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345 Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews

This is our 2nd cruise with Princess and our 4th in total. We flew from Manchester to Venice on 9th July for sailing on 10th. Everything went well from start to finish. No delays! We boarded the Island Princess in great time and found ... Read More
This is our 2nd cruise with Princess and our 4th in total. We flew from Manchester to Venice on 9th July for sailing on 10th. Everything went well from start to finish. No delays! We boarded the Island Princess in great time and found our way to our Mini Suite on Baha Deck. First impressions were lovely then about half an hour in I noticed a nasty smell, which I initially blamed my husband's trainers for!!! However, after chucking the offensive footwear onto the balcony, we could still smell this whiff, then noticed a stain on the carpet and a wet patch. This was where the smell was coming from and it was getting worse. We rang the steward who unconvincingly looked surprised about the complaint but happened to look directly where the smell was coming from! However, we were off to Venice for the day so left them to it. When we got back a few hours later, the stain was replaced by a patch of new carpet and the smell was almost gone completely, so fair play to them for getting it sorted for us. The steward then gave us a complimentary glass of champagne, so alls well there. Not a massive fan of formal night but we got into the swing of things only to be told we were being diverted to go and rescue a boat in trouble. Initially, i wasnt happy as i had visions of pirates and IS attacks!! (Very overactive imagination at times!). Our balcony was on the side of the troubled boat and we had quite an interesting night as it happens. Seeing the flare go up, seeing that the people were a) not terrorists or pirates or b) all ok, was a relief. We then decided to get some sleep as it was announced we would be waiting for the coastguard. However, woke at 5am to find we were actually going to rescue these poor people. 117 Syrian refugees!! All on a 40ft boat probably only fit for half that amount. Babies, children, men and women. We then dropped them off on a Greek isle the next day which meant we would miss Istanbul and go to Santorini instead. Well that was fine with us, we would much prefer that destination than Istanbul so we were happy. Santorini was amazing. Not deep enough to dock so we anchored at sea and used the boats to get to shore. Mykonos, similar to Santorini, lovely, Athens fab. Naples great. Wish we had more time to get to see more of Rome. We got a train which took an hour and a half to get there as well as 20 mins walk to the station so literally it was only a taster of Rome. We decided to book an excursion for Florence and it was great. Not too bad priced for a trip into Florence and left to our own devices for a few hours. Barcelona was amazing and we spent 2 nights there in a lovely hotel. Back to the cruise. Entertainment....Honestly it was terrible!! One band, i wont mention the name, were absolutely awful! The singer looked as though they were singing in a shower, with regards to the performance. The other band werent bad at all. Didnt go to any shows. Dining...Amazing food, absolutely loved it all. Not as good as the first Princess or Celebrity but very good nonetheless. We would definitely cruise with the Island Princess again. In spite of the entertainment, we had the best time and met some lovely people. However, the only people we had a problem with was those rude obnoxious passengers who felt they were better than any of the staff and crew so felt the need to resist any politeness such as please and thank you and to those people, i wish to say, shame on you and think, without these, so called "lower people" to yourselves, you wouldnt have had such a lovely cruise. So thank you to the wonderful crew members and the fabulous passengers we met from all over the world, for helping us to have the best holiday ever and to those rude high and mighty fools, whatever!!! You make yourselves look ridiculous!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I booked this cruise very last minute and actually didn't do a lot of research prior as there wasn't time. I knew Princess was a nice cruise line, but hadn't sailed with them before, and found out the ship had just been ... Read More
I booked this cruise very last minute and actually didn't do a lot of research prior as there wasn't time. I knew Princess was a nice cruise line, but hadn't sailed with them before, and found out the ship had just been through a major drydock. I chose the cruise because of a very good price and a great itinerary that included Istanbul. By the time I booked, all balconies were sold out, and I was offered a great deal on an oceanview or interior. We figured we would be in port a great deal, and booked an oceanview obstructed view based on price consideration and that we would have more money for port tours. Princess upgraded me against my request, and put me in a brand new oceanview cabin that was right next to the casino. I was not happy (that was an understatement). Called my travel agent several times, called Princess, was told the ship was completely sold out and could not change my room. I was assured several times that there would be no smoke smell in my cabin from the casino and that the room was actually a nice upgrade and in a nice midship location. At that point I had to try to go with a positive attitude and knew I would be be complaining bitterly if there was any smoke smell or unreasonable noise in a cabin. After all, who wants their cabin next to the casino. Well, I have got to say that Princess was absolutely right, there was absolutely no smoke smell or noise at all in the cabin and it was a MUCH better cabin then the obstructed view cabin I booked. We were in cabin F504, and the brand new cabin was set up just like a balcony cabin, but with a floor to ceiling picture window instead of a balcony. The bed was on the wall like a balcony cabin and not in front of the window, and we had a chair in front of the window. The bathroom was small, but brand new, and we had plenty of space for the two of us for the cruise. We ended up loving the midship location as we were so close to everything. I heard a couple comment as they walked by the corridor of these new rooms that they would hate a room near the casino. I would have agreed, but honestly liked this so much better than I thought I would have. Great room if you can get it at a budget price and like to be close to everything or have walking issues. Our cabin steward there was great too, and I did not miss the balcony as I thought I would. The ship's food was good, we actually really liked the Horizon Court and liked the fact that it was open to midnight. The main dining room was decent as well, and we ate there most nights. Compared to other lines I have been on, I thought the buffet was better than most and the main dining room was about equal, perhaps a little less. Service was spotty in the main dining room and we didn't like the fact that a table for two was literally two inches away from another table for two. We enjoyed afternoon tea on several afternoons and thought that was a nice touch. Entertainment was not particularly overwhelming, but it suited this port intensive cruise in Europe and the fact it was just my husband and myself relaxing. We sampled most entertainment options, but couldn't help compare shows to other ships we have sailed on. The fitness options were a huge disappointment. Not being able to run around the promenade deck and the fitness center being moved into a small space inside was not optimal. The minimal amount of fitness classes weren't even included in the Patter and I wondered if they did that so they wouldn't have a large turnout as there was minimal space. I will say that visually, the back of the ship was quite ugly and I never went around there as I had no way to get to the aft. The ship never seemed overly crowded, but on the top deck it was sometimes difficult to get lounge chairs near the pool. We always found some somewhere though and actually spent most of our time on the Promenade deck chairs where it was shady, cool and very quiet. Ports were great, however we missed Istanbul due to picking up refugees and that was a big disappoint as Istanbul was a huge draw for the cruise for me. Santorini was substituted and I was happy about that. Loved the Greek islands and we had plenty of time on them. Rented a scooter on Mykonos and went to the beach. Did Athens on our own, took the X80 bus in and Metro back and found it easy to do, but will say that we are walkers. Did a small group tour for Pompeii and the Amalfi, would make sure that your van will drive into Positano and not just drive by it with a picture stop. Did a small group tour in Rome too, was nice, just not enough time in Rome. If the Vatican is not important to you, then see the other sites with the limited time. Kind of wish we had done this, although our tour of the Vatican was very thorough and informative. Did Florence on our own and had a great day. Rented a car in Toulon, had a great time, just really wish it wasn't such an early all aboard at 3:30. Made it difficult to do a lot. The only shore excursion we booked through the ship was the Florence on your Own transportation. That worked out well, just wish we had left as soon as the ship had docked. Could have had another half hour in Florence easily. We loved Barcelona and Venice as embarkation and debarkation ports and found clean, and inexpensive lodging in great locations for both cities. Overall, we loved the cruise, lots of pros, a few cons. I would consider Princess again for a European cruise with lots of ports, but probably not for the Caribbean or Alaska. The demographic was right in line for us, we are a couple in our mid to late fifties. There were plenty of people of all ages though, and many different nationalities. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our 1st cruise so did not really know what to expect. When we arrived in Barcelona we were met by our driver who drove us to the port. Embarking was well organised, staff friendly and helpful. Our cabin was large, clean and ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise so did not really know what to expect. When we arrived in Barcelona we were met by our driver who drove us to the port. Embarking was well organised, staff friendly and helpful. Our cabin was large, clean and comfortable. Horizon restaurant had lots of choices and the food very good, we also had 2 lovely meals in the Bordeaux where we enjoyed afternoon tea also. We chose not to book excursions with the ship instead we hired a driver at each port which worked out cheaper each driver was very friendly and took us to some lovely places of interest and to beautiful italian resturants for lunch Sorrento being one of our favorites. The service on board was exceptional there was always happy friendly staff to bring drinks whenever we wanted them. We spent a lot of evenings in "Crooners bar" all staff there made us very welcome especially Savio Fernandes, Sandeep Gaikwad & Jenalyn Salvador. Dan and Duke were great hosts and we enjoyed the british pub night. One criticism there are not enough smoking areas otherwise had a great time already looking to book another. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I read the forum relating to what the Island Princess would be like after her re-fit with some amusement as everyone seemed to be worrying so much! Anyway, despite having not been on this ship before we have been with a couple of other ... Read More
I read the forum relating to what the Island Princess would be like after her re-fit with some amusement as everyone seemed to be worrying so much! Anyway, despite having not been on this ship before we have been with a couple of other lines so were able to have something to compare. We were on Baja deck, mid-ship, and was a great position. Slight vibration but nothing I couldn't sleep through. The shower is tiny and we did wonder how some coped but I'm sure there was a knack to it. Shampoo, body wash and lotion provided. The ship never felt crowded, even on sea days you could find a fairly quiet spot and always a chair. Smokers - no smoking on Promenade Deck - only inside at Churchills, however, a large area on Deck 14. This was great for smokers as the non-smokers, who are in the majority, left us well alone so there were always tables and chairs. The bar staff came around regularly to ask if you wanted drinks. Horizon Court - we did anytime dining but actually only used the Horizon Court. We tend to eat late so it was fairly quiet. The food was delicious, really tasty and always a good choice. The coffee is pretty revolting but I'm a bit of a coffee snob. If you have an early start for an excursion my advice would be to order room service for breakfast, sometimes that was a little "hectic". Sabatini's - we went once for our anniversary/my birthday - personally I wouldn't bother. Ports were all great - we did Princess tours in each. Some could be a bit better organised but overall all very good. All the staff we encountered were helpful and really nice. I swore I would never go on another cruise, but just maybe the Island Princess has swung it. So in summary, don't worry, you'll have a lovely cruise, and remember we're the lucky ones cruising around the Mediterranean in relative luxury - some are fleeing their countries and risking their lives to get across. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Loved the cruise, loved the ship, loved most of the staff, especially the dining room staff, the only suggestion is the the front desk on this ship did not seem as service oriented as on all the previous ships we have been on. The recent ... Read More
Loved the cruise, loved the ship, loved most of the staff, especially the dining room staff, the only suggestion is the the front desk on this ship did not seem as service oriented as on all the previous ships we have been on. The recent renovated ship (first sailing since dry dock) was quite nice and we had no problems, but we heard stories of others that did, especially with plumbing issues. We personally had no problems at all. The food was excellent and the headwaiter, Andreai, personally visited our table each evening to personally take the order of one of our party that has food allergies. He always had kind words and a good spirit as well as our waiter and beverage server who joked with us, while giving great service. This is one reason we love traditional dining on Princess and hope they don't follow the trend of going to all anytime dining. We loved all the Ports and watching history come to life in each one. We did do mostly private tours in all Ports except Istanbul, because we like the intimacy for our group of six rather than being on a bus with 45 others. These tours were excellent, going to many places off the tour lists of the large tours. We did enjoy the Istanbul tour, but we just liked the private tours better. More up close and personal and on our schedule, not their's. We love Princess Cruises and are always happy each time we return home and start planning for our next Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Last things first! The Island Princess sailed into the Venetian sunset yesterday, bound for Trieste and a multi-million dollar, 45-day refit. Some people might have thought then, that the final voyage before the makeover, a 17-night ... Read More
Last things first! The Island Princess sailed into the Venetian sunset yesterday, bound for Trieste and a multi-million dollar, 45-day refit. Some people might have thought then, that the final voyage before the makeover, a 17-night sell-out cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Venice (March 19 to April 7) could be rather a scrappy affair. After all some of the crew were staying on to tend to the small army of Italian workers hired for the job, the rest were dispersing to the far corners of the world, some to return, some not. But far from it. Ninety nine per cent of them worked hard and fastidiously to make sure the old ship left an excellent impression in the minds of the passengers. And, more important, looking forward to the upgraded version. The overall itinerary, designed with the Italian job in Trieste in mind, probably looked a bit dodgy, too. In the event, the seven straight sunny days in the Atlantic passed like a dream, with a packed programme of events to suit most tastes. The sun-kissed island of Madeira (well, it was, that day) intervened before two more days at sea and the next stop in Barcelona. In fair or foul weather (and it was fair) Barcelona is always a winner. So were Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Venice although, in retrospect, it was a little foolhardy to expect to move easily around the Italian capital on Good Friday and similarly in captivating Venice on Easter Monday, although Island Princess was the only cruise ship in town. But we were still glad to be there. The passenger list, of course, was dominated by Americans and Canadians, with the Brits a good third, just short-heading the Japanese. Other plusses: The willingness of virtually all the crew to be helpful and attentive, particularly in the various eating places and the Passenger Services desk. The standard of food throughout the ship seemed to receive good marks and the mountainous platefuls in Horizon Court were testament to both the quality and imagination. Princess seem to have found a promising cruise director in Dan Appleby, from Blackpool, though he probably confused more than a few of the Transatlantic passengers with his Eric Morecambe act. Finally, we defied the tireless promotion of souvenir goods bearing the company’s name and logo. Nay, you can’t expect a Yorkshire lad to go into the pub with a tee-shirt bearing the word “Princess”. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
We normally try to take a Holland America relocation cruise every spring to Europe. We decided to try Princess lines given the Madeira/Barcelona/Rome/Naples/Venice itinerary and attractive price. We figured that Princess and HAL ... Read More
We normally try to take a Holland America relocation cruise every spring to Europe. We decided to try Princess lines given the Madeira/Barcelona/Rome/Naples/Venice itinerary and attractive price. We figured that Princess and HAL couldn't be that far apart since they belong to the same company. We couldn't have been more wrong. The gap is like that between a Lexus and a Toyota--both fine products from the same corporation but definitely not in the same league. Embarkation when a cruise line leaves a lasting first impression and the impression that Princess conveyed was chaos and indifference. Nobody was in charge of actually getting guests to their rooms, they simply wanted to move the herd away so that they could deal with others coming on board. The crew greeting guests at the end of the gangway told us we needed to take the atrium elevator (without informing us these lifts did not go all the way up to the Baja deck). When we went to the elevator, another crewman said this was the wrong elevator, and sent us (and a growing crowd of lost, unhappy guests) back to the original starting point. The first set of crew members again pointed to the atrium elevators. Only later, a better-informed crewman had the sense to tell the crowd to proceed to the atrium, take the elevator to the 8th floor, then walk down the hallway to another set of elevators to get to the higher floors. A little communication, or maybe somebody taking the responsibility to get guests to their rooms, would have gone a long way to creating a better first impression. Once underway, the ship fell into a comfortable routine. Princess gets high marks for their movie selection--both for the Movie Under the Stars and the films streamed on their CCTV. Other onboard entertainment was a mixed bag. Some of the musical entertainment--piano man Funch and the Show Band were top class. Other shows--the dance troupe--were downright amateurish. We had two lecturers--a former UK police official and an ex-RAF man--whose arid presentations seemed geared towards a very narrow specialist audience. The Port Guide was terrific however (other cruise lines should emulate Princess) and I really appreciated the fact that he was available at a "help desk" after his lectures to assist passengers in fine tuning their excursions. Food was above average, definitely more hits than misses. The vast breakfast steam plate options at the Horizon Court beat the limited menu in the sit-down Bordeaux room every time. Lunch was a toss up. Dinner was definitely the main meal of the day, and we appreciated the wide range of options--outstanding German food, some Pan-Asian offerings, and plenty of well-prepared seafood courses--usually available. The fish-and-chips lunch offering at the Bayou Cafe and the pizzas (such skimpy toppings!) topside got a "meh" response from me, but the freshly prepared burgers, bratwurst, and sauerkraut-laden knockwursts were a welcome late-night snack option. Captain Manfuso is definitely a man of few words. His speech at his Welcome Aboard Party consisted of two brief sentences before he quickly made his exit. He was pretty much undetectable for the rest of the 18 day voyage. By default, Cruise Director Don Appleby became the face (and voice) of Princess Lines for the duration of our voyage. He brought a frenetic jocularity to the ship that was reminiscent of a Butlin's Holiday Camp. If that's the image that Princess wants to project, they have certainly succeeded. I'm not much for exercise, but my wife reported that the early morning Zoomba class was outstanding. It was downright sneaky of Princess to leave tickets for the Venice water taxi in your room with a small-print instruction to return the tickets or else you would be charged $29 per person. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We have been through the Canal a few years ago. On this trip the menu has a nice change from the sort of ordinary American buffet to a little of the Mexican flavour. The singers and dancers seemed to demonstrate both 'synergy and ... Read More
We have been through the Canal a few years ago. On this trip the menu has a nice change from the sort of ordinary American buffet to a little of the Mexican flavour. The singers and dancers seemed to demonstrate both 'synergy and energy' in their numbers particularly the Bayou performance. The cabin steward took the time to introduce himself and his services at the start of the cruise which I thought was very professional. The ship in general in my humble opinion is better overall then the new larger Royal or Regal ships. Mind you it was also our first disappointing experience at the the Effy jewelry store. We included the incident in the evaluation and the Princess Service centre did call which I did not expect. They do read the reviews. Lastly the hot tubs could be set at least one of the hot tubs to 'hot'. All in all a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
It was our second cruise on the Island Princess. The entertainment could have been much better, many nights, there was nothing in the theater. A lot of times, the timing was terrible for movies. Movies and TV programming were old and ... Read More
It was our second cruise on the Island Princess. The entertainment could have been much better, many nights, there was nothing in the theater. A lot of times, the timing was terrible for movies. Movies and TV programming were old and very limited (nothing new, really) I missed the Crown Grill from the other ships, Bayou Cafe & Steakhouse is not anywhere in the same class. Sabatini's was very good, as on other ships. It used to be fun, with all the stuff going on at Facets, the Jewelry store. The change to an EFFY Jewelry store was a complete disaster, you can get that Chains Stuff anywhere else. You want to have some fun on a cruise, not some boring stores. I hope, Princess does not have to pay the staff to stand around and populate the store. The Art gallery had always things going on and was fun. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I was nervous about it all, having never cruised before, but within two hours we were completely comfortable and having a great time. Short excursions were messed up: scammed in Puerto Amador, foiled by demonstrations in Puntarenas, wholly ... Read More
I was nervous about it all, having never cruised before, but within two hours we were completely comfortable and having a great time. Short excursions were messed up: scammed in Puerto Amador, foiled by demonstrations in Puntarenas, wholly disappointed in Aruba, double-crossed in Cartagena. Princess' Puerto Chiapas excursion, on the other hand, was five-star. Lots of colds and coughing on this cruise, one person medevac'd at Cabo (with pneumonia according to scuttlebutt). Entertainment would have been a five, except for singer Sophie Selbie, who was shrill and whose material (Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Carpenters) was not to our tastes. Production shows were excellent, especially "Motor City". Had anytime dining which was okay after the first few nights (45 minute waits). Took Ultimate Ship's Tour which was amazing and totally worth the money. Loved the minisuite. We came home on Friday and by the following Monday, I'd booked our next Princess cruise. I guess that says it all! Ship highlights: Lotus Pool area, although hot tubs there were not especially hot. Sun and Sports Decks at night make for great exploring. Lots of time in the Explorers Lounge for trivia and karaoke. Liked that the Fitness Room had views. Splurged on the Thermal Suite one sea day and thought it was marvelous. Really liked the wraparound Promenade Deck, especially in the tropics when the wind was warm and you could go walk out there any time, day or night. Cruise highlights: Panama Canal, despite boring, droning commentary (and I'd read the McCullough book). Just being in the isthmus was a thrill for me. Beautiful robins-egg blue water. Loved the narrow sections in particular. Otherwise, it was all good. Yes, a cruise is a floating assisted-living facility, but what's wrong with that for two weeks? Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Overall great cruise. entertainment out of this world.... service as good as it gets..... food only average..... ports were average as usual compared to other cruises.... Panama canal was very interesting.... Aruba was a waste of time... ... Read More
Overall great cruise. entertainment out of this world.... service as good as it gets..... food only average..... ports were average as usual compared to other cruises.... Panama canal was very interesting.... Aruba was a waste of time... only saw the very poor areas of Columbia and Costa Rica.... ship is showing signs of age and had many areas in buffet that were dirty.... overall three star... priced right but don't expect a big shower as they are very, very small..... Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
The ship is showing its due for dry dock. On several occasions they were combating water leaks in the hall ceiling outside our cabin. This was our first cruise on Princess and on both our most recent vacations on RCL the balconies were ... Read More
The ship is showing its due for dry dock. On several occasions they were combating water leaks in the hall ceiling outside our cabin. This was our first cruise on Princess and on both our most recent vacations on RCL the balconies were covered, so silly me I just assumed this would be. Live and learn. Since the ship was only about 2/3's full I called the Service Desk and asked if we could change cabins and was told by the young lady who took my call that she would check into it and call me back. After several hours and no feedback I went down to the service desk and explained the situation to the young man at the counter. He was most apologetic about the lack of a response and then excused himself as he went back into the office area to see what could be done. He returned several minutes later with the response that he was sorry but there was "nothing comparable available". I never got a straight answer what exactly this meant and was never offered any attempt to ameliorate the situation. Shame on me once again for not pushing it up the line to at least receive an understandable reason why nothing could be done. It was an interesting contrast to our last RCL cruise where we had a less than desirable dinner experience in one of their optional dining venues and they went way above and beyond to make it right. At any rate I didn't feel as if this were properly resolved. Being a panamax ship it also was much smaller than the last several ships we've been on and it felt a little claustrophobic. We prefer the promenade and wide open spaces of the RCL ships. The other issue we had is with the quality of food in the main dining room. We chose anytime dining which worked well and provided us flexibility plus allowed us to meet a lot of interesting fellow cruisers. To Princess credit the menu selections were extremely varied but the actual food served was spotty. While several of the entrees were quite good we also experienced dry pork tenderloin, fatty almost scrappy beef and dried out fish. We would have gladly opted for less variety of better prepared dishes. One of the highlights was the on board lecturer Bill (his last name didn't register) who held informative talks prior to every port. He was thorough, extremely knowledgeable, most approachable and entertaining. Overall he did a fantastic job. We enjoyed the trip a great deal. The ship was OK but the ports of call were all fascinating, and/or very pleasant. We'd definitely like to do it again when the Canal expansion opens in 2016 but we may try Celebrity for that trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was not our first Princess cruise, and we consider ourselves "savvy" as to the ins and outs of cruising. We started our 8-day cruisetour in Fairbanks with the first hiccup occurring right off the plane. We were a day early, ... Read More
This was not our first Princess cruise, and we consider ourselves "savvy" as to the ins and outs of cruising. We started our 8-day cruisetour in Fairbanks with the first hiccup occurring right off the plane. We were a day early, and the Princess rep. was unable to provide our Welcome packets, as they were at the Princess Fairbanks Lodge. She wrote our names down, and told us that we could collect our packets at the Lodge, assuring us the packets would not be sent back to the airport. We arrive at the Lodge only to learn that our Packets were sent back to the airport. The packets never did arrive, so they had to re-print new ones-they forgot our meal vouchers. Our group was small enough that this was not a problem. Most of the land tour was seamless, except that my DH got sick at Denali. No problem, it was not Noro. Our guide, Jack Curtiss was very attentive and concerned that he would be well enough to travel; he was. Boarding the ship at Whittier was an interesting experience. The bus was boarded by a woman reminding me of a prison matron; she was wearing a Princess name tag. We got no welcome, and were given explicit instruction as to what we were to do next without the opportunity to ask questions. We got on the ship in less than 20 mins. start to finish with no further contract with the matron. First impression was not good. Once on board, we were offered the Maitre D wine tasting no less than nine times in the first hour and a half. While having lunch in the Horizon, we were asked by a staff member if we "want some coffee card". I am beginning to re-think the Princess experience where the staff have become carnival hawkers. I do not want to be sold anything after paying almost $12,000.00 for my vacation, and I did not appreciate the in-you-face sales pitches during the boarding period. Overall, the cruise was very nice, the weather could have been better. Three weeks of rain every single day. One comment I have is to the disorganization experienced on the ship. No one seemed to have their"act" together as to being consistent with instruction, etc. The usual precision with which excursions are handled was totally off. The Princess Theater was our meeting place, and only one staff person was there to organize tours and passengers. She was not prepared to seat us nor did she have her signs arranged for the different tours. It was quite the gaggle. The "our last Alaska Cruise for the season" should not be offered as as an excuse for anything. All passengers deserve a consistently good experience be it the first or last. I noticed subtle changes throughout the cruise as to the quality of the on board experience. As I mentioned previously, the sales pitches are way over the top. The Pub lunches were a HUGE disappointment. No bangers and mash, no ploughman's lunch. Instead it was a deep fried and greasy disappointment with fish and chips and "prawns" and chips, Scotch Eggs and chicken curry. The cruise director was MIA most of the time, and the entertainment and activities were mundane. Thank goodness we had excursions at port to off set the lack of imagination. I think Princess needs to do some market comparisons and become a little more creative in their guest experience. As much as I enjoy Princess, I do not want to be nickel and dimed to death on my vacation. The so-called beverage package is over priced at $49/day/person. The Bayou Cafe was not worth the cover charge at $25/pp as I found it lacking imagination. I can get more than three pieces of catfish and fries for a lot less than $25.00 here at home. The Island Princess is in need of a face-lift. Our balcony door leaked and we had wet carpeting the entire time, despite off and on efforts to wet vac and fan dry it. The person who brought the fan left a mess of debris; our cabin steward thought we had made the mess! As much as I want to remain loyal to Princess, I will be looking at other lines that offer all-inclusive fares and do the math. Princess may not win. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My wife and I booked a cruise on the Island Princess as part of our 3 week vacation in Alaska. We taught it would be good to include some luxury and pampering in a more sportive and adventurous holiday. It was my 4th cruise on Princess and ... Read More
My wife and I booked a cruise on the Island Princess as part of our 3 week vacation in Alaska. We taught it would be good to include some luxury and pampering in a more sportive and adventurous holiday. It was my 4th cruise on Princess and the second time I did an Alaskan cruise with them so I taught I knew what to expect. There were more than 10 years in between my previous Alaskan cruise but the itinerary hasn't changed. (anyway not that I remember) We booked our cruise transportation from Anchorage to Whittier with ATC. They pick you up at the exact same location at the airport, around more or less the same time. Our driver was very friendly and gave lot's of information about Alaska, he even made a stop when we saw some Beluga whales. I can absolutely recommend them and they're cheaper than what you order from Princess. Boarding process was very efficient and we were on the ship in no time. What I immediately noticed was that from the moment we had 1 foot on the ship we were invited to join wine tasting ($$$), book a massage ($$$), go to a special opening of the shops ($$$), .... We felt like we walked on an Egyptian market. I had hoped to enter an oasis of luxury and tranquility but this was completely different and it ruined our first impressions. The selling practices continued the whole cruise. It seemed like there were wine tastings each and every day. I lost count how many times they asked me if I wanted to sign-up for wine tasting. In the atrium, in the dining room, at the entrance of the Horizon bar, at the entrance of the theater.... Every evening after dinner they had some special shot they tried to sell. All things that were organised from video screenings about glacier bay to vodka tastings and port talks ended with a special offer for a DVD or something else they tried to sell. And what I disliked most, you couldn't trust any of the prizes or promotions as the next day it turned out to be cheaper or the promotion that supposedly only ran for this day only was still going on 3 days later. As a last point of frustration. They used to put a napkin on your table once they had asked if you wanted something to drink to signal other waiters that you have been served. Not anymore... so now 3 or 4 different waiters will come by to ask if you need anything. Completely unnecessary and not efficient. Except for these remarks we liked our cruise. We were impressed by the food at diner time, only once we had something that was not to our taste but much more often it was above our expectations. (we always had diner in the main restaurant) For lunch we always went to the Horizon court, the grill or we took a pizza. Pizza's were really good, Horizon court was so&so. Service in the restaurant was excellent. We had a mini-suite on the dolphin deck. Our room was spacious but you shouldn't get too high expectations when you hear "suite". Except for a bath and a maybe somewhat bigger cabin there's not much "suite" to this room. I was surprised we had to ask for slippers, a bathrobe, a shower cap and even our welcome drink. I wonder if we would have gotten our welcome drink if we hadn't asked for it. As for the amenities it would be a nice gesture if they were provided in the room and you wouldn't need to ask for them. Compared with celebrity cruise's "concierge class" the mini-suite is really subpar. Our cabin steward was really helpful though. Entertainment on-board was okay. Great illusionist and nice production shows. There were always lot's of things going on, we had to plan our day carefully to be able to fit in everything we wanted to do. :-) The ships condition is OK, except for some minor issues in the room I noticed nothing that could point to wear and tear. If I'm informed correctly the ship will be in the dry dock pretty soon for 3 months so by then it will certainly be no problem anymore. Maybe they should clean the AC cause I noticed that by the time we arrived in Vancouver more than half of the ship seemed to be sneezing, coughing and so on...my wife and myself included. That was a bit of a disappointment as well. It was the first time I encountered something similar to this but it clearly showed how fast that a disease can spread on a cruise ship. Disembarkation again went very smooth. As we had no plans we were one of the last to disembark and there was no delay, we disembarked exactly as the time announced. Superb! To wrap it up: For the cruise itinerary I remain convinced that Princess or HAL are one of the best in Alaska. It's a nice ship, crew and food are really OK. My biggest disappointment was all the selling going on as well as the decline of the inclusive package. (190$ to visit the galley, are they really serious?) Princess was till today the Cruise Line I was most loyal to but I don't think you get that much in return for your loyalty. The captain's circle reception was a bit a dull experience. We had, just like everybody I think, one little bite to eat and it was tasteless. As a drink I took a cosmopolitan but I had the impression they had forgotten to put the alcohol in, it tasted like lemonade. Next cruise will probably be on Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We definitely enjoyed our family reunion trip to Alaska despite the gloomy weather We constantly reminded ourselves that we were in one of the largest rain forest during the rainy season. In fact the cloudy weather resulted in some ... Read More
We definitely enjoyed our family reunion trip to Alaska despite the gloomy weather We constantly reminded ourselves that we were in one of the largest rain forest during the rainy season. In fact the cloudy weather resulted in some haunting artistic photos. Our balcony room was adequate withe good storage space and a very tight shower. It was impossible to take a shower without wetting the entire bath room floor. We enjoyed our spacious balcony throughout the journey. Our room stewardess,Lily, was outstanding she was Kind/Hard working//Anticipatory to our needs and very helpful at showing the ropes of ship life, Thank You Lilly!!! In fact we found the entire ship staff excellent,professional and very courteous. The .boarding and disembarking of our ship was excellent / very efficient a logistical outstanding impressive rating.Ship on board activities were frenetic to us seemed like too many and some were some what hokey,Port tours were expensive so we did some on our own or with port tour guide services. Ship board life seemed like very unsubtle selling of just about everything/much too commercial for our taste Food in dining room was good but not great .Specialty restaurant Sabatini's ; was excellent;. The shipboard Buffet was good well prepared and presented for a large operation. In fact we felt that some people spent all their time there and never looked at the majestic scenery   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was my first cruise, I had no idea what to expect. Princess was recommended to me by several family members, was told I got a great deal, no if you ask me. From the start, the entire check-in process seemed so disorderly, a total ... Read More
This was my first cruise, I had no idea what to expect. Princess was recommended to me by several family members, was told I got a great deal, no if you ask me. From the start, the entire check-in process seemed so disorderly, a total hurry up and wait process. HUrry to get here, wait in line for a half hour or more.....finally got on board, our cabin was nice, smaller than a hotel room, but, just enough, nonetheless. Bed was so-so, wife needed extra pillows for her back, they were very obliging. One thing I will say, their customer service was awesome! Food was all rich gourmet foods in the main dining rooms. How many times can you eat filet, they aso had a cafeteria style eatery, it was okay, seemed like there wasn't much variety there either, there is a pizzaria onboard, fairly good, also an ice cream parlor, both of these close early though. Not being a gambler, or a big bar person, I found the cruise borderline boring. Checked out two comedians (I think they were), they were pretty bad. Not into broadway type shows, so did not ttend any of them. Good thing I had my Kindle loaded with books. The ship had some newer movies, a fw interested me, so I went to see them. They had in room streaming TV channels. Reruns of favorites, Big Bang Theory, etc, movies also streamed in rooms. I felt nickle and dimed to death. Was fed al these gourmet foods and charged $2.00 for a can fo soda?!!! REALLY? I know many cruiselines do this and I am not a big soda drinker anyway, but, that is not the point. They have drink packages for this and that, there is also a beer package for some subpar watery American beers, Bud, etc. Not worht the money. Drinks usually run around $10.00/mixed drink, I was told. I felt that the cruise could have been much mich better if there were no hidden charges, charges me a few more dollars for the cruise, do away with the soda package, serve some more normal fare rather than rich (indigestion brewing) gourmet fare that is only okay. The rooms are clean. Princess offered excursions when in port, I was very dissapointed to see that they tunred Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway in giant shopping toilets, with jewelry stores owned by the cruiselines. YOU WILL FIND NO DEALS HERE, hese stores are way overpriced, tax free or not!!! I will not be going on another cruise unless I go to a super upscale line with no hidden charges, including excursions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My family just got off the Island Princess on a 50th wedding anniversary for my folks. Overall it was a wonderful trip. I have sailed before on the Coral Princess, the Island Princess sister ship. We sailed on the Coral right before it ... Read More
My family just got off the Island Princess on a 50th wedding anniversary for my folks. Overall it was a wonderful trip. I have sailed before on the Coral Princess, the Island Princess sister ship. We sailed on the Coral right before it went into dry dock, and it was great. I thought the Island would be just as nice, and in many ways it was, but it also fell short in some areas. The ship looked worn and will greatly benefit from its time in dry dock, but the cabins and ship were very clean. My niece, Abby, has a severe nut allergy. It was handle with great care. The kids staff were trained in the use of the epi pen. We got to know the head chef in both the dining room and the buffet. The head chef in the buffet made special meals for Abby whenever she arrived, even with no notice. During the cruise, the ship had 2 kids only dinner parties in the buffet. Because of Abby, everything at those meals was nut free. The head waiter in the dining room was wonderful with Abby, and would deliver her meals himself, checking on her often throughout each meal. Our waiter at the 5:15 time was Fernando. He was wonderful, making sure he called all of us by name and worked very hard to accommodate the special requests. Fernando took great care of my family. My family had 5 kids using the Shockwaves program (ages 8 - 12). The program and staff were wonderful. My son spent almost all of his time there. We enjoyed being on the ship very much, but there were a couple of downsides to the trip. Unfortunately the music was blaring, and I mean blaring, during sail away. Leaving out of Vancouver is so pretty, but it was unpleasant to be on deck for the party. One had to shout to be heard. It was like a rock concert. My family went to the back deck, away from the music and watch the ship sail out of the city. On the second day of the cruise my mother tripped on an unmarked step. She hurt her foot and needed it elevated for a couple of days. Alexis in customer care was wonderful. She got my mother use of the dining room room service, even though my mother was not in a suite. My family enjoys having drinks and visiting in places like Crooner's and the Wheelhouse Bar, before and after dinner. However, in the evenings the music in both places was too loud to carry on a conversation. That was frustrating. Also, something was wrong with the ship's air filters. The smell of smoke was in many places surrounding the inside smoking lounge. On the first night I could even see the smoke floating in the air in the Wheelhouse bar. I heard many passengers complaining about the smoke throughout the cruise. I think time in dry dock will probably fix this problem. The food was hit or miss, and for the most part I enjoyed it. The goat cheese soufflé was the best thing I ate on the trip. The staff overall was wonderful, polite, and worked hard to serve. But this was the first cruise I have been on where some of the staff were rude. I won't go into details, but it was disappointing. I think the ship will be beautiful and the smoke problem will be taken care of at dry dock. The kids' program is great. But since we never found a place to hang out and visit, and since some of the staff was unpleasant, I think we will go back to the Coral or some other ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Our biggest motivation for this cruise was to check the #1 on my 85 year old grandmother's bucket list (who am I kidding, mine too). There were 4 of us in our party: my aunt, my psuedo aunt, my grandmother, and I. I'll break my ... Read More
Our biggest motivation for this cruise was to check the #1 on my 85 year old grandmother's bucket list (who am I kidding, mine too). There were 4 of us in our party: my aunt, my psuedo aunt, my grandmother, and I. I'll break my review into pros and cons for easy reading. Pros: -You can't help but being awestruck by the beauty of Alaska (I think everyone should aim to go there at least once in their lifetime) -the option of doing a land tour and cruise -for the most part, well organized -Blown away, that they had a LGBT event...very proud of Princess to do so -Guides on coach buses, front desk employees, waiters were fantastic -they brought on rangers to the ship which gave great narrations and discussed what we might see and the best times to look out for them -Entertainment was pretty good. Cons (need improvement): -you essentially label yourself handicapped or not handicapped (this was an issue, because my grandmother falls somewhere in the middle). By not labeling her as handicapped she was expected to walk long distances. She's almost 85 and for example on the land tour they'd book us in the farthest lodges/rooms, some with stairs. Suggested solution: Princess could perhaps offer a limited mobility option. -Communication: Communication was poor. Examples include: When I book the cruise, verbally tell me that if I book a flight it has to be at least x hour after disembarkation. I scheduled a flight 4 hours after we were to disembark, and then come to find out a week before we leave that that is not enough time, which resulted in an additional $500+ in change fees for me. Later I found this information in fine print on the Princess website. Communication about Itineraries-they give you your itinerary/room keys as you exit the coach bus and then expect that you know where you're going. The 2 minutes walking off the bus was not enough time for me to figure what I have to do, before I step off the bus in the rain. Also, on the cruise portion, they drop off schedules for the next day, late late at night while you're asleep. I wish they were earlier so you know if you should get up early in the morning for something. Instead, I missed many of the early activities. Communication amongst land tour excursion desks-In Denali, I was interested in finding an active excursion that fit in my schedule in McKinley. When asking the tour desk, they told me that each desk is pretty "localized". Also, improvement I envisioned is maybe a kiosk or something in your room that will give you your schedule AND tell you what excursions would fit the free time with descriptions. Kayaking excursion communication- They did not tell us they would give us dry bags for our things until we got there. That caused me to keep my camera back on the ship and miss out on some fantastic shots. General mistreatment of their employees: These workers work 12-16 hours a day with very limited time off. Nickel and Diming-Princess is really good at charging you for almost every little thing. OVERKILL with jewelry Would have loved a way to communicate with my family-suggest maybe onboard text messaging-meet me here. I know we used to have to plan back in pre-2000 or just miss out, but the technology is there and I feel like we missed out on some things because we were wasting our time trying to find each other. Would have loved more time in each port-sometimes 6-8 hours is really pushing it No sommelier in the dining room-DO NOT GO ON THIS CRUISELINE IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY WINE ON A CRUISE. The wine was beyond mediocre and no one could tell me a single thing about a single bottle, but I hear a "Merlot" is good. Forget it if you want a nice bottle of Bordeaux, the oldest bottle they had was a 2011. At the very least tell me a little something on the wine menu. They could at least offer some wines that have been rated. Also, if you like dark beer..DO NOT GO ON THIS CRUISELINE. Bright side is I saved a lot of money by not drinking hardly at all. Lack of attention: In the dining room, my grandmother fell on a poorly designed 1" step. The table next to the step said they've seen someone fall at least once a night. What is worse is that no one from the ship addressed the incident, only a Physician Assistant who was another guest. Way to go Princess! You should probably at least put a sign there that says watch your step. Lack of providing tools for employees: I can't tell you how many times, I would see employees struggling to do their jobs...though they always kept a smile on their face. Princess is in the dark ages as far as giving their employees tools and information for them to succeed. I would have really loved to see that they had more icebreaker events for guests to meet other guests...common interests...geographic...something..they did have the LGBT one that I was proud of Princess that they had. Would be nice if they threw in maybe 30 minutes of wifi for each guest. I couldn't contact my mom to tell her how my grandmother was doing without selling my right arm. They could have communicated how to tip extra our waiter, room attendant, for great service. And last but not least, because I know you're all wondering about the food. Food-they probably save money by people not ordering seconds or missing courses because the food just isn't worth the calories. In their defense, there were some nights, where the food was better than average but for the most part the selection and preparation were lackluster. For better food, go on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
As a solo traveler, I got a really good deal, which is rare obviously. I just wanted to get away and try and build up my next tier for cruising on Princess. Additionally, I wanted to check out the ship and try and relax and have a good ... Read More
As a solo traveler, I got a really good deal, which is rare obviously. I just wanted to get away and try and build up my next tier for cruising on Princess. Additionally, I wanted to check out the ship and try and relax and have a good time, which I did. As a previous passenger on the Pacific Princess last month, I really enjoyed the Island Princess even more. It was bigger in scale scale, the service was slightly better, the crowd was a little bit younger, the food was better and the entertainment was absolutely outstanding. The cabins are laid out much differently than the Pacific. They are smaller in square footage but I like the layout better. For example, there is ample closet space and a bathroom, which is more private and secluded then on the Pacific Princess since you have the closet as a divider! Additionally, the balconies have a glass transparent structure that allow you to look at the ocean with little to no obstruction. One thing I do not like about most Princess ships is they have balconies that protrude under other balconies. On this particular ship, the forward section of balconies are at level from top to bottom decks on the ship. This means you're not looking down on someone or turning your head and looking up at a sea of balconies looking at you. For the most part, their larger ships really missed the mark on "private balconies" in my opinion! If you want more private on this type of ship, select one in the forward section. The ship, three years newer than the Pacific Princess, felt much newer and did not show her age. The public areas were completely shiny and new, the carpeting was in great condition and so was all the furniture throughout the ship. The entertainment on board was outstanding. The show, "On the Bayou," was wonderful and is only shown on the Island and its sister, the Coral as they built a stage made just for this show that rotates, has hydraulic lifts and spins. The "Piano Man," at the Princess Theater was also superb and featured songs of Billy Joel, Elton John and Barry Manilow. One thing Princess is extremely behind on is there anal-retentive nature about dressing formally on a formal evening. They seem to forget people are on vacation and although some people want to dress in formal attire, many do not. It should be "formal optional" and Princess really falls behind the mark in this domain. The only drawbacks are the formal evenings and the disembarkation was not the greatest. I did a "self-help" disembarkation, meaning I did not purchase a princess transfer this time. When I went to the "platinum lounge," the Captain's Cruise Circle hostess (Julie) told me to "be gone." That really put a damper on the last memory I had getting off. Being that I enjoy the rest of the crew so much I did not allow her rudeness to interfere with the good time I had but I did leave immediately when she pointed me out to the gangway. Another drawback, their afternoon tea is extraordinarily rushed and you could tell the servers do not want to do this additional task. They are downright rude and passing around sandwiches and tea as quickly as possible. Although they wear white gloves, it is certainly far from white glove service. Princess needs to rethink this and make it a little bit more as they advertise it. Lastly, I really appreciate that Princess allows people to have gluten-free bread and rice milk or soy milk for those of us who prefer an alternative to dairy or gluten. Great product, I recommend anybody to go on this beautiful ship! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Great trip on the land part of the tour. Princess had the luggage handleding down to a science. They took care of everything and we just went where we were supposed to be and rode nice buses and the train. Mckinley and Denali were GREAT! ... Read More
Great trip on the land part of the tour. Princess had the luggage handleding down to a science. They took care of everything and we just went where we were supposed to be and rode nice buses and the train. Mckinley and Denali were GREAT! Definitely do these in Alaska. The cruise was wonderful also. There were eight of us, we were on the same level just different sides of the ship. This was good, we were able to see different things. The boarding process was easy, Princess had a representative board the train in Anchorage and fill out paper work and go over passports before we got to Whittier. We were issued our cruise cards/door keys cards while on the train. At arrival, the lines to board moved very quickly and we were on board in no time. Our cabin was clean and set up just the way we ordered, Out steward handled our every request and did a great job. Cleaned everyday and prepared at night. The ship was farely east to move around on, it just took a day or two to get my bearings. Lots of activities to do during the cruise days at sea. And boy did they take a lot of pictures. That got old, them trying to sell the pics. But you didn't have to buy. The food was pretty good, we ate in the anytime dining room and had good service. The food was just a little disappointing at times. We thought later we might should have taken the same time meal, rather than have to coordinate four different couples schedules. The buffet food was good also, the service here though was not as good. You waited for drinks at time and had to get things for yourself once in a while. The pizzeria was very good, available anytime. And the grill was good, burgers. Also, ice cream place was good and available anytime also. We had a voucher for one of the premier restaurants Sabatinies (sp). It was very, very good, Italian with lots of pasta, very good. The entertainment seemed to start a couple of days after we sailed or we missed the first days. The shows were very good, just not very long, hardly and hour, but there were two shows. The Captain did an excellent job with moving the ship in the glacier areas, so both sides could get good views. But I would still get a balcony, We spent a lot of time there. The ports and side trips, we didn't book them through Princess. When you arrived at a port, you could get the same acitvity through a vender on site at a much cheaper price rather than though Princess. An example, Princess had a whale watching trip in Juneau for $179. We got off the ship and got one for $75. Same trip with the same amount of time. So shop around Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This is not the first cruise I have taken, but it is the first one that was 15 days. My husband and I are fairly active and I called Princess several times prior to final payment to verify there were certain activities on board. Our ship ... Read More
This is not the first cruise I have taken, but it is the first one that was 15 days. My husband and I are fairly active and I called Princess several times prior to final payment to verify there were certain activities on board. Our ship had 4 days in a row at sea and we needed to guarantee some physical stimulus. First of all, the web site stated that there was a golf simulation screen on board. It was removed last year. There was a resistance wave swimming pool advertised. The pool didn't work as a resistance wave, it was just a pool. There were a total of 10 treadmills, 4 were broken. Several pulleys on the weight machines were broken and unable to be replaced. There was one free class at 7:30 a.m. the rest were for a fee. Princess has made the decision to not have a Bridge Director after March 2014. They will use a member of the Princess staff to run all Bridge games after this time. There is no guarantee that the staff member will have masters points and be a director. That is not going to work very well. We also had anytime dining. Meaning we could have dinner anytime from 5:15 to 9:30 without a set seating schedule. You could call after 8:00 a.m. and make a reservation for the evening. Well most of us could never get in before 7:30 p.m., which wasn't convenient if we wanted to attend an early show. We finally discovered that because so many people wanted the 530p.m. seating they just spilled into the anytime dining room and the people who signed up for "anytime dining" couldnt even get a seat until 730-745.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I was a little nervous at the begining of this cruise. I had never been on a 11 night cruise before and being in my mid 30's I was worried it may be a little older crowd. Although I would say the average age of passangers was in ... Read More
I was a little nervous at the begining of this cruise. I had never been on a 11 night cruise before and being in my mid 30's I was worried it may be a little older crowd. Although I would say the average age of passangers was in theirearly 60s there was also quite a few younger people. We had a superior balcony cabin on the Caribe deck. The cabin was nice and plenty large with lots of storage and the beds were average. The balcony was huge. The bathroom was average but the shower was tiny. The ports and shore excursions were nice. We really enjoyed Central America and wish we would have had more time to explore. The Panamal Canal was excellent. I would really recommend the fairyboat excursion through the canal. The movies under the stars is a good idea. Even though we didn't watch a movie at night they played movies during the day. It was good to have some entertainment while laying on the pool deck or swiming. The food was average. It seemed that it started out well but the qauility and selection declined over the 11 days. The Horizon Court buffet was pretty bland and seemed to have the same food throught the cruise. The main dining room was average. It wasn't great but you could always find something you liked. The service in the dining room was hit and miss. More miss than hit. The servers didn't seem to care. One evening a friend ordered a drink from the bar. The drink glass had a crack in it and when he picked up the glass it broke. Our waiter wanted to charge him for another drink and couldn't understand why he should get the drink replaced at no cost. The entertainment was average. The headliners were good and the production shows were average. The problem was the ships entertainers themselves. The singers were nothing special but they and the dancers walked around the ship like royality. They did not interaact with the passnagers and had their own qlique. I would think you would want entertainers interacting with passangers and making it a friendly environment. They did nothing of the sort. The officers and managers were the same way. I rarely saw officers interacting wtih passsangers. The same with the managers in the restaurants. In the restaurants the managers stood around watching servers and passangers but not interacting with either. One night there was a deck party. At the show they announced the officers and entertainers would be attending the deck party and it would be a chance for passangers to get to know them. The officers and entertainers congregated around the bar where they interacted only with eachother and proceeded to get half drunk and loud. It was very unprofessional. Didembarkation was well organized and went smoothly. Overall it was a good cruise and the line saff was great. The ship was nice and the ports were great. I think if the officersa and entertainers would come down to earth a but it would have made it a much more enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
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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