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182 Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews

There were 12 of us in this cruise ages ranging from 55-72. So we all may have different opinions of the cruise. My husband and I are 55 and we are platinum members of Princess. We wanted a longer cruise, with a taste of the Panama Canal, ... Read More
There were 12 of us in this cruise ages ranging from 55-72. So we all may have different opinions of the cruise. My husband and I are 55 and we are platinum members of Princess. We wanted a longer cruise, with a taste of the Panama Canal, along with other ports of call we have never been to. The ship itself was so clean and they were very strict about cleanliness, and sanitizing areas, and making sure passengers washed their hands with sinks in the public areas. Food was great. We didn't eat in any of the speciality restaurants which we were fine with. We did the anytime dining, and to be honest our service was not the best each night. Shows were good. We sat out by the pool quite a few days, we hardly ever saw anyone taking drink orders which to us seemed unusual. It was the same when we were at the shows as well. Our room, we had an inside room on the Lido deck which we chose on purpose because of the location, we only had to go up one floor to the Horizon Court, and the pool areas.we were happy with the room, but the bathroom shower was the smallest shower we ever have been in on a Princess ship. Other people in our group had outside rooms and said the same thing. We missed Grand Cayman because of rough seas which was disappointing, this also gave us 5 days at sea. Our first stop was Cartenga, Columbia. We went on a tour with the tour company thru Dora. We did the city tour and saw both the new and old parts of the city. Josie was our tour guide and did an excellent job. We also saw monkies, and parrots. Next we went thru part of the Panama Canal where we did get off and did a tour with the cruise ship which took us to the visitors center on the new part of the Canal, a Gutan Canal tour, and a " walk in the rainforest" which was a walk in a gravel road (disappointing) we could have skipped that walk and spend more time at the Canal. Next stop was Costa Rica, where we did a tour with My Lucky Tour which was awesome! Part of the tour was in the Tortunga Canal where we saw so much wildlife! Highly recommend this tour! Last stop Falmouth, Jamaica. Newer port, and we did a day at the beach at Royal White Sands resort which was all inclusive, and so much fun. We wish we could have had another stop since we didn't get to the Caymans, but all in all it was a very relaxing trip. Older people type of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Itinerary was great! food in mdr was average at best. any time dining was a big waste and princess needs to correct because the wait was always over anhour. sabatini's and bayou cafe were excellent. beware the crab shack was ... Read More
Itinerary was great! food in mdr was average at best. any time dining was a big waste and princess needs to correct because the wait was always over anhour. sabatini's and bayou cafe were excellent. beware the crab shack was only held one evening and we had already booked dining on balcony for two which was awesome and we recommend for any princess cruise! the entertainment consisted of comedians. there was only one production show and it was one song after another and no big deal. staff was excellent but the cruise director hid for most of the ten night cruise. the ports were really outstanding. did a tour with dora the explorer in cartagena, columbia, and would love to visit again. the rain forest in limon costa rica as also worth doing. stayed on the ship during the panama canal transit and enjoyed the whole day watching the ship go through the locks! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first time cruising with Princess and I must say we were disappointed. We chose the Island Princess because of the itinerary it offered with the Panama Canal Crossing (09Jan19 sailing). Embarkation was easy and luggage ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Princess and I must say we were disappointed. We chose the Island Princess because of the itinerary it offered with the Panama Canal Crossing (09Jan19 sailing). Embarkation was easy and luggage delivered promptly. Lunch was very good at the Horizon Court Buffet but was disappointed no music playing on the pool deck to get you in the rhythm of the Caribbean. The ship is well maintained and very clean but for a ship that was refurbished a few years ago to add 100 rooms they forgot to make the ship handicap friendly. This cruise caters to seniors (we saw a total of 3 children & 2 teens) and doors to the outside are heavy (no automated doors or handicap buttons or doors without a lip) making it impossible for guests with walkers or wheelchairs to manage the doors by themselves. As I said the cruise caters to the 70 + crowd but the movies shown at the pool deck were for families with children: Coco, Princess Bride, Jurassic World, Ant man & the Wasp, Hotel Transylvania 3, House with a Clock in its Walls. This was not a cruise during school break, so I am dumbfounded by the selection. When we asked about where the football playoff games would be shown we were told at the "Sports Bar" in the Casino. Not on the Big Screens at the pool. We went to check out the "Sports Bar"....it is a small bar maybe 10 seats and two 35 inch TV's. Not like any sports bar I have seen on any other cruise ship. We asked the bartender about the games, his response I have ESPN 1 & ESPN 2, I know nothing about football games! OMG....we were not alone complaining about this. Saturdays games were at the Sports Bar and also in your cabin but the Sunday games did make it to the Big Screen at the Pool. I hope Princess remembers to do this for the Superbowl. Activities are inside, nothing going on poolside except for an occasional band playing, an exercise class & 1 ice carving demonstration.....no fun & games. When we take a cruise to a warm destination in the winter months, the last thing we want to do is be inside. The only indoor smoking room-The Churchill Cigar Room--old furniture and in desperate need of a ventilation system. The smoke alarm went off a number of times. The ship makes a suggestion for tipping your room steward. Also for every drink you order they add a 15% gratuity. Your room steward does not receive 100% of this tip, they split it 3 ways with 2 other areas not seen by guests. Same with the 15% added to drinks, it does not go to just the wait staff, it is shared by kitchen staff & others. The waiters say they only receive about 5% of what the ship collects. A number of guests went to the front desk and had all the gratuities removed from their account and tipped who they felt deserved tipping. Sabatini's Restaurant was excellent--the Maitre D and Wait staff exceptional. The Bayou, the other speciality restaurant, was good but if I could only choose one it would be Sabatini's. The dining rooms offered Princess favorites that could be ordered every night plus a choice of 5 appetizers and 5 entrees every night. But they also offered UP PRICING on the menu...lobster, filet mignon among other dishes could be ordered for an extra charge. The Horizon Court Buffet breakfast cereals, fruit, hot buffet plus an omelet station, lunch always an array of salads, soups plus hot dishes & at dinner had a different theme each evening, Brazilian, Sushi, German and food was good. Poolside pizza very good & so were the burgers and hotdogs. We took the Princess Tour: Highlights of Cartagena, what the description doesn't say is that this is basically a walking tour. You are in the Old City for at least 2 hours walking, then the tour guide leaves you for 30 minutes at an emerald store, no other shops around. Cartagena is hot & humid and if this tour was described for what it was we would have chose another tour. In Panama we did the Rain Forest boat trip, it is about an hour drive to the boats, tour guide was great and enjoyed the boat trip. Glimpsed a sloth and a gator. Monkey's came down to the boat, jumping on and around it. Nice trip. We had the soda package but when I asked for cans to bring back to the cabin, I was charged $2 a can plus 15% gratuity. Cans are not included in the package only fountain drinks. Seems like another up charge. On the liquor package you are limited to 15 drinks per day but if you ask for a drink with a double shot, they charge you for the 2nd shot, you can only have 1 drink at a time and the 2nd shot is a 2nd drink! Upcharge again. I must say the shows in the Princess Theatre were excellent. Magicians, Guitarists, Comedians, Singing and Dancing very entertaining. The only problem is that the theatre could not accommodate everyone for the 2nd show. I think the problem stems from the Anytime Dining. There are 2 shows 6pm and 8pm. The 6pm show is for guests who have the late dining at 730pm. The 8pm show for the early seating 530pm. From what I saw at the late dining it was relatively empty meaning many Anytime Diners were doing earlier seatings causing guests being turned away for the 8pm shows. Princess has an app for your phone Princess@Sea. It lists your tours, restaurant reservations and the days events. You can add an event to your own schedule listing the time and location. It also has a messenger, you and your party create an account and you can send each other messages.The problem with this is that the receiver does not know they have a message (unless they're looking at their phone) , it doesn't ding or light up, it doesn't have a notification system. Would be great if it did. Disembarkation went smoothly, it was color coded and scheduled around your departing flight times. Luckily, US Custom Agents (who weren't getting paid govt shutdown) moved the lines quickly. The FLL airport is only about 15 minutes away but I wouldn't schedule a return flight before 11am. Would we go on Princess again, not in the foreseeable future. My husband & I are both in our 60's and felt we were the youngest old people on this cruise, so maybe when we are 70 +. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We used Princess to go to Asia . It was good but had faults so we used Norwegian . Decided to give them another try . We did this Panama and other stops cruise . Ship was old but ok , Decore was good oldie woldie . In places a bit ... Read More
We used Princess to go to Asia . It was good but had faults so we used Norwegian . Decided to give them another try . We did this Panama and other stops cruise . Ship was old but ok , Decore was good oldie woldie . In places a bit worn . We had a disabled cabin . Good room , good cabin , good space . Small tv where as non disabled get a large tv . I thought this unfair and voiced my concern . A drawer was broken and took 3 days to repair . Beds very good . Cabin cleaner steward very poor little attention . Did not get tipped . Tv channels pretty good bbc cnn fox other . Drinks are expensive and Princess still dont offer inclusive drinks . We decided sos not to have any bother wed take the drinks package 689 usa dollars per person . After thought and discussion . Very expensive and poor . You can have 15 alcoholic drinks per day . Wine by the glass if you have a bottle they take 25 % off bottle price . Daylight robbery . you can have cocktails up to 12 dollars . Or Coffee liquers . All count towards your 15 . You can still only use 1 dining room unless you want to pay 29 dollars to visit other s , per visit . It boring food is poor very bland , little choice or change . Because people dont want to pay 29 dollars , they all want to use the cheaper normal restaurants , 2 of them . Both have long lines waiting and it took us 2 hours on one dinner . Awful . Entertainment wasnt to bad . Very good pianist , metal drums player , couple of groups . Shows , but hard to get there when you wait 1 hour plus for dinner . Staff are very good , friendly and helpful in bars and restaurants . There are 2 pools , nice sizes , Sun lounge areas . Bars are good . There is a grill , Pizza bar , Ice cream bar , And a buffett section . That is good but gets packed . And carrying food is like a ski slalom . Tipping is done at the end 13 dollars a day per person officially . We signed out of it and tipped those who helped us and were good at their jobs . Many became our friends . Cant get my head around why Princess dont do inclusive drinks , other than they are greedy and get every penny out of you . On the tv show you can see how they set up to get maximum sales . Shore excursions are very quick and expensive you get rushed about . In Jamaica you are treated badly they just bombard you for money where ever you go . It poored with rain and the excursion staff non princess hid under building s and let us get soaked . Gave us no care at all . Dodge that stop . Princess dont send anyone on the excursions ,so they are not watched , checked , remarked on . All staff at Locations know this . Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience going through the Panama Canal. It did not disappoint. We had a mini-suite balcony and were on starboard side and had the best view ever. Our TV was on with full play by play ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience going through the Panama Canal. It did not disappoint. We had a mini-suite balcony and were on starboard side and had the best view ever. Our TV was on with full play by play explanation of what was happening. We even had room service breakfast and enjoyed the 3 hours going through the locks....amazing !!! The biggest complaint we had was the anytime dining option. The shows were either at 6pm or 8pm. if we ate at 6 or 6:30 when there were no line-ups, we had to rush to the show to get good seats in the theatre. If we watched the 6pm show and then went to dinner....well that was another story. There handling of the Anytime Dining is subpar. The 3rd night we complained and the Maitre'd even came to make his excuses. He said he had 1000 diners to seat….really we were 8 of them. Others that came in groups of 4 or less got seated promptly. The food was perfect and the service impeccable once we were seated. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As an enjoyable & relaxing getaway, I would give this cruise no less than 4 stars. On the other hand, for the cruise line that is most associated with the popular 1970s and early 1980s TV show, "The Love Boat," I was very ... Read More
As an enjoyable & relaxing getaway, I would give this cruise no less than 4 stars. On the other hand, for the cruise line that is most associated with the popular 1970s and early 1980s TV show, "The Love Boat," I was very disappointed at the lack of organized social activities for single (heterosexual) men & women age 40 and older. I loved my stateroom though! Best experiences: 1) My steward, Liezl Castro, was EXCELLENT!!! Her customer service was outstanding! 2) The helicopter ride at The Grand Cayman Islands was thoroughly enjoyable 3) Ochos Rios, Jamaica was very fun ... particularly the Dune Buggy ride 4) Viewing the Panama Canal up close was worth the price of the cruise itself! Not-so-enjoyable experiences: 1) The swaying of the ship on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 (I experienced motion sickness for the 1st time) 2) The total lack of organized social activities for the single (heterosexual) men & women. I had high expectations for some "Love Boat" related events, but ended up feeling severely disappointed 3) Some of the street merchants in Cartagena, Colombia were overly aggressive and persistent, generally annoying, and even rude if you refused to purchase any of the products they were offering for sale 4) Photos were sometimes highly over-priced Overall, I would give the cruise a thumbs up Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose itinerary for Panama Canal but too many other ports require tenders. No international cafe. New meal schedule of 7:30 dining hard to get adjusted to. All suites have tubs but grout not maintained and required extensive cleaning ... Read More
Chose itinerary for Panama Canal but too many other ports require tenders. No international cafe. New meal schedule of 7:30 dining hard to get adjusted to. All suites have tubs but grout not maintained and required extensive cleaning during cruise. Many crew do not have good command of English. Excellent port itinerary presentation. Most excursions require long (1hour) rides from port. Poor safety standards for monkey island tour in panama ( resulted in fall exiting slippers boat and $1000 med bill on ship). Food service in traditional dining room very good. Coffee in dining rooms and horizon still terrible. Pastries good but variety for breakfast and lunch in horizon got boorish on fifteen day cruise. Entertainment pretty good in theater and piano bar. Medical staff excellent but have general problem when accident on their excursion clearly resulting from their poor safety condition still required charge to my account and then requires me to seek reimbursement back from Princess insurance. Passengers with limited mobility may not seek getting off ship on most ports bout resign themselves in enjoying passage through canal day. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The ship is nice, as it's one of the smaller Princess ships. However, the ship does not have an International Cafe, which limits your dining choices to the dining room, the buffet (Horizon Court), or the specialty restaurants. The ... Read More
The ship is nice, as it's one of the smaller Princess ships. However, the ship does not have an International Cafe, which limits your dining choices to the dining room, the buffet (Horizon Court), or the specialty restaurants. The specialty restaurants have increased their pricing to $29.00 per person. Further, the dining room has removed several items from its offering menu; instead, including an "up charge " menus for many steaks. The Mattress in our stateroom had a severe sagging in its middle, and despite the ship not being full, and requesting the steward change the mattress - they didn't! Additionally, if you're a smoker, this ship is show a good deal of disdain for your business. There are only two available locations on the ship where you can smoke - The Churchill lounge (deck 7), and on the port side of deck 15 in an uncovered area that's open to the elements, with uncomfortable chairs and wobbly tables. The ship seems overdue for a refurbishing, as many of the public areas are showing their age. We were also put off by several staff memeber attitudes that were "I do the minimum." However, I will also say that several of the bar staff members were terrific. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for dining. The service in the dining room was slow, and somewhat inefficient. And the chef's primary response to special requests was NO. Not what I've come to expect as an Elite member with this line. The company still provides good value for the money. But they have definite deficiencies in staff and service aboard this ship. I also felt the port choices could have been better. When traveling in Nicaragua, we had police escorts, and the excursion we took (cooking in Granada), is one you can easily pass up. Unless you have a desire to spend $80.00 to make your own tortillas and guacamole for lunch. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We found the ship to be older than what we expected from the 2016 refurb. Dining in the main "anytime" dining was not a great experience. The food was cold by the time it was served. The portions were lacking and we had to ask ... Read More
We found the ship to be older than what we expected from the 2016 refurb. Dining in the main "anytime" dining was not a great experience. The food was cold by the time it was served. The portions were lacking and we had to ask for more each time we ate there. We enjoyed the buffet on Lido more than the main dining room. Entertainment was not as good as expected. One the 15 day cruise they had only 3 production shows as all other shows were one man shows of comedy or musical. All of the one man shows were repeated the next week. Cudos to the production performers on the 3 shows they did. They did what they could with the scripts they were given. We were not impressed with any of the production or one man shows. The Princess theater does not have enough seating. We had to arrive 30-45 minutes prior to make sure we got seats. Service was very inconsistent in the restaurants and the buffet. Sometimes there were too many servers hovering over us and than at times we had to flag down servers for assistance. Our cabin was as expected. We were in a balcony room so we could see the Panama Canal locks. Our bathroom and shower were small but we knew that going in. The ports of call were good and the excursions we purchased from Princess were good. We enjoyed all of them. Our favorite was in Panama when we went to the Embra Indian village via a 60 minute canoe ride through the rain forest. Our least favorite excursion was in Cartegena, Colombia where we went to the walled city and didn't get to see much of the area and our shopping was limited to a pressured sales pitch in an emerald shop where we were locked in the store for 30 minutes. They were hoping that we'd buy some emeralds. No one did. LOL! I advised the excursions staff of this. We'll never cruise on the Island Princess again and since this was our first time on a Princess ship, we are still open to cruising on other Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Why we chose this Cruise: We selected this journey because we wanted to go through the Panama Canal during the winter time to avoid the cold weather. Our travel agent recommended the Island Princess to facilitate our vacation. The trip ... Read More
Why we chose this Cruise: We selected this journey because we wanted to go through the Panama Canal during the winter time to avoid the cold weather. Our travel agent recommended the Island Princess to facilitate our vacation. The trip started out terrific. The flight to Ft Lauderdale, the transportation from the airport to the Hilton, and transportation from Hilton to the ship for boarding was seamless and pleasing. We are Experienced Travelers: We consider ourselves experienced travelers, thus our review is based on our experiences we've had on other cruise lines as a comparison. Signs of Obsolescent: The Island Princess was built in 2003 and reportedly was refurbished in 2017. Its early December, 2018, and the Island Princess looks and acts very old and tired. Floors squeaked a lot, doors were difficult to open, and some of the furniture appeared to look like its ready for a second hand store or as if it just came from one. The last days of Holland-America's original Westerdam (a cruise we took many years ago) at least managed to have furnishings that was quite serviceable and not old or tired. Unfortunately, the Island Princess will continue to be used as a cruise ship until the public gets so tired of old at NEW Prices. Poor Management: The Island Princess appeared to have an occupancy rate of about 75%. How did we know that and if so, why did the Island Princess have so many vacancies? Security-wise, my wife and my name was posted at our cabin entry, as well as all the other passengers at their respective cabins. Determining the number of vacant units was easy. Count the units without a name on the door, then multiply the vacant units times 2. Data Mining: The Island Princess is a fertile ground for harvesting names of affluent passengers off each cabin entry, then research the names on the internet, then solicit the guests for the business or sell the data to other businesses looking for a quality database. For +- $6,000 per couple, which includes the basic food, boarding, and a database of 2,000 names would be a gold mine, business could be really lucretive. Over a 16 day period, that data could be harvested with at your leisure and without notice. Imagine what that database would be worth. Risky Stops: One excursion stop in Nicaragua, the ship had a sign in English on the side of the ship telling all boats to keep X amount of meters away from the ship. We nearly didn't get off the Island Princess for fear for our own safety concerns. We quizzed an officer, who stated that sign is put up at every stop. We asked other guest if they remembered seeing that sign during any stop and no one noticed any sign being posted. The way the officer answered our query left us feeling he was not being truthful. Excursions: We try, if possible, to book our own excursions as most lines tend to mark up the excursion costs to unreasonable levels and often take you to stops where the vendors pay the ship(s) a percentage of sales, or the ships own an interest in some of the shops. The only reason we would use a ship excursion is if the time to return to the ship is short or doesn't leave much wiggle if the excursion is running late. We carefully research the excursions and select ones that come highly recommended through several sources. Money, Money, Money: This Island Princess made us feel like we were in the tv series "Green Acres," where the guests were the Douglass' and the Island Princess was Mr. Haney. You could choose different dining options, such as flexible or traditional dining, anytime buffet dining or specialty dining. In the flexible (and the traditional) dining areas, you are handed a menu with a normal selection of food, along with a flyer with various cuts of fish, meat and poultry from 20.00 per selection. If my wife and I ate in the dining room 2 times a day for the 16 days and each selected the "better choice of food", we would have added another $1,200 to the costs of the cruise. Deceptive Pricing: We chose not to imbibe because the "added" food costs was deceiving as well as unreasonable. I get it the ship makes money selling alcohol and perhaps soft drinks, but also for food. The cost of soft drinks is so inexpensive that had they charged a more reasonable fee or didn't charge for soft drinks at all, the cost of their food costs would be considerably less as consumption would be less. Slow Food Service and constant up-sells: The meals in the dining room would also take forever to serve. During the dinner wait, we would be approached several times to purchase expensive alcohol or soft drinks. They weren't selling much of either at any of the tables we sat at. Most resented the constant up sell. They tried a few times using a gimmicky shot glass drink for $3.00 including the princess shot glass. We often asked for ice tea or hot tea and several refills which was included at no charge. Truth be known, if the Island princess priced all the up charges in their price to begin with, They would be grossly overpriced compared to the competition. The first Shore Excursion: The first stop was in Cartagena. We weren't scheduled to be in Cartagena very long and probably would have taken a shore excursion with Princess, except that none of the excursions interested us. Being from California, Humidity was not something we were used to and after two days of heat and humidity at sea, arranging transportation into town a back was looking much more appealing. Overpriced excursion transportation: The Island Princess had the answer - a hop on - hop off bus that costs only $45.00 per person. Outrageous! We walked not more that a block from the ship and found taxis that escorted 3 or 4 of the guests into town for a total of $20.00 for the ride to town. The cab ride back was even less. We spent 15.00 for cab rides for the both of us for the day. We were $75.00 to the good in Cartagena by walking a block and not letting the Island Princess extract anything from our wallet. In fairness, the cab drivers did try through language diversion, to extract more fees at the end of the ride but when the word policia was mentioned, the issue disappeared rather rapidly. We heard one "non Island Princess based" shore excursion arrived late and the Island princess left without the four passengers. Do your homework on the excursions to avoid that kind of a debacle. I've been in situations with other cruise ships, where the ship's planned shore excursion showed up late and the ship waited. One bright side in Cartagena: The best sight we enjoyed was the bird and animal attraction right on the port and the price was Free. They had a shop where you could buy soft drinks and other souvenirs, but not mandatory. We took extraordinary pictures of the exotic birds and animals. The relative short stop was just fine (do to our lack of handling hot humidity), although seeing the Fort more closely would have been nice. Overpriced Products: Now, back on the ship sailing toward the Panama Canal, we decide to explore the shops and specialty restaurants. The shops were selling mostly upper-end, over-priced junk. The jewelry being sold was some one-of-a-kind, never heard of type stone. Unless you have more money than God, wait til you get home and visit your trusted jeweler. That isit will save you considerable dough and guaranteed the quality will be superior. The trick to Specialty Dining: We checked out the specialty dining and was planning a nice anniversary dinner. We came across a phrase, “Requires Cover Charge (min $60.00 per couple)” We didn’t have a problem paying for a very nice dinner out but was highly offended with the ship’s usage of “Cover Charge.” If I wanted to have a financial migraine, we would have brought our financial planner along and try and watch where he was trying to stick us with nasty up charges and hidden fees. We were supposed to be on vacation relaxing, not waiting for the next pocket extraction, similar to a nasty tax audit. We chose not to participate in their food scamming extraction fees and use that money instead at restaurants with far superior reputations for food and service - and for a whole lot less. Most of those restaurants did not appear to be very crowded. Excursion Lectures: The Island Princess scores an A++ rating regarding the Island Princess' ship moderator / expert Bill Fall concerning his lectures on the rain forests, tradewinds, Panama Canal and its construction and the various geo-political issues of the various countries. He was genuine, knowledgeable and interesting to listen to during his shore excursion talks. Entertainment Talent: The talent employed by the Island Princess was a solid B+ to an A-. Nathan Foley, an Australian TV personality and musical performer sang many 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s songs. Nathan had his own TV show in Australia - just not well known in the US. Mike Wilson, a comedian did a decent performance. John Bressler, a pianist and singer played a marvelous piano with lots of fantastic tunes. Mark Preston, a singer and former member of the Letterman musical group, had the most powerful voice of all. The Princess Troupe that performed several musical acts was definitely exciting. All the talents were definitely fun and entertaining. Other musical Entertainment: The talent displayed in the four-story lobby was soothing - similar to musicians used in real fancy hotels or elite shopping centers. It didn’t move us much. In fact, the noise created added to the noise factor of the ship. There were few places to spend your time if you wanted quiet or privacy. Our cabin didn’t have comfortable seating to read and study; and laying down to read wasn’t great if you were reading anything more technical than a novel. Makeup of the guests on the Island Princess: The age of the average guest was around 75-80 years of age. I’m guessing about ½ of the guests were first time cruisers and the balance were exceptionally experienced. I don’t think there was more than 10-12 young kids on the ship. I noticed a few newly married couples but most were elder guests. Misc Activities: They had a beginner and an advanced class on cameras that lasted no more than an hour. Why the pre-made camera presentation was teaching people how to shoot pictures in manual mode was beyond me. The class included an overview of all functions. The class did more harm than good. Most of the guests didn’t use their cameras enough to know how to make all the proper settings on the fly in manual mode. You guessed it. The Island Princess was selling cameras also. Photos taken throughout the cruise were very pricey. Excursion through the Panama Canal and the port stop in Panama City: Going through the Panama Canal was fun, but then came the port stop in Panama City. We had to use tenders to explore Panama City. The way Princess handled this deserved an F+, and that’s being very generous. If we had made arrangements with a non Princess excursion company, we would have ran the risk of getting back late due to the hour lost clearly through their negligence. If we had made special arrangements to meet an outside shore excursion guide, we would not have been able to make the connection. Was this a punishment for not using their excursions? If you booked a shore excursion with the Island Princess, you got preferential treatment for the use of the tenders. If not, you had to wait to get a tender to go ashore. We waited an hour to get a tender. Kinda makes you wonder what would happen if you had to use the lifeboats to abandon ship, who would pilot the tenders. This was horrible and we’ve never had that problem with any other cruise line. Dealing with Greedy taxis: Once on shore, we were ambushed by tons of greedy taxi drivers trying to charge 3 to 5 times more for a ride than what was reasonable for the area. However, after saying no walking for a block or so, we did find a taxi ride that was significantly cheaper. We got to see the old town and the Bio-Musio. Traffic in and around Panama City was horrible, but we knew that before we arrived. Princess’ atrocious mishandling of the tenders made it worse. Comparing Princess to Norwegian: We considered Norwegian Cruise Lines to be safe transportation to get us from one port to another, with sleeping arrangements comparable to the Motel 6 of cruise lines, with safe food consumption comparable to MacDonalds of cruise lines. What we didn’t get from Norwegian Cruise Lines was the constant annoying up-sells for overpriced alcohol, food, soft drinks, merchandise, excursions, and transportation. We found Princess’ food quality was slightly better than Norwegian Cruise Lines and Princess’ prices seemed comparable and reasonable, at least on the surface, but with all the nickel and diming we had to endure from Princess, its difficult to recommend any Princess Cruises to our friends and relatives. When you add the up-sell and excursion costs to Princess’ initial cost, you will probably find Princess is far more pricey than some of the classier cruise lines available, such as Viking, Holland America, or Oceanic. In addition, weigh the food and services passed on due to the excessive expense, that are normally included with the classier cruise lines. Port Stop in Costa Rica: The stop allowed for a lot more time, so getting back to the Island Princess without worry of being left behind was not a problem. A number of us made prior arrangements with Odyssey Tours for the 10 in 1 Tour package. We spoke with other guests that took the ships excursion instead. Most of those guests were very disappointed and discovered their excursion didn’t come close to seeing the number of things our tour package did. In addition, their excursion was quite a bit more pricey. Port stop in Nicaragua: We selected the ship’s excursion for Nicaragua, which included a trip to Granada and the rain forest. This excursion was excellent. We are concerned because we were being watched so closely by the civilian police. It felt like they thought we were up to something. In reality, I was carrying a very expensive camera and I was a target for thieves. At one point a local was ordered to distance himself from me. The political unrest is something you need to review prior to taking a future excursion here. I think the stop in Nicaragua was questionable on Island Princess’ behalf. The guide was very knowledgeable and insightful. The bus said free Wifi. When we asked how we could connect to it, the guide’s answer was it was disabled. We strongly suspect Island Princess instructed the Tour company to disable it, so we would be forced to use the ship’s Wifi system when we returned. Most of us didn’t use the ship’s wifi as it was atrociously overpriced. Port stop in Cabo san Lucas: The Island hired one or two tenders from shore to transfer the guests to and from the ship to shore. In addition, it appeared the Island Princess also used 4 of its own tenders for transportation at well. We visited the city and our visit went without incident. The bonus was being able to take pictures of the Arch and the beaches from the ship, without having to hire a boat to take you to the landmarks. Disembarking: We had argument with Island Princess’ personnel about delivering the three alcohol bottles purchased at the various port stops. The Island Princess wanted us to carry the alcohol off the ship and then place the alcohol in our suitcases. We argued we were not going to unpack and repack our suitcases to secure our alcohol purchases. The Island Princess finally agreed to deliver our alcohol, allowing it to be safely packaged in our suitcase. Disembarking the ship was anything but seamless: We were told to leave our cabins by 8:00AM and wait in the Wheelhouse room until we were called for disembarking. After realizing that room was not big enough to hold all of us, they tried to get those of us that were leaving later to go to other parts of the ship. Oops! Leaving the Ship: After our number was called to leave the ship, the Customs process and the bus transportation to the airport was seamless without further incidence. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had been to Panama many years ago and stood and watched a ship go through, but wanted to have the experience of going through the canal. Checked off our bucket list, so would not do it again. Was disappointed in the things going on in ... Read More
We had been to Panama many years ago and stood and watched a ship go through, but wanted to have the experience of going through the canal. Checked off our bucket list, so would not do it again. Was disappointed in the things going on in the lounges during days at sea, very slow. Was very disappointed in the shopping and the shops closing so early. Ship seemed to be having lots of maintenance problems during the voyage. Entertainment in the Princess was very good, a very talented group of singers and dancers. Nathan was absolutely wonderful as was the guy that did Billy Joel. Magician, a lot to be desired. Loved the balloon drop entertainment and more nightly activities would have been great in the atrium. Did not like the change of early dining from 6:00 to 5:15, but we will try anytime dining on next cruise. Everyone on the ship was extremely nice and helpful. Excellent Staff. We chose Bayou as our specialty experience and it was great. Love the EZ check luggage, we use that whenever available. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
To do a Panama Canal cruise we chose the Island Princess. We were expecting superior food and entertainment. What a let down. The quality of the food in the buffet area was Golden Corral quality and, other than pizza and over cooked ... Read More
To do a Panama Canal cruise we chose the Island Princess. We were expecting superior food and entertainment. What a let down. The quality of the food in the buffet area was Golden Corral quality and, other than pizza and over cooked burgers, no other options for lunch. Carnival, which may people still have the false belief that it is way too wild, has so many options at so many times of the day (Guys Burgers, Taste Bar, Sushi, Mexican, bbq just to name a few). The evenings were morgue-like and small areas for music or other entertainment were basically non-existent. For us it will be Carnival, RCCL or Norwegian in the future. Princess is over priced and over hyped. We always have so much fun on these lines so why pay more for an inferior product? Looking forward to cruising again next year with our entire family and, once again, leaving satisfied. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I wanted to see Panama canal locks. My friends were going. Small dining areas. Not enough chairs for the people to sit. Two small pools. Every place seemed crowded. 14th floor was the meeting place. The rear end was closed. Sports area in ... Read More
I wanted to see Panama canal locks. My friends were going. Small dining areas. Not enough chairs for the people to sit. Two small pools. Every place seemed crowded. 14th floor was the meeting place. The rear end was closed. Sports area in the 16th floor of was closed for maintainance. Front end at 7th floor was closed. There was not enough space for the people to see the locks. People were jammed up in dining area. Food was same everyday. We had to buy water. No snack area other than dining area. No activities for entertainment and fitness. Pools were small enough to accommodate only 40. Overall we felt in a very crowded area with no place to go. Excursions were not planned properly. No snack, no guide, no water during all the excursions we took. There were no shops to buy water. We felt like prisoners. The excursions were not comfortable at all. It seemed that company was trying to make money by cutting corners. Not enough supplies in the room like shower cap, hand lotion, shoe shine. The stay was like a three star motel stay. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience the Panama Canal and we like that it was a 10 day cruise. We usually cruise with Royal Caribbean but a similar cruise with them was 14 days and we preferred 10. This was our first ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience the Panama Canal and we like that it was a 10 day cruise. We usually cruise with Royal Caribbean but a similar cruise with them was 14 days and we preferred 10. This was our first Princess Cruise. Positives were the departure, which was smooth and short, the staff was very good, the excursions, the food, and entertainment. The negatives - we chose Anytime dinner service - we had to wait in a long line for about a half hour many nights before we were seated for dinner - never had that happen on a RC ship. Also the nightly shows were packed and if you didn’t get there a half hour early to get a seat you were out of luck and missed a show. Standing in line for dinner made us late a few nights so we did not see a show those evenings. Other than those issues we just felt there was less energy on the cruise - and less activities that got a group involved. Again - staff was great and so were excursions - particularly enjoyed zip line in Costa Rica! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first cruise and I think I had higher expectations on the meals I was disappointed in many of the meals we had on board. Some of the items we had was just warm to cool and didn’t have a lot of taste to it. The ship was very ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I think I had higher expectations on the meals I was disappointed in many of the meals we had on board. Some of the items we had was just warm to cool and didn’t have a lot of taste to it. The ship was very clean and the staff was amazing they catered to our every whim. Our Ship Stewart was fantastic and he would greet us every morning with a smile and called us by name. Every evening he would turn down our bed and leave us 2 chocolates. The bar staff and restaurant staff were amazing. The only thing I was not satisfied with was the quality of food. It wasn’t all bad but there was something’s that could be improved. Everything was planned our for you in great detail they took care of our luggage and transporteded to each destination. We also did the land portion. McKinley Lodge could use some TLC the hallways were very dirty and the walls were all scuffed up...but the food was good service a little slow. The view there was breathtaking. The river boat cruise was excellent! When we arrived the told us that there was a buffet we had the most delicious meal there it was beef stew, salad and roasted vegetables on the side it was the best meal we had had since on the cruise. The scenery was beautiful on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We thought the cruise tour would be the best in experience, food and service. We thought the service was overall very good. The food was very average at best. We used the Crab Shack experience and it was HORRIBLE. We were one of ... Read More
We thought the cruise tour would be the best in experience, food and service. We thought the service was overall very good. The food was very average at best. We used the Crab Shack experience and it was HORRIBLE. We were one of the last parties seated and I assume we got the last of the food available. The crab was dried out and the shrimp had no taste. There was no desert left for a party of 6. The wait staff brought us 3 dried out plates from the buffet. Then of course, we were charged the full price of $29 per person. Being our first cruise and a very expensive one at that we expected the ship to be great, sparkling clean and a ton of fun. However, th ship was run down and it was being "upgraded" while we were sailing. They were replacing the carpet in our hallway during the cruise & we didn't think that was appropriate. The hallways are dingy and very small. A lot of the thresholds were loose and my husband would trip as he has mobility issues. The Princess lounge on deck 7 needed a deep cleaning and repairs. During a concert one of the panels one the front of the stage fell off. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Reviews and information said Princess specialized in Alaska more than other lines and had access to Glacier Bay. While we had concerns about Princess cruises the price and itinerary were unbeatable. Travel agent advised to go with ... Read More
Reviews and information said Princess specialized in Alaska more than other lines and had access to Glacier Bay. While we had concerns about Princess cruises the price and itinerary were unbeatable. Travel agent advised to go with low expectations since we had cruised before with Royal Caribbean. He was exactly correct. Everything was satisfactory, nothing was exceptional. The staff was indifferent and did the bare minimum. Waiters brought food and nothing more. Cabin steward was a housekeeper, no towel animals or other effort. Ironically the ship was beautiful. The cabin was amazing, E202. The food quality was good, the menu was not. We only chose to eat in the dining room 3 of 7 nights because of this. The production shows were well done but the themes were out of place in Alaska. One was a Chinese fable and the other was about New Orleans. The comedian was hilarious which was great since reviews before the cruise said Princess doesn't have comedians. David Moore, in the Crooners bar at night was great, wish we had found him earlier in the cruise. His time overlapped with the production show times. Cruise director staff was amazing and had more and better activities than many cruises. Game shows, trivia and dance classes everyday. This was important since there were only 2 1/2 days in port. This could have been a 5 star cruise if the crew had cared. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Princess does not provide the best customer service. Alaska is beautiful, so highly recommend it as a destination. I just recommend you select a cruise line other than Princess. We have taken several cruises and have found other cruise ... Read More
Princess does not provide the best customer service. Alaska is beautiful, so highly recommend it as a destination. I just recommend you select a cruise line other than Princess. We have taken several cruises and have found other cruise lines to provide much better customer service. Food choices with Princess are very limited and most staff not very personable or customer service oriented. Particularly Guest Services staff and staff at the Excursions desk could really use some Customer Service training. Select a room with a balcony for sure. The views are unlike any other I have ever seen. The entertainment on this cruise was fabulous. Many choices to select from and all were quality performances. Princess could certainly rate much higher if they would provide better coffee and provide a few complimentary bottles of water. Could not believe after all the money we spent, they were going to charge us a fee to print our airline boarding passes. Will try another cruise line next time for sure! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my 8th cruise but my first on Princess. The itinerary was great! I really loved having the long days in the ports. This allowed for my mom and I to explore the area and do excursions. The ship was fine. I know some people ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise but my first on Princess. The itinerary was great! I really loved having the long days in the ports. This allowed for my mom and I to explore the area and do excursions. The ship was fine. I know some people didn't like the renovations they did on the boat but they didn't bother me. I found that there were lots of open decks to see everything. I especially loved the cushioned chairs on the deck that has the retractable roof. I didn't love the layout of the theater. You had to get up to let anyone in. On other lines they have plenty of room for people to get through and tables for food and drinks. The cabin was great. I loved the "walk in closet" I thought that allowed extra versus the amours the other cruise lines have. However, we booked an obstructed ocean view room and I wouldn't do that again. It was just as it says but it wasn't worth the extra money from an interior room. The food was the most disappointing. The buffet was not good sometimes downright terrible. The coffee is no good. Even the pizza was even terrible, it tasted like fake cheese. I know the buffet is usually not were the best food is but I've always found things I could eat. Here it was a different story. The dining room was much better but still not great. Especially when compared to Carnival. I found that there weren't many choices and some where not wonderful. The food portions are also much smaller than other cruise lines, though that didn't bother me. By the end of the cruise I ended up ordering two entrees because one would be edible. Anything that you asked to be cooked a certain way was never done correctly. I always order steak on cruises and love it. Here i did twice and it was terrible both times. They were different cuts so I stopped ordering them. I also didn't like that there weren't many things open late night. I wish the ice cream was open all the time! Shore Excursions - don't do the tram ride in Icy Straight - not worth the money. I would recommend walking to town. It was a little bit of a walk but it was wonderful. We even saw a whale very close to us during out walk. Juneau - The plane ride was expensive but so worth it. If you can afford it I would recommend it. You will never see anything like this. We also did gold mining not connected to princess. This was awesome. The best part was the natural scenery. Skagway - The train ride was great. We got to see some wonderful wilderness. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This is our 4th cruise with princess so I can compare our experience to the previous cruises. We started this cruise from Vancouver going to Alaska for 7 days. In general all the princess ships are the same design so it was easy for us ... Read More
This is our 4th cruise with princess so I can compare our experience to the previous cruises. We started this cruise from Vancouver going to Alaska for 7 days. In general all the princess ships are the same design so it was easy for us to get around the ship. We had a very nice cabin, very clean with a nice balcony. So as far as the cabin is concern I would rate it 4 stars. But no internet!! What we noticed is that the food got worse compare with the previous princess cruises. 1-The lunch and breakfast buffet are identical every day with not much variety. 2-Because it is colder outside and not too many people sit to eat on the outside deck there is not many places you can find to sit and enjoy your breakfast. In matter of fact some days we had a hard time finding a table. 3- There are red ropes limiting the entry and exit from the buffet to the tables and back only through but not between the food blocks (this is something new compare to other ships) this caused an increase of traffic in the entrance / exit to the buffet. 4- The international café that we enjoyed on the Coral Princess is no where to find on this ship with it’s great French cakes. When I asked I was told that they don’t have it on the Island Princess, just coffee that you can purchase, very sad as we enjoyed a nice music there and a good desert every afternoon but no more. 5- As for the any time dinner there was a long lineup every day average about half an hour, something I don’t remember was at any other ship on our previous cruises. So as far as food I would rate it 3.5 stars. At the end of the cruise we had a bus transfer to the Anchorage airport and the way they handled the luggage was very very bad. The guy in charge, Tony refused to allow us to take our luggage and made us wait beside to luggage storage room for 1.0 hour, many people were angry and it left a very bad taste at the end of the cruise. I have to say that the luggage in Vancouver was handled very well.We like the entertainment and the nature guide. We got an e-mail from Princess cruises to review the cruise but after few days when I tried to respond the web ling was not available and said it was timed out, very sad!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have cruised Alaska before on Carnival and found it it to be beautiful. I think the inside passage is worth seeing more than once. This time we chose Princess because we had sailed on Princess in Europe the year before and found the ... Read More
I have cruised Alaska before on Carnival and found it it to be beautiful. I think the inside passage is worth seeing more than once. This time we chose Princess because we had sailed on Princess in Europe the year before and found the boat to be very nice. That was not really our experience this time. First, the food on the buffet was not up to snuff. I mean it wasn't bad, just the same thing, over and over, very little variety. I also found the boat crowded. When you go to eat and there are no seats, that means the buffet area is not big enough or they booked too many people on the cruise. I have sailed on about seven different boats and five or so different cruise lines and have always been able to find a table to eat at. The crew was very nice and the seated dining in the evening was good. Wait staff was very accommodating. Work out room was small and in the bottom of the ship, no windows. It was always hot and stuffy. No place on deck to run or walk for exercise. The promenade deck was altered to make more balcony rooms, so the walking track was not all the way around the ship. The boat was not horrible, but it is time for an upgrade/remodel. Especially in the bathrooms in the cabins. Again, not horrible, but they always looked a little dirty and I do not think that was a steward issue, I think it was a wear and tear issue. The best thing about Princess is that they provide self help laundry rooms for passengers. I hate to say it, but that was the best thing about this cruise, in comparison with other cruise lines. Not sure I will sail with them again. It wasn't horrible, but for the price I was hoping for better than, "not horrible". Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise for price and timing only. It was a good cruise, not a great cruise. The buffet was way to international. The mini-suite was surprisingly large, but had a lot of empty unusable space due to no furniture. The online ... Read More
We chose this cruise for price and timing only. It was a good cruise, not a great cruise. The buffet was way to international. The mini-suite was surprisingly large, but had a lot of empty unusable space due to no furniture. The online picture does not reflect the actual mini-suite. There is no free public space in the aft area. You have to pay for this area. The miniature golf area was not maintained and should have been repaired long ago. We found the smaller size of the ship to be very comfortable and there was always open tables in the buffet and lounges. The main dining room service was mediocre but the room steward excellent. The choices for the soda and mock-tails drink package were very limited. The free drinks only included coffee, hot water/tea, iced tea, and water. There wasn't any lemonade or other juices available as have been on other cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose Princess due to friends advice and their successful experiences with this cruise line. The Island Princess is an older ship and is showing it’s wear. Overall we enjoyed the ports and glacier viewing. It was awesome! The ... Read More
I chose Princess due to friends advice and their successful experiences with this cruise line. The Island Princess is an older ship and is showing it’s wear. Overall we enjoyed the ports and glacier viewing. It was awesome! The naturalist (Mark), on board who narrates and provides mini presentations on the Alaskan land and wildlife to enrich your experience with excursions and what you see was superb!! Embarkation, transfer to lodge and hotel without having to worry about luggage was perfect. The only concert was onboard activities and shows. These seemed to cater to a specific age level and though others could participate, these onboard activities were very sedintary and not relateable to ALL on the ship. Inside of the ship is dreary. All employees were beyond terrific with each and every interaction. I might consider Princess in the future but will critically look at the details of the ship before booking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise to Alaska based on the itinerary leaving from Van Couver. It was a land/sea package through Costco and everyone said that when cruising Alaska, Princess was the way to go. Boy, were we disappointed with Princess and so ... Read More
We chose this cruise to Alaska based on the itinerary leaving from Van Couver. It was a land/sea package through Costco and everyone said that when cruising Alaska, Princess was the way to go. Boy, were we disappointed with Princess and so sorry we did not take Celebrity or Holland! It was our First and LAST cruise on PRINCESS. Although we loved the itinerary and ports, the food was awful and worse than Cafeteria Food. We cruise 2 - 3 times a year on other cruise lines and have always had excellent service and food on Holland, Celebrity, Viking, etc. Not only was the buffet minimal and disgusting, the dining service and staff were rude, arrogant and obnoxious. SERVICE/WAIT STAFF : One night, we were seated at a table of 10 and we could not hear the waiter go over the specials, so when I asked him to repeat one entree, he became obnoxious and said "I already told you". When I asked the maite D why I couldn't get grilled salmon (on a cruise to Alaska), he said I could order it any night so when myself and a few others at our table ordered it, it came out so salty, we could not eat it. The waiter disappeared and by the time he came back, everyone else was already done with their dinner. The ship itself (Island Princess) was tired and old and in need of refurbishment. ENTERTAINMENT was great. We especially enjoyed the evening shows, magician, comedian, and the dual piano every night was excellent and beyond our expectations. We did not participate in many activities and never went to the casino so cannot comment on that. The ship (ISLANDER) was older and getting tired and could use some updating of carpet and decor. We cruised first and then did the land tour. Princess handled the rail trip to Denali very efficiently and the train ride was very scenic and enjoyable. We wrote to Princess about our dining experience and did not even get a courtesy of a reply. So many other cruise lines to enjoy with excellent service and food quality. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We booked a seven day cruise from Vancouver, BC to Alaska. The good news to report is that the itinerary was excellent! Be booked a full suite, C 628. The cabin was spacious, clean and well kept my our cabin steward. The fixtures ... Read More
We booked a seven day cruise from Vancouver, BC to Alaska. The good news to report is that the itinerary was excellent! Be booked a full suite, C 628. The cabin was spacious, clean and well kept my our cabin steward. The fixtures and furnishings did seem somewhat obsolete. There was plenty of room for storage. The food on the ship in every dining room, including the specialty rooms was disappointing. I was hoping and expecting much better in quality, flavors, assortment and presentation. The main dining room serves the food on the buffet in a more pleasant atmosphere. It astounded me that they not only do this, but seem to get away with it! The cruise we were on was sold out. The ship was very busy everywhere you went on board. The shows in the mains showroom are good. The showroom was busy every night and if you did not get there well before the show started, you often did not get a seat! You would think, being we booked one of the very best suites on the ship, that someone from management would make an effort to contact us and ask what can they do to make our cruise better. This did not happen. Nobody seems to care. I left with the impression that they have plenty of business and plenty of customer, many of which, do not know the difference. With the best cabin and my experience I won't cruise on this line again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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