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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose the Panama Canal cruise because it was on our bucket list. The itinerary was great. We felt the cruise was overbooked, understaffed and over priced. Everything on board was pricey - excursions, drinks, photos and shops. Our 2 ... Read More
We chose the Panama Canal cruise because it was on our bucket list. The itinerary was great. We felt the cruise was overbooked, understaffed and over priced. Everything on board was pricey - excursions, drinks, photos and shops. Our 2 independent excursions were excellent. The ships excursions were not. The pastries were excellent. The rest of the food did not match the standards we expected especially the Horizon Court and the ice cream. Pizza on deck was very good. The entertainment was very good but we were not able to enjoy much of it because of the over crowding. If you wanted to view these offerings, you needed to get there a half hour early. The staff members were all very friendly and helpful, often going above and beyond their call of duty. The Promenade deck now has cabins at the rear and the walking track on the Lido has the pricey Sanctuary in back, thus no complete circuits or rear view. Princess was our go to cruise line - 8 times. We began to notice these same problems on our last cruise with them. We feel we no longer get the quality experience we are paying for. So, Princess, bye-bye! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We always wanted to complete a Panama canal cruise. We decided on the full transit because the itinerary had several beautiful stops on both the Caribbean and Pacific side. Except for Aruba we arranged our own tours or did our own ... Read More
We always wanted to complete a Panama canal cruise. We decided on the full transit because the itinerary had several beautiful stops on both the Caribbean and Pacific side. Except for Aruba we arranged our own tours or did our own thing. Scuba diving at Aruba was very good. I would recommend it. One reason we enjoy Princess is very few children on Princess cruises. They cater more towards a mature adult theme. A few things for Kids to do but not a lot. The crew was fantastic. Captain Michele Tuvo was the best Captain we have seen on a cruise ship. He was always visible and talking with guests. He also has a great sense of humour. We feel he is the standard by which all Cruise Ship Captains should aspire too. Embarkation & Disembarkation with Princess is always well organized and quick. The ship is getting a bit dated though. The center court is cramped and there is no international cafe on this ship. Specialty coffee and occasionally some finger foods is available at center court. We also did not like the new location of the Horizon court at the front of the ship. We miss being able to sit outside at back of ship. Our room was a bit cramped but we had a large shower in bathroom. The other two couples we traveled with they could barely move in shower but a slightly larger room. Our room at the back of ship was a bit noisy on rough sea days. A pipe was banging within walls. Entertainment quality was mixed. Several nights the entertainment was not enjoyable and other nights the entertainment was fantastic. The food was very good. We always have great meals on Princess. Lineups for dinner when a good show was playing later was a bit of a challenge. Everyone wanted to eat and see the show. Overall I still highly recommend this cruise. A balcony is nice to sit and watch the transit of the locks. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
If you've never sailed during the holidays you are missing out. We choose this particular cruise aboard the Island Princess specifically for the dates that included Christmas and New Years. And the destination was a bonus as well. ... Read More
If you've never sailed during the holidays you are missing out. We choose this particular cruise aboard the Island Princess specifically for the dates that included Christmas and New Years. And the destination was a bonus as well. Having sailed with Princess twice before we knew a bit about how they operate but we were completely thrilled with this cruise. The Island Princess was beautiful, decorated for the Holidays and had just been refurbished a year or two before this sail date. Embarkation in Los Angeles was a breeze. The terminal is specifically dedicated to Princess Cruise Lines and it shows in the efficiency of how things are handled. We had a balcony cabin on deck 11 Baja deck and our cabin was clean and very comfortable. The beds are new and extremely comfortable. Our cabin steward was and friendly and very accommodating. When asked initially to have a clean wine glass every day it was always there. We always like traditional seating for dining and sat at a table with 3 other couples. Its a great way to meet people and always fun. Our dining staff went out of their way to assist us all with any requests and always anticipated any needs. The entertainment on board was exceptional and their stage productions were first class. The Princess Theater was beautiful and the seats were comfortable. That's a big deal, because we've been on other cruises where the seating was awful. The only criticism I have for that is that you had to get there early in order to get a seat. Princess tries hard to discourage seat savings, but it seems old habits die hard for some people. Lots of things to do during the day when at sea and their pools and seating around the pools is comfy and clean. The was always a deck hand available to take a drink order or assist in any way needed. One thing about the refurbishment that I didn't like was that the promenade deck is blocked off now and you can't walk completely around the deck. They added cabins or something and so in order to get a good walk in you have to cut through the ship to get to the other side of the boat. The ports were very nice and we went on excursions in each country using Princess tours. Buses where clean and in well working order. Plus, great air conditioning which is a necessity in the countries we visited. Now let's talk about the staff on board and their Leader Captain Michele Tuvo. He was absolutely fantastic and the involved Captain we had ever encountered on any of our cruises. He was out and about every day and interacted with everyone. His daily weather updates were informative and funny and each sign off was for him to say "never the less Bye, Bye! He was loved by all, staff and Cruise guests and towards the end of our 19 day cruise you could hear everyone saying to each other - never the less, Bye, Bye. And that's how I'll end this review - never the less Bye, Bye! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise to experiment with the idea of being away from home for the holidays. We have cruised with princess 30+ times so there is a certain comfort zone. We were very happy with the service, our cabin, the seasonal decor and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experiment with the idea of being away from home for the holidays. We have cruised with princess 30+ times so there is a certain comfort zone. We were very happy with the service, our cabin, the seasonal decor and observances - no complaints. The strength of the cruise was by far the ship and the staff - the itinerary was for us acruise to nowhere having been to all the ports at least twice. That being said there is always some little thing in each place. We attended the cc meet and great meeting the cruise director and hotel manager the first day as well as sailing with sincerely the most engaging captain Tuvo. Best of the best. Basicall6 we have all positives for the things the princess could control on the moment. The things that couldn’t be controlled - are just a bit of my peeves - in no particular order, smoking in the casino, naturally the fun machines were in smok8ng section, time to kill the smoking. Self serve buffet - well no wonder sicky ship! And of course the shower! And finally - some people are unbelieveably horrible to the staff, the servers, to other guests. I have never seen such bad behaviour and bullying activity. It was incredibly upsetting to see. Sometimes things don’t go well but wanting four shots in your latte for one stamp on your card is a bit of a push - everyone needs to take a deep breath and remember these kids on the front line don’t make the rules and also can’t buck the rules. Take a breath and enjoy the moment - not everyone is lucky in life to be able to sail 5he seas. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
we booked our cabin on viewing it on the internet. Balcony mid ship 12th floor. Internet shows the cabin to be larger than normal but we have found out this is not true. Our cabin was clean and bed very comfortable our room Stewart was ... Read More
we booked our cabin on viewing it on the internet. Balcony mid ship 12th floor. Internet shows the cabin to be larger than normal but we have found out this is not true. Our cabin was clean and bed very comfortable our room Stewart was great. The crew was also very good and friendly. Dinner: not up to Princess standards our meals lacked flavor. one night corn chowder was on the menu and it was a clear broth not on corn kernel in it?? Shows where great had to rush supper to get to 7:30 show and it was always full. 9:30 was just to late. Enjoyed the happy hour in the wheel house furniture needs updating/cleaning.Singer at this time very good but way to loud as all the music venues were. can no longer walk around deck 7. closed at one end. we did enjoy our evening walks around deck 7. The ship was nicely decorated for Christmas and New years celebrations. Some sort of illness going rampant throughout the ship passengers coughing and with appears to be colds. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise to travel with friends over holiday and had a great time despite from the fact some in the party got sick! Overall I rated it three because the seafood was the only thing that tasted different.......the soups, salads ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel with friends over holiday and had a great time despite from the fact some in the party got sick! Overall I rated it three because the seafood was the only thing that tasted different.......the soups, salads and most entrees all tasted the same in the traditional dining every night! Lots of processed taste, institutional tastes..........not as fresh as the other smaller lines in the industry! Enjoyed the entertainment 4*! Group excursions were absolutely too large!!! In Nicaragua is where I got sick traveling on an excursions bus treated with hanging "trees" and mothballs throughout! I am chemical induced asthmatic and did not have a choice but to go or lose my money! Will probably not consider any cruise with larger ships anymore! Thought Princess would not disappoint but did..............Too many disabled seniors!!! Maybe divide recommended activities toward these people and the hours they keep..........Active hours too late! Maybe not so much "scooter" availability and accessibility!!! especially to the buffet line!!! Just because you have the money to go and the desire to go doesn't mean you should! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Experience on the ship was overall excellent. The captain was amazing. He could be seen all over the ship. He would walk through the Horizon Court buffet breakfast every morning to greet the passengers and answer questions. He had ... Read More
Experience on the ship was overall excellent. The captain was amazing. He could be seen all over the ship. He would walk through the Horizon Court buffet breakfast every morning to greet the passengers and answer questions. He had his staff announce on the loud speaker when there were whales or dolphins near the ship, (this is the first time I have been on a cruise where they did this). They also had star gazing a couple times at night on the top deck, where they would turn off the lights on the deck, give everyone headphones to listen to a prerecorded lecture and a live talk on the stars. They would point to the constellations with a laser light. What a great thing to do in the middle of the ocean. We were in a balcony cabin on the 14th floor, pool deck. We were right across from the teen center but not on the side with the teen center door. We never heard any noise from the teen center, it was as if it wasn't even there, which was very nice. Our room did have a door adjoining the room next to us. The adjoining door is not sound proofed so we could hear most words and noises in the other room. Luckily our neighbors where fairly quiet so this did not bother us. The room and balcony were small but comfortable and seemed to be newer than other rooms on the ship. The rooms now have big flat screen TV's and new, very comfortable, pillow top mattresses. This floor has the highest balconies so the view is fantastic and there are no balconies above you looking down on you. I did not notice more ship movement on this floor but being in the back of the ship there is some vibration from the ships engines at times. The ports we visited weren't places you have to visit before you die, except for the Panama Canal. The ports were just OK. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Ship Captain Tuco made the trip. He was very personable and very visible. Stopped to talk to passengers and crew alike. Made sure things were running smoothly, taking pictures of things needing attention or speaking directly to the ... Read More
Ship Captain Tuco made the trip. He was very personable and very visible. Stopped to talk to passengers and crew alike. Made sure things were running smoothly, taking pictures of things needing attention or speaking directly to the responsible crew member if on site. Fully participated in special holiday events, playing off Callie the cruise host. By the of the cruise many were emulating his “bye,bye” ending of his noon navigation reports Exit doors to the deck were very heavy and problematic for one if carrying meal or drink; handicapped persons really struggled getting them open and going through the door unless some stopped to help. Christmas theme well done, as well as the New Year’s celebration. Great background for formal nights, introduction of the officers, and other events. Laundry room uses tokens, had problem with empty dispensers, took front desk a while to locate the appropriate deck steward. Best day to do laundry is mid-day in port. Churchill Lounge was supposed to be an elegant cigar lounge, but it became the defacto indoor smoking area. Every time the door was opened in the atrium, the smell of smoke was very evident. Disconcerting to those of us across the width of the ship, even when seated at the far side of the Crooners bar. Evidence of the recent dry-dock refurbishment was very clear in the public areas, with new carpeting and upholstery. Next the cabins need some work, as there are definitely worn. Food Most meals were under-seasoned, and bland, vegetables over-cooked and meat tough; but we did have some great meals. DH favorite meal oysters Bienville and filet steak in the Bayou Café. My favorite Cutis Stone’s Seafood Stew in a delightful creamy sauce; had it three times and it never disappointed. In general meals in the Dining Room were good, but there were a few missteps in either the naming or preparation of the ingredients which led to questionable results. Service depended on which table you sat, as it was a result of who was assigned to your table. In this case Valentino was the most conscientious, and went out of his way to please us, even placing two entrée meats on one plate if DH couldn’t make up his mind as to which to order. The buffet was well a buffet. International flavor at each meal, Mexican buffet was the best; The soups served every meal including congee for breakfast, were consistently excellent, though they never included the promised meatballs. Interestingly rather than the ubiquitous sanitary gel dispensers on other cruise lines, Island Princess had three actual hand-washing sinks on each side, and an employee posted to be sure you washed your hands. But of course so people sneeze, then use the provided utensils to get their food, hence spreading cold and flu germs. And when one gets it, it generally means two because of shared cabins. If all else failed the Grill was a welcome respite, though the location on Deck 15 without elevators, made it tricky to take the food elsewhere. Best were the fries, and the BBQ pulled pork. Bar Service . Problem ran ship ran out of limes on day seven, and didn't get replenished until the last port call two days before departure. And then they were of a sweet variety which didn't work well in some drinks. We used the Crooners Bar as our gathering point, and enjoyed the new friends we met. Still amazes us that by the second day, they not only remembered our names and favorite drink, but our folio numbers as well. Mark took his responsibility for the bar very seriously and ran it with an iron hand. Victor was the equalizer, always cheerful, full of stories, even when things got tense during happy hour. At sea Happy hours were available at the very large Wheelhouse bar, and Crooners. Because they had a very small work surface and only three servers, it became very hectic; particularly at bar where the two bartenders both were working as well as the bar-backs. Soji and Bonifacio were very helpful to both the bartenders and customers. Priya was delightful and gracious in her manner. Embarkation Careful do not follow GPS or AAA routing which takes you down I-710 smack into the industrial port area; multiple “make a legal U-turn” before we started seeing roads named on the Princess provided directions. No parking lot shuttle service visible. Disabled husband had to walk a long distance to get to the terminal and was in extreme pain. Wheelchair assistance had been requested in advance and Tony went out of his way to assist him, even carrying our luggage. But it was a long wait for shipboard transfer via wheelchair Entertainment Productions shows were very good, Encore in particular. Unable to produce one show because the stage was broken. Other entertainers very inconsistent, comedians in particular. Callie was a great host, never obtrusive, gave us just enough information over the intercom, without constant patter. And his jokes were great every evening. Certainly could have used a greater variety of at-sea days activities, constant repeat of bean bag, ring toss etc. were a bit much But you it is needed when you see over 50 people participating every day. Disembarkation Best ever disembarkation in 16 cruises. Only issue was the staff at the door was asking questions, not looking at the "required" colored tabs from the luggage tags. But very timely departure, no delays, and thankfully the shuttle was right across the street. Still in shock from the total cost at $18.00/day Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The cruise itself was very good. Enjoyed the ports, going through the canal and the staff and food was great. Unfortunately the ship was 1 day late sailing. We received notice at 9:30pm the night before she was due to sail that she would ... Read More
The cruise itself was very good. Enjoyed the ports, going through the canal and the staff and food was great. Unfortunately the ship was 1 day late sailing. We received notice at 9:30pm the night before she was due to sail that she would remain in drydock in the Bahamas an extra day. Email from Princess told us to book a hotel room and they would reimburse us, which they did. They also gave us an inconvenience credit to cover incidentals and a credit to a future cruise. The short notice was rather annoying, however the compensation covered that. The issue is that the ship was still not ready to take on passengers. There were rolls of carpet and drums of sealer on the outdoor decks, not all the gym equipment had been unboxed and assembled, the air conditioning either didn't work or was blasting frigid air, a high percentage of the staff were new and inexperienced and the main dining room was either understaffed or the kitchen could not run at full capacity resulting in ridiculously long lineups each night are the major complaints. There are numerous smaller complaints that continued to add up over the cruise. I realize Princess needed to move the ship over to Los Angeles for the next cruise, but it felt as though we were on a training and construction cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was a great cruise to see the Panama Canal and other countries. This cruise was supposed to go to Aruba after leaving Port Everglades, but the ship, Island Princess, was delayed one day; thus, no Aruba. A lot of passengers were upset ... Read More
This was a great cruise to see the Panama Canal and other countries. This cruise was supposed to go to Aruba after leaving Port Everglades, but the ship, Island Princess, was delayed one day; thus, no Aruba. A lot of passengers were upset because of the 1 day delay, but things happen. Because of the missed day, Princess refunded passengers the one day, gave an onboard spending credit and 15% off the next cruise. I recommend booking flights through Princess because Princess will book a hotel or change flights for you in case this happens and you wont pay a penny. I had my own independent air travel arrangements, so I had to book my own hotel last minute. Not a problem if you can quickly find a hotel while on the way to the airport. Princess reimbursed me 100% of the hotel charge I had to pay. The ship just came out of dry dock and the following was done: 1) New artificial grass on the sun deck, 2) pools re-painted, 3) new beds in all the rooms, 4) new carpet in the buffet, 5) new wi-fi system, 6) tv's mounted by the elevators on each floor, 7) public bathrooms updated, 8) new gym equipment, 9) Princess theater updated. There are a lot of activities to do on the ship and the staff keeps you busy. Casino is also nice and they had non-smoking nights. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. There is a teenagers center on board which looked fairly new with video games, air hockey, etc. There were hardly any teenagers onboard this cruise, so the staff opened it up to all guest. I had a window cabin and it was very spacious with a queen bed. Spacious enough for two I think, but it was only me in the cabin. The stewards make the bed, clean up after you, and towards evening, the stewards will come get the bed ready for you. I had a good steward and made sure I gave him a tip after the cruise. I never ate in the main dining room, but in my opinion, the buffet food was delicious and a lot to choose from. Other passengers said the food was just ok, but again, I thought it was delicious, and the desserts too. At times the buffet was jammed packed and the waiters were working like crazy, so I did not mind getting my own water, but some passengers would fuss over this. I am 27 and this cruise had a lot of older people, not too many young people in there 20's or 30's. Activities range from movies under the stars, sexy leg competition, who's the cuckoo (very fun game with the staff), bingo, poster making, karaoke and other activities. If you have a smart phone, you can connect to the ships wifi and you can see all the events. To see the events on your phone is free! All the ports were great, if you are an early bird, go on the top deck to see the sunrises and entry into port. I booked most of my shore excursions through a third party and not the ship, but I did book two tours and they were great, one in Puerto Vallarta and San Juan del Sur. The buses makes sure you are back on time. If you book your shore excursions through the ship and lets say you get stuck in traffic and the ship is about to leave, the ship will wait for you since your booked the tour through the ship. As far as the Panama Canal, it is an all day event, from sunrise to sunset. It truly is wonderful to see and go through. The Destination Expert on the ship talks to you about the history of the canal and is very informative. When the ship begins to rise in the locks, go to the lower level and you will see just how much the ship rises and falls with the water. In the photography center, you can buy the movie of your journey through the canal, which I did and highly recommend. Items in the gift shop are expenses, so bring what you can, i.e extra sun block. Some passengers did complain about the sea days being too long.....well not every cruise ship can stop at a port each day. I enjoyed the sea days, as you had time to relax and get some sun. Overall, I enjoyed this cruise and would do it again. I sailed alone and they did have singles/solo get-to-together, but I did not attend these, as I was always by the pool. When at the ports, GET OFF THE SHIP AND EXPLORE. If you do not book a shore excursions, there are plenty of taxis near the port that will take you places. If you need items for your trip, there is a Walmart right by the port in Puerto Vallarta. Have fun and meet new people, I met a lot of people from Canada! Read Less
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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