we went to, but we could of stayed longer in some, as I said before. Activities were lacking or at the wrong time and the Captain Circle meet and greet, clashed with our dinner time, so we missed it and the first meet the crew and Captain in Mid ships we also missed because of dinner. Entertainment was good, but not always two shows, so it was rushed to get too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. The cabin we had was close to the Buffet and Theatre. Not so direct to the dining room though, as we had to take 2 different elevators to ket to it. The Dining Room Beef options were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. The cabin we had was close to the Buffet and Theatre. Not so direct to the dining room though, as we had to take 2 different elevators to ket to it. The Dining Room Beef options were very poor, fatty, dry, and tough. The Beef Tenderloin was tough and fatty, the prime Rib was just plain fatty and tough. Very disappointed in our dining experience. We were not the only ones complaint of the meat selections, it seemed to be a common discussion. The cabin boy was excellent, the Production shows were awesome. Itinerary was great. The buffet seemed to have the best food and menu options, no wonder there were so many empty tables as the cruise went on. Overall the service was great, just wish the ding experience would have been better. Will probably not use Princess again, we have much better experiences on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
> Getting on and off the ship was a breeze! The crew was wonderful! > Much of the entertainment included 2 new production shows I had not seen before! They were Wonderful! > Shore excursions are a little pricey, but there is ... Read More
> Getting on and off the ship was a breeze! The crew was wonderful! > Much of the entertainment included 2 new production shows I had not seen before! They were Wonderful! > Shore excursions are a little pricey, but there is comfort in knowing you are with an approved excursion company. Carteghena was the exception. Awful 5 hour day with no BIO break or water until the last 30 minutes! Very little bus time. It was unbelievably hot and humid ... my fault to sail so late through the Canal, but our tour guide didn't seemed concerned for the mostly over 70 group he was leading. NOT wonderful and Never again. > We enjoyed a nice standard balcony cabin with a good steward it all went pretty smoothly, Except when we didn't have air-conditioning. That was not wonderful. It happened twice -- we were miserable, and they tried to fix it as fast as they could, but ..... I can't ask for much more but the ship is getting old. The toilet seat was so beat up it looked like someone took a wire brush to it. The towels were ratty and old; the sheet were always pretty nice. But the Island Princess was looking her age on this trip. > Now you may be wondering why I keep using the word "wonderful" so often while I am writing this review. It is because I was WONDERING the entire trip WHAT is wrong with the dining room on the Island Princess ? It was a disaster. I have never seen such a confused and chaotic mess in my life, on any ship. Anytime Dining did not work. Tables were left vacant, while passengers were given electronic notifiers that you could finally go into the dining room. Many Traditional Diners were hosted in Bordeaux, but tables were not full and those folks often waited 20 - 30 minutes to get table companions and start dinner. The CLUB CLASS dining area in Bordeaux was usually less that 10% full, and no one was ever seated there except CLUB CLASS. Service was slow and spotty; rarely did we see a 2nd waiter; ordering a cocktail or bottle of wine could add a half hour to dinner time which was always more than 2 hours, which made it complicated to see a show in the Princess Theatre. Food was good, but spotty. Sometimes the meat would be hot the potatoes cold. Sometimes the Asparagus as hard as a rock, and the potatoes mushy. Getting a reservation, even if you called first thing in the morning it's nearly impossible. I was never able to do it but I did make a few people who did. It didn't seem to matter whether we came at 5:15 630 or 7 o'clock I was confused and chaotic mess. We thought about asking to go over to traditional dining, but were told it was impossible; the Plan was set. We met many passengers however, who did exactly that. Different rules for different people I guess. About half of the cruise we spent having dinner at Horizons. Not enough wait staff there either. Tables are left dirty for an hour, sometimes making it difficult to find a table. Often Horizons might be taken up with the Crab Shack specialty dining. Again fewer tables, less wait staff. Again great deal of mismanagement that I'm not a custom to on Princess. YES, we will cruise again with Princess, but won't be able to rave about they quite the way I used to. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We always wanted to go through the Panamacanal and i choose Princess, because the sailing dates fitted our plans best. The Island Princess is a small, older but nice kept vessel. Our fellow passengers were at an average in their at ... Read More
We always wanted to go through the Panamacanal and i choose Princess, because the sailing dates fitted our plans best. The Island Princess is a small, older but nice kept vessel. Our fellow passengers were at an average in their at least mid sixties. We - age 50 and 48 -were way below the average age, but this did not bother us at all. Most people we talked to, were well travelled and had wonderful stories to tell about their experiences. And with 8 seadays out of 15 nights in total. There was a lot of time to have a nice conversation. The embarkation was not as good as we had - with other cruise lines before. You had 2 stops, because your photo for the shipID was not taken at the embarkation in the building, but at the entrance of the ship, this caused another line! Our Cabin C404 was nice, but not clean. We found leftovers from passengers in the drawers and in the bathroom ( used Q-tips!) and the balcony was really ugly with food in the tiles on the floor. As other passengers wrote before, the bathroom and shower are small and a shower curtain is nothing anyone likes these days. The aircondition blew on one side of the bed, but we used a small towel to block that corner of the air outlet and then it was fine. We arranged all our excursions on our own and went in groups of 4 with two friends, who travelled with us or had fellow passengers join us - arranged on the roll call. In that case we were 6 or 10 alltogether. The canal day was perfect, the lecturer was really good and provided us with the information. We spend part of the day on our balcony or walked the outdoor decks to have different perspectives. Anytime dining worked ok most days, but i think that Princess could improve here. Food was really good and we got really good service. The entertainment was ok, we had better before, but we did not expect that much from princess, so we were not really disappointed. One thing about the ship was really BAD!! The only shady loungers were around the pool area, but there you had to stand the incredible noise from either bands, DJ or the always running Movies under the stars. Very, very loud. And it should be named Movies all day long. We liked it at night, watched 3 movies there, but i had to use earplugs. Disembarkation was very well organized! Better than other cruise lines! Wemoght choose princess again - depending on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our fourth cruise overall and the second with Princess. The full Canal Transit was our main reason for going, which left few options in our choice of ship. Complaints have been made here about the Island Princess, but on the whole ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise overall and the second with Princess. The full Canal Transit was our main reason for going, which left few options in our choice of ship. Complaints have been made here about the Island Princess, but on the whole we found her quite enjoyable. She is a bit aged, that´s true, but still elegant and comfortable. The Island is considerably smaller than Sapphire Princess, which we used on the Grand Asia Tour of 2015. This made it easier to find our way around but also created a crowded feeling from time to time. This must have two main reasons: 1. The addition of cabins/passengers and the closing of public areas made in the last overhaul. 2. The faulty system of Anytime dining ("Sometime dining…?"). The Atrium, the Theatre and the whole aft part of the ship suffered most from this crowdedness. In the canal transit, the lack of good viewpoints from the aft was particularly evident as almost all open decks there have been replaced by private balconies. The closing of the International Café in the Atrium is also regrettable. The replacement bar/café down there, ”La Patisserie”, enabled use of our coffee cards, but offered only occasional sandwiches and no gluten free choices (despite several requests; we had to go up in the Horizon to get any pastries at all with our coffee). I agree with previous posters that something has to be done in the Anytime dining room, "Bordeaux". For our part, we simply adjusted to the matters of fact and rarely went near the place before 7.30 pm. If we wanted to eat earlier, we could bypass the long lines in the Atrium by making a reservation on the phone. This was quite easy to do, but in my opinion contradicts the whole idea of Anytime dining. That said, we enjoyed the main advantage with the Anytime system, which is the opportunity to meet new people allt the time. Usually we gladly accepted to share a table, which both shortened our waiting time and involved us in nice chats over the meals. The food in the dining room was generally of good quality and variation. One of us has celiac disease, and got adequate daily guidance from the head waiter, Vincente, showing and explaining tomorrow’s menue. The need of gluten free food was the main reason for our having almost all dinners in the dining room. For breakfasts and lunches, we generally used the buffet in Horizon court. The quality there was almost as good, but we did notice some sloppy food handling by other passengers at the buffet. However, breakfasts and lunches in the dining room were simply too slow for us. Our embarkation in Port Everglades and debarkation in Vancouver (including airport transfer) were flawless. Logistics also seemed to work fine in ports with smooth transfers to excursions. The service on board was excellent and the production shows we saw in the Theatre were very good, with an extra mark for "On the Bayou". The itinerary could have been better. Some of the port calls were simply too short, particularly the half day rush in Aruba. Generally, the ship should arrive early in the morning and not leave before 8 or 9 pm. We also had four consecutive sea days between Mexico (Puerto Chiapas) and Los Angeles, which was at least one too many. (Things didn´t improve when the captain, due to a heavy storm outside San Francisco, had to cancel the planned stop in Astoria, Oregon.) We purchased this cruise as a trip from Ft Lauderdale to Vancouver and were really surprised to find out that we actually were taking two cruises, the first one ending in Los Angeles. The transit was smooth enough – both cruise cards and account were continued on the next leg – but we talked to some other passengers who would have enjoyed continuing up to Canada and, eventually, Alaska but had not got the opportunity to do so. Ports Oranjestad, Aruba We used the very short time to take a Princess tour around the island, ending on Eagle beach. Really not very much to see here apart from the lovely beaches. Cartagena, Colombia Princess tour ”Highlights of Cartagena, Fortress & Las Bovedas”: Steaming hot and interesting, at least if you haven´t seen any town in South America before. Canal Transit The weather was excellent and this part of our cruise met all expectations. Very good commentaries all day in public areas and on stateroom TV from port expert Humberto. Puerto Amador (Panama City) Honestly there wasn´t much to see here, so this stop is dispensable. Probably a night tour after the Canal transit would be enough. Furthermore, our full day Princess tour, ”Colonial Panama & Miraflores Locks Observation Center”, was completely ruined by a miserable guide. You could hardly hear what he said and if you did, you couldn´t understand his accent. Puntarenas, Costa Rica Princess tour ”Scenic Train Ride & River Cruise”. The train ride was so and so with the best views of the countryside on the train’s left side. The river cruise was much bette with several crocodiles and many different birds to see. Good refreshment stop with fruit and drinks. Puerto Chiapas, Mexico Princess tour ”Banana Farm & Community Exploration” was a highlight of our cruise. A good and knowledgeable guide took us to a small town where we visited a local school, met and talked to many of the children in their classrooms (they hade come voluntarily on a Saturday) and finally enjoyed a fine dance performance. The banana farm was also very interesting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our 2nd time on Island Princess. Overall it was a wonderful cruise. Cruise Director, Calli Smit and his team were outstanding especially Sandi and Heather and Mattie. The only downer were minor and had to do with food. The ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on Island Princess. Overall it was a wonderful cruise. Cruise Director, Calli Smit and his team were outstanding especially Sandi and Heather and Mattie. The only downer were minor and had to do with food. The gravy and other sauces were watery. The noon-time pizza in Sabatinis left much to be desired. The matre d in Sabinitins need a class on being a congenial host. However the Crab Shack evening was very nice and the food was exceptional. Congratulations to the captain and crew who got us through a terrible storm safely. The other area for improvement would be to train the port crew on what the Bon Voyage package is. We had purchased this package for our daughter and every crew member we mentioned it to at the port looked at us like we had two heads. We embarked at Fort Lauderdale. Disembarkation was extremely well organized and ran like clockwork. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We choose this cruise because going through the Panama Canal had always been something we'd wanted to do. Although this is listed as a 15 day cruise we actually got on in Vancouver which made it 18 days. Vancouver is a great city to ... Read More
We choose this cruise because going through the Panama Canal had always been something we'd wanted to do. Although this is listed as a 15 day cruise we actually got on in Vancouver which made it 18 days. Vancouver is a great city to visit. It's pedestrian friendly with many great things to see and places to eat. Overall this was an excellent cruise. I'll hit the negatives first and they really involve moving people on and off the ship. When we arrived in San Francisco the majority of those who got on in Vancouver were getting off to be replaced by those doing the 15 day cruise. Many of us doing the 18 days had excursions scheduled in SF. We were way late in getting off the ship and to our excursion and since we had to be back for sailing the excursion was cut short. In fairness, Princess refunded some of our excursion fee. Still, it seemed to me Princess should have had a good idea how long it would take to get people off the ship. They blamed customs but again time should have been managed to cope with delays most might expect to happen. Perhaps those with excursions should have been let off first. I'd have been quite willing to go early if it meant getting the entire excursion. This happened to a lesser extent when we tendered in to Nicaragua. We ended up with less excursion time. The planning could have been better. But in life things happen and it didn't ruin our cruise. My other real gripe was when we were leaving a port and there was a party up top hosting by some guy called DJ Delight. This was at night and the music was unbelievably loud. We were two decks down and mid ships and it was loud even in our room Even with a pillow over my head I could feel the thumping of the music. This happened only once so I'm hoping there were complaints and they corrected it. Having said all this we were very happy with the cruise. Service was outstanding. I'm always impressed by how hard working the staff is. Our cabin steward, Nelson, did a great job. The quality of the staff was very good throughout the trip. The food was outstanding. We mostly ate in the Bordeaux for dinner and ate in the sit down restaurants as often was we could. The buffet is fine and is good for quick meals but the sit down offers a more relaxed experience, plentiful choices, and the chance to interact with other passengers. The things to do on the ship were what you'd expect. If you like to do enrichment or like to party on into the night it's there for you. There were shows to attend as well. There were very informative sessions about upcoming ports that we found very helpful. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. So, I heartily recommend the Island Princess and her crew. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was the third Princess cruise for my husband & I. We travelled to the embarkation port (Vancouver, BC) by Amtrak, staying in Seattle, WA and Vancouver prior to embarkation. The island Princess is looking a little worn in ... Read More
This was the third Princess cruise for my husband & I. We travelled to the embarkation port (Vancouver, BC) by Amtrak, staying in Seattle, WA and Vancouver prior to embarkation. The island Princess is looking a little worn in several places, but was very clean. One thing I noticed was an ongoing mildew odor in the corridors located midship. We did not eat in the dining room. Instead we ate at the Bayou Cafe, Sabatinis, & the buffet. Evey call made to room service was filled quickly I cannot recommend the Bayou Cafe. The steak we ordered was more than half fat/gristle/bone. It was one of the worst steaks I have ever eaten. Fortunately, the meals we had at Sabatinis (dinner & breakfast) were good. The buffet offered less itiems, but they were of a better quality.than previous cruises. We didnot particiapte in any activites/entertainment. The only feature i used was the thermal suite. Although it is smaller than what i expected, I enjoyed the experience. The customer service was what made this cruise. All the crew members i encountered were friendly and helpful The only bad note was that we waited 3 hours to dismbark. This was the worst dismbarkation experience I have ever had. I probably wouldn't sale this ship again unless it was assigned a new itinerary Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We recently went on a repositioning cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale with stops in Victoria, San Francisco, Cabo San Lucas, San del Sur, Puntarenas, Panama, Cartagena and Grand Cayman. The leg between San Francisco and Cabo San ... Read More
We recently went on a repositioning cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale with stops in Victoria, San Francisco, Cabo San Lucas, San del Sur, Puntarenas, Panama, Cartagena and Grand Cayman. The leg between San Francisco and Cabo San Lucas felt very long with the three sea days. We were late getting to our excursion in Cabo due to bad weather, so were unable to see much of the port itself. Overall, the service onboard was good, met some great bar staff that went over and above, along with our room steward. Passenger services were unhelpful and a little arrogant (one in particular) telling us different information than their counterpart. One of the head waiter in the MDR was amazing, although the rest of the staff not so much. The further south we went, the ship took on a strange smell in the elevators, possibly due to the humidity, but it was pretty foul. The Captain and his crew were awesome, polite and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Island was repositioning from Vancouver to Ft. Lauderdale and offered a three day segment from Vancouver to San Francisco. Since I live in the SF Bay Area my friend and I thought it would be a fun getaway. We splurged on a Suite ... Read More
The Island was repositioning from Vancouver to Ft. Lauderdale and offered a three day segment from Vancouver to San Francisco. Since I live in the SF Bay Area my friend and I thought it would be a fun getaway. We splurged on a Suite C703. Flew to Vancouver on Monday 9/12 and stayed in the Residence Inn on Hornby Street. Loved the hotel and the location. Full kitchen, large room and well located. Breakfast was included. We spent Monday evening and all day Tuesday walking around, shopping and eating. We took the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tuesday with a pick up outside the hotel. Loved seeing Stanley Park and Granville Island. On Wednesday we walked and shopped some in the morning and then took a cab to Canada Place. Check in went quickly as we are both Platinum and Suite Passengers. I received my Elite card when I checked in - Yippee!! We had just settled down in the "lounge" when we were whisked on board. Straight to our stateroom. Caribe Deck 10 Aft. Very comfortable and large. Loved the extra large balcony. Since this was a repositioning short term cruise the service was inconsistent. We didn't get our coffee cards delivered until three trips to the Service Desk. We didn't meet our steward until late in the afternoon but we dropped our carry on and went straight to the Dining Room for lunch and then walked around. After muster I still had no luggage but I had a nice note from Security to come see them about my luggage. They did not like my power strip and took it away. Lots of people were down there getting appliances removed. First time in 29 years that has happened to me. Our Steward had just been reassigned to our floor and suites so he was figuring it out. He worked hard to make us happy. We had Anytime Dining. NEVER AGAIN. Long lines to get a pager, then long waits to get a table. I know I could have made reservations but I couldn't quite figure that out. So we went to Sabatini's the first night. Once again I was underwhelmed. I liked the food, but the service was sketchy and the head waiter was not thrilled to have us. We felt that way at Breakfast too the one day we ate there. The second night we had reservations at the Bayou Cafe and it was fabulous. Lots of great, innovative dishes, great service, it has a bar with a dance floor and entertainment during dinner so it was a nice change. The last night we had dinner with friends we made on the ship and waited the hour for a table for 10. They were continuing on the 15 day cruise and were going to ask about late seating set dining as they were unhappy with Anytime as well. We had lunch in the Dining Room everyday and once again they seemed to be surprised by how many people were trying to eat there. I think they were getting used to the new flow given Alaska being so port heavy and not a lot of people on board during the day. Took Pilates and Yoga both morning for $12 each. Great classes with a good instructor. Did two spa services which I love. I use Elemis products so the upsell stopped as soon as I said that. With limited time in Victoria we went to the Royal BC Museum which has a great First Nations Exhibit. Since we had done a lot of shopping in Vancouver we didn't shop in Victoria. Disembarkation was a nightmare. Everyone on the three day was expected to walk off with their luggage. We were assigned groups based on our cabin location but Suite/Elite/Platinum were sent to a separate lounge. Rather than having us disembark as a group behind tours and early flights they waited until our groups were called. I had never seen this. They also did not provide tags so the crew did not know if you were telling the truth about your group. The ship took an hour to clear before they allowed groups to leave and then everyone rushed the gangplank. No checking no order. The in transit passengers did not understand that they needed to fill out a form and sign it so Customs got irritated and shut down for 45 minutes to clear the hall. We got off at 11. Poorly handled logistics by Princess. But I was home by 11:30 with no flying and not jet lag. A nice break Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to transit the Panama Canal. The canal experience was wonderful and very worthwhile. The ship itself is dated and needs some work. The port of Aruba was a very short visit, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to transit the Panama Canal. The canal experience was wonderful and very worthwhile. The ship itself is dated and needs some work. The port of Aruba was a very short visit, only a few hours, same for Colombia. Costa Rica was nice, so was Cabo San Lucas. We did not get to visit Nicaragua, as the seas were rough and tendering was not safe. That being said, many people were disappointed that another port was not offered, or docking early in Cabo San Lucas. The Princess Patter had the times wrong on a couple occasions, causing guests to miss activities: the rum tasting was posted at 2:30, but when we arrived at 2:15, it was almost finished, no apologies given. They "raffle" you to death in the Jewelry Boutique. They insist that everyone crowd into the store, which was hot and stuffy. They had a big sale (selling off the souveniers and trinkets from past cruises) that was basically junk. They really promoted their "Voice of the Ocean", which is a glorified karaoke contest, modeled after the television show. The grand finale was on the last evening at 8pm. We had late seating for dinner, and would have missed it, had it not been for our head waiter, who offered us a seat in the same section at 5:30. Poor planning. It should be held when everyone had a chance to attend. Last, but not least, I had a major complaint about several guests who habitually arrived late for the theater performances. They climbed over people to get a seat and were very rude and disruptive. I did file a complaint with the passenger services department, they should prohibit entry after the show has started. The staff was very friendly and our room was comfortable. To many sea days for us - 8. There was just not enough to keep us busy and would think twice about taking a cruise with that many sea days again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Although we'd previously visited some of these ports/countries in past independent travel, this was our first repositioning/ Transatlantc cruise. The refurbished rooms on the Island Princess were an improvement over what we remembered ... Read More
Although we'd previously visited some of these ports/countries in past independent travel, this was our first repositioning/ Transatlantc cruise. The refurbished rooms on the Island Princess were an improvement over what we remembered from our Panama Canal cruise on the same ship last year. The wall-mounted flat screen TV & slight improvements to the bathroom gave an updated look. Some changes to the ship weren't positive, such as the smaller fitness center & the elimination of both the Universe Lounge, and the bigger pastry counter usually found on Deck 6. We always enjoy the port lectures in the theater, but here, the gentleman who served as port lecturer had a more limited role. Being in port on many consecutive days, the majority of his lectures were just recorded & shown on stateroom TV. And because he disembarked in Barcelona, there was no lecture given at all for our last port, the Azores. At many of the ports, Princess charged a high fee to get into the town via shuttle or boat, such as $29.00 to get into Venice. Any available , cheaper options were neither explained by the port lecturer or described in the Patter. The one free shuttle bus that was offered, in Salerno, was little used because so many of the tours ran late. We really enjoyed our tour that day, visiting Mt. Vesuvius & Pompeii, but were dismayed by some of the inconsiderate passengers. At both locations, people did not rejoin the group at the appointed time. At Pompeii, someone disappeared so the rest of us were left mlliing around while the tour guide looked for the wayward person for over half an hour, with no communication to the rest of the group. For the premium cost of these excursions, it seems that the cruise should build in some compliance by the participants, or at least stress punctuality.The days at sea were enjoyable, although there was a lot of congestion related to the dining rooms. People lined up in the evening before the Bordeaux dining room even opened, but were still given beepers. And at 5:45, some of the "anytime" diners were taken up to the Provence dining room (fixed seating.) It seems this system needs serious revamping. Delays in dining made it difficult to get to the shows in many cases, too. On the positive side, the cruise director & staff seemed very hard-working and energetic . Many people depended on reading to get through the long days at sea, and the Library collection on Deck 8 really is in need of updating. Looking at the book titles was like a throwback to the 1990's. But all in all,we enjoyed the cruise and all of the ports. We were very lucky to have excellent weather, with daytime temperatures in the 60'S and 70's. In spite of this nice weather, many people were coughing and sneezing, and a letter on respiratory illness was issued to all by the Medical Center, which was a bit daunting. We did learn to look for the "non- coughing" area at events! For the most part, we had an enjoyable time and felt that the crew and staff were hard working and available to passeners.Disembarkation was handled smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date November 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 June 2015
Our third Atlantic crossing, and the second time on Island Princess (Other time to Alaska). Island Princess is very stable, even in high winds and moderate seas, so no problems with seasickness for me (Mrs. K. likes rough seas-go ... Read More
Our third Atlantic crossing, and the second time on Island Princess (Other time to Alaska). Island Princess is very stable, even in high winds and moderate seas, so no problems with seasickness for me (Mrs. K. likes rough seas-go figure!). Unfortunately, my allergies acted up, as did those of other passengers I spoke to. More than one crew member said that there was so much dust on the ship that it could no longer be cleaned thoroughly. Since I have never been bothered on a cruise before, I hope the drydock and re-fitting will ameliorate the situation for future cruisers. Closing the Universal Lounge and having parties like the Captain's Circle in the dinky atrium was a BAD idea! Acoustics are terrible for an amplified band and announcers/speakers; too many people were jammed into too small a space and spread over four decks. Closing the Universal also meant that entertainment venues and entertainers were halved. Since I've seen the same dance shows on other cruises, it would have been nice to see another entertainer. Fortunately, the indoor pool on the Lido was available for late evening swims and hot tubbing. The shows I did attend ranged from pretty good to outstanding. Being a late riser, I took my breakfast in the Horizon Lounge most days. A beautiful room with consistently good food in great variety, and attentive wait staff who were always ready to help find seating, clear used plates and replenish drinks. Dinners were as we have come to expect from Princess: wonderful entrees, knowledgeable, friendly wait staff, and multiple desserts! We dined in the Provence dining room, second seating, which we much prefer to anytime dining. Second seating allows time to return from shore excursions and get ready for dinner, then go watch a show. However, when second seating was moved to 7:30 pm, showtimes should also have been moved 1/2 hour earlier, as there is now too much down time between dinner and show. Shore excursions were a mix of ship run, and private hires. My traveling companions did most of the planning, and I got to enjoy. I have always found Princess tours to be well run, although our Venice walking tour almost ended up as something else when we got the wrong tour stickers from staff. Fortunately, an alert crew member recognized the mistake and got everyone into the correct groups. The private tours, in small vehicles, can go places that tour busses can't. We were the first ones into the Gates of Pompei when they opened in the morning! I will always treasure my pictures of Vesuvius overlooking the ruins with not a single human being in the pictures! Madiera was a surprise; everything either up or down from wherever you happened to be! People having to take an elevator up a cliff from their seashore homes to get to work and school. Switchbacks and a superhighway blasted around and through the island. A 500 meter drop through a glass floor to the ocean! I would have enjoyed a few days on this island! It is hard to go wrong in cities like Venice, Rome, Barcelona and Naples, whatever tour you take. One highlight for me was the wonderful church of La Sacrada Famiglia in Barcelona. Inside and out, perhaps the most beautiful building I have ever seen. Graceful and elegant natural lines, and glowing, multi-colored light through the stained glass windows made this an experience I will remember. I've wanted to see the Roman Pantheon since seeing black and white pictures of it in a grammer-school textbook. Still beautiful, after 2000 years! The Colesseum. Imagine standing in the Christian end-zone and watching the Goth home team pouring onto the field through the opposing goal posts! One quibble with Princess is the sports deck. I love to play basketball. On this trip I found a few other old men who also enjoyed playing, every sea day! Princess, to save their lives, cannot seem to set up a basketball court properly! I know this will not affect many members of Cruise Critic, but indulge me, please. It does not cost any more to hang a basket exactly ten feet above the floor, than it does to place it nine feet, or eleven feet! It would be no problem to hang the protective netting around the court high enough so that a normal shot doesn't hit it. Painting a foul line fifteen feet away from the basket is no more difficult than painting it seventeen feet away, etc.! Please, Princess, next time you put a basketball court on a ship, consult an NCAA rule book, which will give you all the dimensions you need, and save all the guesswork. Locate a tape measure and go to town. You got it right on Sun and Dawn Princesses, but not on any other Princess ship I've been on. As far as travel to and from the ship is concerned, it was on airlines, so it sucked. Stand in long lines to be hassled, run from one terminal to another, stand in another interminable line, sit for hours in a chair that was designed to hold a 3/4 scale size human; repeat at the next airport. When it is all over, pray your suitcases will appear in some semblance of intactness on the baggage carousel of broken dreams... Yes, I would travel Island Princess again. At least some of the problems and annoyances seemed to be due to the ship's need of refurbishing. Other than the staff failing to explain that the $29 water taxi tickets in Venice were unnecessary, and that the Barcelona shuttle buses back to the ship were free if you had purchased an excursion package, the staff service was extremely good. Although onboard activities that suited my own tastes were not plentiful, I was able to find lots to do, including getting several books from the ships library, and sitting on the Lido deck, alternately napping, reading and swimming! Actually, floating in the pool is more my style. I did it every day; outside whenever it was warm enough. I guess I'm just easy to please. A pool/hot tub, a basketball court, books and a chair, and I'm ready to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Time just flew going across the Atlantic for the first. There was lots of things to do and plenty of down time when I wanted it. The food was amazing on the ship. The nightly entertainment was very professional and talented. The library ... Read More
Time just flew going across the Atlantic for the first. There was lots of things to do and plenty of down time when I wanted it. The food was amazing on the ship. The nightly entertainment was very professional and talented. The library was well stocked and people left their magazines for others to read. Tried the treadmill and those were great. My husband was surprised when he went to play basketball and there were actually four or five other men who liked to play too. Ladt cruise there was no one to play with so he won all the metals. He had competition on this one. Even though the ship was showing wear and tear, the staff more than made up for it. I never felt so catered to. We had the mini suite and there was plenty of room. The only thing I wish was that we had longer in Rome and Venice. 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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