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222 Los Angeles Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews

We truly enjoyed our cruise. That being said, Island Princess is OLD and tired. We do enjoy the smaller ships, but in the future because how Princess manages these smaller ships and offers lesser quality food, music, activities and we ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our cruise. That being said, Island Princess is OLD and tired. We do enjoy the smaller ships, but in the future because how Princess manages these smaller ships and offers lesser quality food, music, activities and we feel lower quality staff, we will not be returning to the Island. My primary observations: No electrical by bed. Had to request extension cord and run across cabin. Trip hazard. Daily activity flyer, print too small. Cruise director & staff superficially friendly. If asked for a more in depth answer, they get surly. Beds are very nice. Towels are the quality of a cheap hotel. Toilet paper and facial tissues are bargain basement quality. Why did the balcony rail and deck need to be stained and sealed during my passage? Received notice after several days into cruise that our balcony would not be accessible during the canal crossing. Why did we pay the premium for a balcony or when booking New Princess Net is pretty good. But, expect to have spotty service during rain and/or fog. In cabin TV. The presentation of the channels and guide is very hard to figure out and know what is on and how to select. Bridge cam is out of focus and has been since we've been monitoring in preparation for our cruise. 3 months. Horizon buffet. Restaurant management not engaging with customers. At every meal on the horizon, 50% of tables had no salt shakers. Weird. Maritime crew not friendly. Large wall posters advertising light snacks at the Patisserie and coffee bar. Yet, no food available at the patisserie coffee bar. Apparently, a coffee bar has been added to the casino where the food has been moved to with no mention to the passengers. Just sweet buns. Front desk/passenger customer service – these ladies are life savers answering questions and solving problems that better management would have prevented from ever happening. Eve & Belen helped me many times and had a delightful attitude. Cruise director & staff – bubbly, but if asked for some help, or to resolve an issue, not so interested. When met outside of an activity, quite distant and unfriendly. Morning coffee and afternoon wine at La Patisserie – Fabian and Ana will always be remembered. Ship's climate control - The ship appears to be 5 separate compartments, connected into 1 master vessel. The temperature and humidity can vary quite noticeably between these sections of the ship. There are no clocks in the rooms. Things Princess does not mention, but passengers should know. The shops, casino, spa, etc. are not Princess operated. They are leased operations. Besides being considerably more expensive than similar State-side businesses, if you have any issues with products needing warranty service, you must go to the vendor, not Princess. $5 for a tube of Pringles? Insulting. Gambling. There is no gaming commission overseeing operations as you find on land casinos. Payouts for slot machines and table games are at the discretion of the casino and yes, not as favorable as popular casinos such as Las Vegas. Some have noticed that the slot payouts are favorable on day 1 or 2 on the cruise to excite the passengers and then lowered for the remainder of the cruise. ADA - The doors to many places on the Island Princess ship, unlike the newer Princess ships I've been on are not only not auto-open, and are very hard to open, even for non-wheelchair use passengers. One of the greatest benefits of Princess vs. other Lines are the self-service laundries. Unfortunately, there is a 3" transition into them so this service is totally inaccessible to a wheelchair. Food - I do not know if it is the age of the ship, the itinerary, the Chef or what, but as compared to the Regal & Emerald, the menu is far less exciting, the meat quality is lesser and the wait time for food delivery diminishes the dining experience. Wine – we expect to pay 2x retail as in most restaurants. 4 times retail is insulting. Princess tries to convince us that they are concerned about the environment by suggesting we should use our bath towels for many days, yet the amount of single use beverage containers and paper products at buffet wash stations is far more wasteful. Does Princess ever mention the $40 million dollar fine for Illegal Ocean dumping and 9 probation violations? Future Cruise Dept. - I do not understand the benefit to the passenger for this onboard department. I was interested in an Alaska cruise for 2021. Princess had not published the itineraries yet or which ships will be in use. The staff person could not or would not put me an email list to let me know when they were known. Her suggestion was to check with a travel agent. Pretty sad. We have found that the daily activities on the Island are sparse during the day as compared to our other Princess cruises. Activities such as trivia and marriage match game are not scheduled until later in the day. The live music in the various lounges and Plaza are noticeably poorer quality than previous cruises on other Princess ships. Shows - The band is pretty good. Princess advertises 'Las Vegas" style shows. Makes me think that they have never seen Vegas or NYC shows. They are nice, but more like high school talent show quality. There is nothing wrong with them, but be more honest as to the offerings. The musicians in different lounges and plaza were not the quality I’ve come to expect from Princess. Our other Princess ships had a dedicated pizza restaurant. Very nicely prepared. Santorini's offers pizza a few times per cruise. No better than the pizza on the pool deck and no servers with a 'tude' to deal with. The Ocean App. Why can't the lunch and dinner menus be post there? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cleanliness and quality of furnishings needs serious help. I have cruised with Princess 6 previous times and have never had a ship or staff like this. It was as if no one cared from the company to the staff. I have generalized staff in ... Read More
The cleanliness and quality of furnishings needs serious help. I have cruised with Princess 6 previous times and have never had a ship or staff like this. It was as if no one cared from the company to the staff. I have generalized staff in that statement but there was some good people of course but more rude, abrupt and uncaring staff than good. This includes some higher ranking staff like store managers. I would not recommend this ship to anyone. The itinerary was great although not all the excursions lived up to their write ups. Our cabin must have a service area behind it because the noise thru the walls was awful day and night. The casino is tiny and has outdated machines with a very small smoking area. The area on deck 15 for smokers has no cover from sun or rain and wind. The only other place was the cigar lounge of 12 seats with 0 air conditioning and a portable air exchange that was plugged in. Not a single fan. Most times it was standing room only. The furniture is horribly worn, the walls need washing as well as the windows inside and out. No one does anything but empty the ashtrays a few times a day. I meant to take a picture of the total lack of cleaning on this ship as it was everywhere. To get a drink you had to go to the bar and order it as there was no staff around to order from. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have sailed with Princess many, many times and am at the highest level on loyalty classification. I have been spoiled by my last sailings on the Royal and Regal for my last three times. We chose the Panama Canal transit since we ... Read More
I have sailed with Princess many, many times and am at the highest level on loyalty classification. I have been spoiled by my last sailings on the Royal and Regal for my last three times. We chose the Panama Canal transit since we haven't done that recently and was going to stop in ports that we have been before. I knew that the Island Princess is much smaller that Royal or Regal, but was looking forward anyway to a smaller ship experience. First disappointment - at dinner on the first night I showed my coffee card which I had from my last cruise in 2018. The jr waiter said they didn't accept them anymore. What? I thought maybe she misunderstood. Until the next day when I went down to the La Patissere and the waiter there explained that these cards were discontinued in August of this year. I spoke to numerous people on board and friends at home who knew nothing about this issue. You would think this would be communicated via email to people with high loyalty status. Of course they were pushing a beverage package that contained coffee, soda, beer with a significant fee per day. No - not interested. Second disappointment - the air conditioning on this ship needs to be re-evaluated. The dining room was FREEZING. You had to bring a jacket or a sweater (who packs a sweater on a Panama Canal transit). The Explorer Lounge was FREEZING. Our cabin was a little warm - spoke to our Room Steward who said it was fixed - but it wasn't. As long as the ship was moving it was bearable. Once the ship docked - it was extremely warm. Don't know why they include duvets in the cabin - never used it and folded it down every night. Third disappointment - The casino was HOT - I mean extremely HOT - the only comfortable areas were by the doors or the walkway. The casino had an odd configuration - which makes me think that it was modified in some way - whoever planned that - didn't take into consideration the AC vents. At night, it was unbearable. I once brought a fan which I had picked up at a Mexican port so that I could use it at the casino. Fourth disappointment - We were told that the seas were rough due to a tropical storm in the Pacific. We had an stop in Nicaragua - which was cancelled due to the swells. The next port was Punarenos, Costa Rica. We arrived at the Wheelhouse Bar at 9:15 for our excursion. When we got there I heard a man complaining that he's been waiting 2 hours for his excursion. No - not Princess, I thought. While we waiting 1 1/2 hours for our excursion, one accouncement was made explaining problems with the tenders due to the high swells. If this was the case - why have people assembly in a public space - when they could relax - have leisurely breakfast in the Horizon Court or even relax in your cabin - instead of having everyone amass in the Wheelhouse. After our excursion we were dropped at a location for the tender - the line was huge! Again no one communicating to us what the issue was. It was very hot and humid and I felt badly for the elderly who were waiting on line. At the end of the line when you were getting on the tenders - they offered you cold water and a cold face cloth. This should have been passed out to everyone on the line who I heard waiting up to 2 hours for a tender. Fifth disappointment - While the cruise director was always visible, pleasant and seemed to be involved in everything - I think she might have been overextended. On the Royal and Regal - we saw the Cruise Director on the Wake show and maybe on other time during the day. She was on at the end of the shows explaining what was going on the ship that night. She also was the host of whatever was going on in the Explorers Lounge after the show. She was always late. Not a big deal since you're on vacation, but after I noticed this - we realized she was always late for any activity. On sea days this became an issue if you planned on another activity after the one she was hosting. Again - she was very pleasant, but definitely over-extended. Also we missed the International Cafe on this ship and hope that during the next retrofit - they make this an item to consider. Now the good points - the food was exceptional - both in the dining rooms, the Bayou Cafe and of course Sabatinis. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My now 90 year old mother and I took this same ship to the Panamal Canal in 2012 and we were now celebrating her 90th birthday and looking forward to the renovations that were made in 2017 to the ship. Imagine our surprise when we find ... Read More
My now 90 year old mother and I took this same ship to the Panamal Canal in 2012 and we were now celebrating her 90th birthday and looking forward to the renovations that were made in 2017 to the ship. Imagine our surprise when we find that our balcony grade room was now 1/3 smaller and the shower so small that I could not even turn around without bumping my head (I'm almost 6 feet tall but no giant and my wife could not even shave her legs in the shower because there was no room. Also, the casino was cut in half and I was specifically told by the casino manager that Carnival had done this to create space for more rooms. So our comfort is sacrificed so Carnival/Princess can make a buck. Typical corporate mentality. Forget about quality just mo money mo money mo money!! Our room had no air conditioning for one night until I threatened to sue everybody and then it miraculously came back on. The food was mediocre at best. The shows were average (when you could get in since the cattle call of over 75+ seniors got to each show about 45 minutes before to take all the seats). I guess when there is nothing else to do you have no choice. The Huatulco shore excursion was a total joke. The guide spoke no English, was 45 minutes late and showed us the fronts of 4 hotels saying that these were the cultural highlights of the City! If I have to hear about one more bs EFFY jewelry promotion I am going to throw up. What a ripoff! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because I was helping my parents with their travels. Both are mobility challenged and I go along to assist them. A small, but great ship and the remodel was amazing. I'd like to see some highlighted maps ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was helping my parents with their travels. Both are mobility challenged and I go along to assist them. A small, but great ship and the remodel was amazing. I'd like to see some highlighted maps that show how to get to the stern of the ship (Deck 8) and perhaps how to get out on the bow. (Deck 10 I believe, but I was not able to get there during the trip as it's closed during at sea days due to wind. I did purchase the internet package, spending about $150 for this benefit. I understand that it is slower than most internet we are used to these days, so I was expecting and not disappointed by the slowness of the connection, however this one cut out for minutes to hours at a time. Even later at night when you would expect fewer people to be using it, it was consistently down. I feel pretty taken with respect to the cost vs the perceived value of this package. I did partake of the unlimited soda package, and it was nice to be able to order it at will. The unfortunate thing is that I was not told that it was just for fountain drinks and there were several areas, including the fountain that was used for the dining room that lacked carbonation. Mostly flat soda was not a pleasant experience. When I mentioned this to our waiters on several occasions, I was advised that the equipment was functioning fine. I took in several of the shows and really enjoyed them. The sound system was great and the performances were awesome! The food was exquisite! A variety of food in the dining rooms was very good. The buffet was good as well, but while there was a lot of different foods provided, they did tend to be the same different foods after a while. The people were amazing. I submitted requests for several to be recognized at the end of the voyage and I really was pleased at all the happy faces and the people seemed to care if we were having a good time! The only port we missed was Nicaragua and I'd've liked to have seen that one, but weather will be weather. The people that Princess works with in the ports are excellent. Every excursion was entertaining, informative and fun. A lot of high end shopping available and most of the shops were great. Every time I when into Effy and came back out again, I felt like I had to shower. It was like going to a used car lot with a very pushy, forceful salesperson. They were nice about it, but sooo very pushy. It was a very well laid out ship and easy to get around in with my mom's wheelchair and my dad's walker. There was one door, leading into the Horizon Cafe that we had to open both doors in order to go into, but there was always someone, either a crew member or fellow cruiser who would assist. I like having a promenade deck that goes all the way around the ship, and this one doesn't have that, but you can easily simply turn around at the end or go through the interior of the ship to the other side to keep walking in the same direction. There were not a lot of single people that I observed on this ship, which I've come to expect. The fitness room was nice, cool and well stocked with machines. Over all it was an enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Panama Canal always piqued our interest. My husband and I were definitely in need of a vacation and were on the Princess website one day. This cruise 'jumped out' at us and so we booked it that day, without much thought. We had ... Read More
Panama Canal always piqued our interest. My husband and I were definitely in need of a vacation and were on the Princess website one day. This cruise 'jumped out' at us and so we booked it that day, without much thought. We had planned to go alone as we were trying to catch up on celebrating our 25th anniversary from last year [we had to cancel our vacation in 2018 because we live in Leilani Estates where the lava erupted in May]. We flew the night before disembarkation from Hawaii Island to board the ship. Airport transfer from LAX was a little glitchy as the Princess folks did not put us on the airport transfer check-list for some reason after we checked in with them, so we had a bit of a wait. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. They are definitely very well-organized on handling these two events. We did not spend any time in our departure city, really had no desire to explore LA. We had cruised to Alaska with Princess in 2017 on the Coral Princess so we were familiar with the ship layout already as the Island Princess is basically the same ship. The cabin was small, but cozy and very neat and tidy. We knew what to expect so no surprises here. We utilized Anytime dining so that we were not locked in to any sort of schedule every day. We ate most of our meals in the Horizon Court, due to the availability of choices to eat different foods each day. Breakfast, however, felt very monotonous as it was the same offerings every single day. We had a few meals in the Bordeaux dining room, all of which were great dining experiences. We took advantage of both specialty dining restaurants [The Bayou Steakhouse and Sabatini's] and neither one disappointed. We took advantage of the variety shows most every night. Some were better than others, but all were entertaining in their own way. The production show on the final evening was amazing. The game shows held in the Explorer's Lounge were definitely entertaining. We spent a lot of time on the Lido deck at the pool. Some of the movies they played were too loud and hard to comprehend because they sounded distorted. There was one day when the speakers malfunctioned and it was static as loud as you could imagine that literally cleared out the pool area. It was painful to your ears even if you put your hands over your ears. I'm not sure how long it took them to correct it, but we left after 5-10 minutes. The Voice of the Ocean talent was really lacking and the karaoke was pretty bad. The service staff on the ship were amazing. Our room steward was so very attentive and the bar / wait staff are extremely good at what they do and were all very friendly. We visited 5 ports while on this cruise and went on 4 excursions. We were unable to port at one of the tender stops due to inclement weather, but did not have any excursions booked anyhow. The Copalita Archaeological excursion in Huatulco, Mexico was very interesting and the grounds were well-kept and very beautiful. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. We visited the animal rescue 'sloth sanctuary' while in Puntarenas, Costa Rica and this was amazing. They are doing good work here. While in Panama we went on an excursion to the new locks, which was interesting as well. The time spent was a little short, but our guide was very knowledgeable and the bus ride to and from was interesting and filled with facts. The wait to get back onto the tender at this port was RIDICULOUS. We literally stood in line for well over an hour in the blistering heat. It was not pleasant. Transiting the Canal was AMAZING! To watch the process is enlightening and to think about the work that went in to making that possible is incredible. While in Cartagena, Colombia, our last port stop, we chose to simply do the 'Hop on, Hop off' bus tour of the city. We chose to get off at the Walled City and do the walking / audio tour. The street vendors were absolutely relentless. They made it very difficult to actually enjoy the tour. They were literally in your face the entire time trying to get you to buy whatever it is they were selling. I would not recommend this tour to anyone. The website does provide a warning about this excursion city / port, but the warning needs to be a little stronger. The only other true disappointment was that this ship evidently was experiencing some sort of sewage venting issue as there were certain areas of the ship that literally smelled of raw sewage every time you passed those areas. It was not pleasant. If given the chance I would most definitely make the Panama Canal Transit a future cruise on my list! I would choose different port of call, so that I could see more areas, but it was definitely an incredible experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise in order to experience the Panama Canal transit. We were welcomed at the airport and transported to the ship. Embarkment processing was completed within five minutes and disembarking from ship to shore was completed ... Read More
We chose this cruise in order to experience the Panama Canal transit. We were welcomed at the airport and transported to the ship. Embarkment processing was completed within five minutes and disembarking from ship to shore was completed within 15 minutes. Our cabin stewart did an amazing job as well as our dining waiter. The meals were great and the main show each evening kept you well entertained. We found time to relax, read books from the library, and made new friends each day. We took advantage of excursions at each port and found them very informative and interesting. The off-road excursion was one that stood out as we traveled the back roads in Mexico and saw how corn was ground and cooked to make tortillas. The town tours provided us with the local history and background of the local areas.I would recommend this cruise for anyone desiring to experience the canal transit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We choose this ship because we love it’s sister ship, the Coral. This is NOT the same ship as the Coral. The huge two story Universal Lounge was removed, lots of cabins were added instead. The fitness room was moved from its larger upper ... Read More
We choose this ship because we love it’s sister ship, the Coral. This is NOT the same ship as the Coral. The huge two story Universal Lounge was removed, lots of cabins were added instead. The fitness room was moved from its larger upper deck view of the sea location to a smaller inside the ship lower down deck. It was a joke and people actually paid to use fitness studios in port to workout. The Piazza does not have a La Patisserie that serves coffees AND snacks, even though the large electronic kiosks at the elevators say this. The atrium is small and narrow. The bar at the casino has no snack area unlike the Coral. Less public spaces + more passengers = no empty chairs anywhere on the ship! This itinerary up the West Coast is very popular and that is why we booked it. But they did not have enough spaces for a decent Zumba Class (was taught in the Wheelhouse Lounge) or Dance Lessons, both of which HAD been taught in the Universal Lounge. Because there was only a few good public spaces at night (Theatre, Explorers, Wheelhouse), these areas were always very packed. The Captains Circle evening area is not private like it use to be. The Captains Party was not even held on a formal night. There were NO DAILY HIGH TEAS! The internet was down the last 24 hrs on the ship. These are all deal breakers for me. The bands this time for the most part were not that great. Drinks were too fruity/not good booze. The food was for the most part good although very salty which covers bad cooking. Curtis Stone had a few menu items added here and there but for the most part were missing daily like we are use to. Service in the dining rooms were extremely slow. Coffee tasted watered down and was undrinkable several days. The Pub Lunch food was sad and cold and small except for dessert. Specialty restaurants were good so we ate there 3 nights at $29pp. The buffet was good and seemed highly attended since the dining rooms were slow and empty. Photos were $25 each. There was not enough activities on board nor were there any guest educational speakers on the ports from what we could tell. Pastries were good. Servers and staff were extremely friendly. Cabin attendant very good. The captain and cruise staff very nice. If it were not for the amazing ports we visited, this cruise would have been a bust. We are almost the top tier of the Captains Circle (black card), but from what we can tell, the perks are not that great at this level, except for laundry service. So we may never cruise on Princess again if this ship is any indication of where Princess is going in the future with amenities and costs. That’s too bad. We have done over a dozen cruises with them in the last 10 years. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We just got off the Island Princess sailing from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Service overall, with one exception (see below) was fabulous. We were on the Royal Princess in January and are booked for Australia in December with a Cruisetour. ... Read More
We just got off the Island Princess sailing from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Service overall, with one exception (see below) was fabulous. We were on the Royal Princess in January and are booked for Australia in December with a Cruisetour. If we had not booked Australia prior to this cruise, we would have definitely considered another cruise line. The Royal was such a completely different experience and this is not due to size. The Maitre d's in the dining room are only interested in catering to the Club Members and have no difficulty ignoring the remaining passengers. This was heard constantly throughout our cruise, on shore excursions, at the bars, in the Horizon Court.... Not nice at all!!!!! It was as if there were two classes of passengers. There was one occasion where the Maitre d' came over to the table beside ours and apologized for the place they were in as "their table" had been given away. It suddenly made us feel as if we were in a horrible place in the dining room. Coming to the dining room every night was not comfortable for many of us and this should not be the case. Of course, once we were seated, the wait staff was outstanding and all was forgotten. However, this happened, EVERY NIGHT to all of us. Service everywhere else was fabulous, from the Horizon Court to the Bars to Excusion Staff. We had a wonderful time. Bayou was great with a live jazz band playing during dinner. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have completed a Coastal California cruise previously and had such a nice time we wanted to take the cruise again. We loved the Island Princess. It is a smaller ship but great for those cruisers who like to meet people and enjoy a ... Read More
We have completed a Coastal California cruise previously and had such a nice time we wanted to take the cruise again. We loved the Island Princess. It is a smaller ship but great for those cruisers who like to meet people and enjoy a smaller ship experience. Lots of wood used which made it seem warm and inviting. Entertainment was really good with a standing ovation one night for one producation. There is a Sabatinis and Blue Bayou Cafe on board. We ate at Sabatinis and had a good meal and wonderful service. There were lots of activitities including Harmonica lessons and Quilling as well as bingo. The ports were one of the reasons we chose this cruise. With Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Astoria and the beautiful Victoria BC one can't help but have a great time on shore. I recommend Butschart Gardens in Victoria. Beautiful experience if you love gardens and Muir Woods / Saulsilito in San Francisco. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We truely enjoyed the Panama Canal transit experience from Pacific Ocean to Atlantic Ocean. We had a balcony room on deck 11 (Baja) in mid ship area. The room was comfortable although we found the mattress a little bit soft to our ... Read More
We truely enjoyed the Panama Canal transit experience from Pacific Ocean to Atlantic Ocean. We had a balcony room on deck 11 (Baja) in mid ship area. The room was comfortable although we found the mattress a little bit soft to our liking. The room steward did a good service making us feel like home every day. He always open the door for us when he is near our room. Princess crews did a good job overall. We had no complain whatsoever. Food was excellent. Buffet lunch offered great varieties of food. Lots of deserts to choose. Dinner choices were excellent. My steak always prepared as the way I wanted. Entertainment was very very good. I think this would be one of the best among all our past cruise with Princess. On this trip they had a very amazing cruise director. His name is Gary. He was so friendly and funny. The only disappointed part was the long lineup for clear the customs at Fort Lauderdale. There was not enough us custom officers to deal with the volume of passenger. We waited for 2 hours. Overall I gave an A to Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
All port excursions (all booked through Princess) were great. The Aromas and Flavors of Cartagena was a bit shorter than we expected, but the food was great. I recommend the balcony dinner for two (stead and lobster) and save your ... Read More
All port excursions (all booked through Princess) were great. The Aromas and Flavors of Cartagena was a bit shorter than we expected, but the food was great. I recommend the balcony dinner for two (stead and lobster) and save your appetite. They serve you a lot of food! The cost is $99. There is a service provided at disembarkation to have your luggage picked up on your last day and delivered to the airport. You pick up at your final destination. I'd check into this prior to booking the cruise. We were apparently too late even though we booked directly through Princess. This resulted in us not being able to explore Florida for several hours. The food was plentiful, obviously, and good on the Island Princess. The Princess staff are all friendly and accommodating from the moment you check in before getting on the ship. It would have been nice to have more "age-appropriate" activities for us (early fifties). Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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
I am self employed and booked this trip a couple days before departure, treating it as a working vacation with a change of scenery. Traveling alone, I just wanted to eat, sleep, and work (mostly reading). By all accounts, it was a success. ... Read More
I am self employed and booked this trip a couple days before departure, treating it as a working vacation with a change of scenery. Traveling alone, I just wanted to eat, sleep, and work (mostly reading). By all accounts, it was a success. Shows/Events/Bars/Casino/Internet/Pools/Excursions: Didn’t do a single one, so can’t comment. Staff: There was definitely a language barrier for many of the waitstaff. Eventually I realized it was always the same set of questions (e.g., “What would you like to drink?”) and that made it easier. Everyone was very friendly and most - but not all - seemed genuine. The gentleman who serviced my room (Jojan, aka “Joe”) was very accommodating to my request for privacy so I could work. Crowds: Imagine a Del Webb community for the United Nations. At 43 years old, I was a youngster on this cruise. 95% of the time I was outside my room was either going to get food (always taking the stairs) or eating food (always sitting alone). This was by choice. (There were singles/solo traveler events for people like me.) The few times I went exploring the ship, I found it to be frustrating. It was like driving in a tourist town where nobody knows where they are going and they keep getting distracted by shiny objects. People would suddenly stop in the middle of everything, causing a traffic jam. More than anything, I just felt claustrophobic in the common areas. I tried reading in a couple different places outside my room (that were quiet when I arrived), but inevitably it would turn into the exercise area for Zumba, or some other noisy activity. In the end I realized that if I were going to be productive, I would need to work in my room - which was fine. I was very comfortable there. My room: (See below) Food: This was a mixed bag. Upon arrival I went to the Horizon buffet for the afternoon snack and couldn’t find a seat. Apparently everyone else had the same idea. I ended up at the Pizzeria (on the same deck) and got a slice of pepperoni that was just coming out of the oven. It was thin crust (kind of NY style) which is what I like, but there was something wrong with the cheese. It wasn’t stringy or chewy. It was mushy and seemed to dissolve in my mouth, as if it were made from powder. So the first couple hours on board were disheartening. Things got better after that. I ate at The Grill twice (hamburgers), lunch at Sabatini’s once (pizza), and dinner in the Bordeaux Dinning Room once (NY Strip). Every other meal was at the Horizon buffet. I tried to go to the Bordeaux Dinning Room (anytime seating) a couple other times but there was always a line. I assumed that meant I wouldn’t be able to get a table to myself, which meant making small talk with strangers, and not being productive. On the last evening I went as soon as they were opening and a lot of my fellow passengers were still exploring Victoria Canada. The steak dinner at Bordeaux was definitely the best meal of my trip. I had a small table to myself and was in and out in 20 minutes. Sabatini’s pizza is better than the mysterious dissolving stuff upstairs, but not good enough for me to go back a second time. I was disappointed that the Pub Grub for lunch in the Bayou Cafe is not available on the shorter (4 night) cruises. But it was just one less option - certainly didn’t ruin my entire experience. So I spent a lot of time at the Horizon buffet. Breakfast at the Horizon was the most consistent meal. Always good, with everything you would expect. Coffee was decent but not great. It never tasted particularly fresh (I’m sure it was instant coffee) but it was good enough that I didn’t feel compelled to buy the fresh brewed variety, which was also available at the buffet. Lunch and dinner was a mix of fresh items (e.g., fruit, cheese, salad bar) and your standard cafeteria fare. Nothing to write home about but I certainly never went hungry. I never tried the room service. Conclusions: I’m a cruising novice, so I can’t really say how this ship/crew compares to others. However, I had a good experience and would not hesitate to take the same trip again. General staff tips are automatically charged each day ($13.50, I think), so I was anticipating that expense. I also gave some extra cash to Joe for putting up with my reclusive behavior. Otherwise, I managed to go the entire cruise without any charges beyond the all-inclusive rate. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
This was our first time taking a short cruise (4 days), to our surprise, it felt like a 2 week cruise. Perhaps the short time forces us to enjoy every minute of it, and we really did. The short cruise eliminated the formal nights which ... Read More
This was our first time taking a short cruise (4 days), to our surprise, it felt like a 2 week cruise. Perhaps the short time forces us to enjoy every minute of it, and we really did. The short cruise eliminated the formal nights which was great because it had meant less things to pack, less things to change, less time spent getting ready to eat. I've been to many cruises, but this was the first one that I learned from another passenger that they served smoothies at the breakfast buffet, I had previously thought they were grapefruit juices. After I learned that they were smoothies, I took a sip and was pleasantly surprised that it was watermelon smoothies. The next days, they had banana smoothies, etc., all yummy. Another surprise was that on my previous cruise, which was 2 weeks, almost everyone got sick from the flu. That's why on the first day of this cruise, I noticed one person was coughing badly, and I whispered to my wife that by the end of the cruise, everyone else will be coughing like him. But to my surprise, hardly anyone did. Perhaps the short time did not allow the disease to spread. Also, they enforced mandatory hand washing prior to entering the buffet. Great idea. We often do not think about washing our hands even when we should. The short cruise precluded many things I was used to in the longer cruises, no formal nights, no fish and chips, no ramen noodle, no porridge, no ballroom dance classes. But the things I did have, I could appreciate them more. In fact, it seems less is more. Less things to do meant more time to relax. This has been a great experience, like a weekend getaway, short but sweet. I am so eager looking forward to my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
It was a quick fast cruise. Very relaxing. Embarkation was very quick and slick. I was surprised about the extra $10.00 in the Bayou Café for Lobster. On the Ruby Princess, in the first week of October of 2017 I paid only $5.00 extra. ... Read More
It was a quick fast cruise. Very relaxing. Embarkation was very quick and slick. I was surprised about the extra $10.00 in the Bayou Café for Lobster. On the Ruby Princess, in the first week of October of 2017 I paid only $5.00 extra. So I dined there twice. Norman our room steward did a great job. We only saw him twice during the whole trip. However he took care of all our requests. We did miss one item I had ordered prior to sailing and that was a robe for both of us. During the sail away party on deck 14 we ordered two "Blue Hawaiians" from a waiter and got a slushy powder blue cocktail that wasn't a "Blue Hawaiian". Disembarkation was very simple. We walked off with carry on luggage and we took a taxi straight to the airport for a reasonable price. We even signed up for a new future cruise possibly the Panama Canal in 2019. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This cruise was closer to home and didn't require full day of flying to get to the ship. Loved the covered pool as a little cooler weather but missed Movies Under the Stars as too cold to sit out. Nice that Princess gave us ... Read More
This cruise was closer to home and didn't require full day of flying to get to the ship. Loved the covered pool as a little cooler weather but missed Movies Under the Stars as too cold to sit out. Nice that Princess gave us opportunity to see same movies in the comfort of our cabin as an option. This was first time in Oceanview cabin (usually do balcony) which was nice and bright, showers pretty small but can deal with it. The new luxury beds were like sleeping on a cloud - very comfortable and luxurious! The food in the main dining room was fantastic, buffet pretty good, loved the cookies! The production show "On the Bayou" was excellent - one of the best I have seen on Princess - very talented cast! Princess ships are all very elegant - this one smallest I have been on and I missed the larger Piazza and International Cafe. Even though the covered pool was a nice option, I will stick to Emerald and/or Regal class in future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Well I think they did a nice job for the most part on this sailing ,The company was forced to exchange Ensinada mexico for Nicaragua due to election violence, but its hard to blame them for wanting to keep us safe . I had better food on ... Read More
Well I think they did a nice job for the most part on this sailing ,The company was forced to exchange Ensinada mexico for Nicaragua due to election violence, but its hard to blame them for wanting to keep us safe . I had better food on cruises and the buffet wasnt very good but we never eat there much so no great loss . This cruise had more single acts than production shows and Im prefer production shows over comedy and single singers but the three production shows were good . We did try a spa package the couples message was ok but a bit pricey and our specialty dining night at the crab shack was good but not great . Getting on and off the boat was easy at all times and we did opt for the simple shore excursions which were pretty average. Our cabin was nice but one should know cabins on the stern of the boat are far from most of the things like shows and meals. I enjoyed the cruise and the ports were interesting, the boat is still fun but nothing stands out , The cruise was a good value and as expectect for a nineteen day cruise the crowd was older Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This is the third time we've taken this itinerary on this ship, and we enjoyed this one a lot. The only downside was that the political unrest in Nicaragua caused the ship to skip that port and substitute Ensenada, Mexico. We ... Read More
This is the third time we've taken this itinerary on this ship, and we enjoyed this one a lot. The only downside was that the political unrest in Nicaragua caused the ship to skip that port and substitute Ensenada, Mexico. We enjoyed all the ports, and that's the main reason we keep taking this itinerary. We love Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, and San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua. The ship is an older one, but it has been nicely refurbished, with new carpet through most of the ship, new or reupholstered furniture in some areas. This time, we got upgraded to one of the new balcony cabins on deck 7 (Promenade) Aft. Our cabin was lovely, with a huge flat screen TV across from the bed, a larger than normal balcony, and a considerably bigger bathroom and shower than other balcony cabins. I like having drawers instead of just shelves for storage in the desk and bedside. We love the Wheelhouse Bar on this ship, because it's spacious and has that old-world ambiance that really makes you feel that you're traveling by ship. The music and dancing were great in the Wheelhouse, and the drink service is excellent. We go there to dance every night before dinner. We always choose Traditional Late Seating dinner, and our wait staff were outstanding. They really made us feel pampered. Four of us (two couples) were traveling together, and we were lucky enough to get a table for eight with two more very personable couples. By the end of the 19 day trip, we all said we felt like family. Dinner was delightful every night. The only entertainment we enjoy is the production shows, and the Island Princess had really excellent shows. If you ever get a chance to experience "Encore!" don't miss it. It's a captivating show. "On the Bayou" was also a favorite. both shows received standing ovations. I swim every day, and the Lotus Spa pool is a gorgeous place to do it. With a spectacular Buddha statue at one end of the pool, and stunning carvings on the walls, it was very beautiful, relaxing and it made getting exercise a treat. We rarely take ship's excursions, preferring to be spontaneous and get something when we arrive at port, but we took one excursion on this ship, and were disappointed. We got much more of what we wanted by negotiating with taxi drivers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Safety issues first. This staff's response to safety concerns is woefully inadequate! I called from my stateroom to report smelling smoke in the hallway. I waited in the hall for 11(eleven) minutes. No one appeared. I called the front ... Read More
Safety issues first. This staff's response to safety concerns is woefully inadequate! I called from my stateroom to report smelling smoke in the hallway. I waited in the hall for 11(eleven) minutes. No one appeared. I called the front desk again, and three minutes later a front desk clerk arrived, followed by one person who appeared to be an engineer. Neither appeared to be in a hurry and seemed to shrug off my concerns. I shared my concerns about the lack of a rapid response, to which both became defensive. No apologies. I plan to file complaints with the USCG and the IMV regarding this and the following incident. Secondly, it took almost 15 minutes for medical personnel to respond to an elderly man who fell down five steps from the hot tub to the pool deck, hitting his head. He started bleeding from his head and arm. Thankfully, concerns passengers ran to his aid and summonsed deck attendants. Again, this is another example of this ship's woefully inadequate safety response protocol. Other than these major shortcomings, the cruise was average. The room and food were fine, but the wait staff feel short of the mark of providing excellent customer service. Most seemed bored, distracted, and tired. Also, too much flirtatious behavior among crew members, especially between females and their male supervisors. Finally, the entertainment was mostly excellent. Singers/dancers were awesome, but only performed three times in 19 nights. The magician and juggler were great, but the impersonators were just average. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Overall fantastic experience. During sea days we enjoyed Zumba by the outdoor pool, ping pong in the Lotus courtyard, laps around the Promenade and upper decks (can make a full circuit on Promenade via brief indoor corridor), reading ... Read More
Overall fantastic experience. During sea days we enjoyed Zumba by the outdoor pool, ping pong in the Lotus courtyard, laps around the Promenade and upper decks (can make a full circuit on Promenade via brief indoor corridor), reading books from the ship's library, gym, games during Teen Center open house hours, and some organized events. We saw dolphins and sea turtles from the ship. For most of the trip the weather was excellent and the seas were calm. Attended one evening show, Encore - well done! The musicians in the main atrium and lounges were entertaining and talented. The only negative was Movies Under the Starts turning out to be Movies Under the Sun too. The blaring screen made it unappealing to sit by the outside pool if you wanted to read or chat. We did find quieter places in the sun to compensate although those lacked bar service. Food in the Horizon Court was tasty with healthful options and very good service including when eating outdoors. The Main Dining Room (MDR) provided delicious multi-course meals. The food was better than when we last sailed Island Princess 10 years ago - fresher and less heavy with sauces. The service in the MDR was less friendly and attentive than a decade ago. You can make reservations for MDR even if on 'anytime dining' but not until 8am of the same day (reservations fill up quickly.) The three formal nights were the 3rd, 9th and 18th day of the cruise counting the embarkation day. Ports of Call were fun. Our first stop, Huatulco was lovely. We discovered a gorgeous deserted beach, Playa Violin, accessible via a bit of a scramble, watched tropical birds in the square by the cruise dock, and followed the paved trail to the town of La Crucecita. For our second stop, Puerto Chiapas, we took the shuttle into Tapachula ($10/person round trip with map provided) and explored the town on market day. Since we speak some Spanish, it was a comfortable experience and we ended up having a great time. We took a Princess excursion for the third stop, Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala. This was an interesting hike to Pacaya Volcano. The scenic cruising the Panama Canal was wonderful! We watched a documentary the day prior and then listened to an ongoing live narrative as we entered the canal, passed through a double lock within sight of the new locks, cruised by the Continental Divide, and then entered another lock before ending up in Gatun Lake. Wow, such a huge lake dotted with islands (former hilltops) - very peaceful despite the heavy ship traffic. We cruised within sight of the final locks leading to the Atlantic and cast anchor for the night. It was like a campground for large ships. The next morning we turned around and made our leisurely way back to the Pacific Ocean with plenty of opportunity to observe the locks in action and enjoy the views. That evening we anchored near the Canal - cool to observe the fuel barge and garbage scow in action. On our return leg, we first stopped in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. We spent the morning on a Princess excursion - river boat ride and Macaw refuge. The written description was misleading (an hour-long+ bus ride replaced the 'short but enjoyable transfer through the pretty sugarcane fields') so much less pleasant than anticipated. We then spent the afternoon wandering around town. A number of passengers swam at the beach near the dock. The second stop, San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, was cancelled due to post-election violence. We cruised on to our next scheduled stop, Manzanillo. where we walked to an iguana refuge (a bit Juarasic Park!) and strolled along the beachfront to Playa San Pedrito, a clean, charming local beach. Manzanillo is upgrading their malecon so we had to navigate a construction zone to reach the beach. Our final port was Ensenade which was a replacement for the cancelled Nicaragua stop. We walked to Playa Hermosa and relished the long, wide sand beach. After returning to town, we climbed a nearby hill for a great view of the city and the ship. It has been over three weeks since the cruise ended and I still feel a positive glow from all our adventures and the quality service provided by the folks on the Island Princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Just returned from a cruise to and through the Panama Canal. We, happily, are Platinum Passengers with Princess, so boarding, and disembarking went very smoothly. Our cabin was ready when we boarded, that was grand too. We generally ... Read More
Just returned from a cruise to and through the Panama Canal. We, happily, are Platinum Passengers with Princess, so boarding, and disembarking went very smoothly. Our cabin was ready when we boarded, that was grand too. We generally unpack, then take a walking tour around the ship, and familiarize ourselves with it. Did the same with this cruise. The cabin was small, not a big surprise, we've been on this size ship before. However, it was on the 7th deck, close to the action, dining room, theater, and other specialty things, Art Studio, two specialty restaurants, and only one floor above the shops. Good cabin PR723. Our cabin Steward, Glenn, was a delight to work with. He did an excellent job of tidying up everyday, and always providing supplies, when they ran out. He also always had the greatest smile on his face, and greeted us nicely whenever he saw us. You'd be lucky to have him for your Steward! Our favorite spot on each Princess ship is Crooners Martini Bar. The Bartenders, Laura and Mark were also superb. We had such fun with them. They made excellent drinks, served them quickly, and learned what we liked best. Several times I just had them make me something as a surprise. Also the servers, Nestor, Manuel, and the others were outstanding. We had lots of laughs with one and all. You'd be lucky to have them too! We did traditional dining, we always do, as we like meeting new prople, and making new friends. The dining room was on the 6th deck, mid ship, and was very good. The food was delicious, plenty of it. Our waiter Edwin, and his assistant, were very, very good, always smiling, and greeting us with big hellos. Again you'd be lucky to have them! We did excursions at Huatulco, Antigua, both very nice. We did not go to Nicaragua, but saw Ensenada as our last port. The excursions were good, and we had been to Ensenada several times before, so we were quite comfortable with it. The Canal is very historical, and extremely interesting. We spent the night in Lake Gatun, after we had gone through the Canal, then went back through again the next day. Fascinating to see all the ships lined up to go through. Big ships, small boats, they were all there. Get as close to the bow of the ship as you can so you can see passing through. A quick warning folks, Central America, can get mighty hot. Make sure you drink lots of water and cover yourself with sunscreen. This cruise was all we had hoped it would be. Were there negative things, sure, but nothing that caused any great problems. When I travel I always look for the positive, and eliminate the negative. That's the only was to go. Thank you Princess, and your great crew members, this was wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
this is the longest cruise we have ever done. We have taken 10 previous cruises on Princess, and we really love their service The only thing I miss about this ship is the lack of the 24 hour international cafe. We had been on this ... Read More
this is the longest cruise we have ever done. We have taken 10 previous cruises on Princess, and we really love their service The only thing I miss about this ship is the lack of the 24 hour international cafe. We had been on this ship a few years ago but the Vista lounge was removed and replaced with cabins. This did not deter our enjoyment of the ship. The cabins are standard and we spend very little time there. We usually get an inside cabin because we use the cabin just to sleep. The rest of the time we are out and about the ship. We had excellent meals and a friendly attentive wait staff at the any time dining room (Bordeaux) The food was also tasty and the variety was good. I enjoy being able to try different things. I ordered items I would not normally order because i knew that if I didn't like it, I could get something else. We got to the ship about 1 PM and were whisked right on board. this was the easiest embarkation we have ever experienced. Our cabin steward was wonderful and took care of everything we needed. I did not have one negative experience with the ship, or the crew on the entire voyage. Everyone should go through the Panama Canal at least once. It is fascinating how the ships are raised and lowered in the locks. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We picked this cruise as we had done one like it on the Coral Princess. This was really disappointing. The food in the Horizon was barely palatable and almost the same every day. The food in the dinning room was less than stellar. We ... Read More
We picked this cruise as we had done one like it on the Coral Princess. This was really disappointing. The food in the Horizon was barely palatable and almost the same every day. The food in the dinning room was less than stellar. We had been on the Grand in February and loved the food. Island needed a new chef or better cooks. Our waiters were the "do nothing beyond serve" guys. I had to go to the dinning clerk to get them to sell me an after dinner shot of Baileys. My free bottle of wine was only what they could walk over and get, yet another waiter got me the one I wanted (he had to go downstairs, couldn't my waiter - I guess not) The room steward, on the other hand, was beyond belief. He was truly the best of the best and I always find room stewards good, but Kamal was superior. The ship is over crowded. The production shows were one the second night and not another until the trip was almost over. The rest of the entertainment were unfunny comedians, a guy with 1000 voices who sounded the same, but!!! Branden and James (entertainers) were by far the most outstanding performers I have seen on a ship. No wonder they were on America's got Talent. Overall the cabin was fine, the service except for our waiters was good, we missed Nicaragua because of riots, but Ensenada was fine and food there is better than ship. Ship is over crowded because they added additional rooms and removed the Vista lounge and no International Cafe in the atrium. The Cruise Director was nice and lower key than most. Would I go on the Island again, no but that is because I found the food poor (one of my table mates sent back their entree four different times it was so bad) that mostly I ate pasta,. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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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