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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Service desk lady couldn't be bothered by getting us a new coffee card as ours got wet and was ruined.The card needs to be in a computer system.A cardboard card is not practical.She was very rude.The ship had something in the air that ... Read More
Service desk lady couldn't be bothered by getting us a new coffee card as ours got wet and was ruined.The card needs to be in a computer system.A cardboard card is not practical.She was very rude.The ship had something in the air that caused people to itch and sneeze.I was very disappointed in no back pool and another lounge that had been taken out So cabins could be added.Ship can feel crowded and no access to the back so no sunsets which is huge for us.The Captain was fabulous and early to each port.The entertainment has gone downhill as well as the food selections.Liked the horizon court in the front and the service was excellent.Think we will try a different cruise line as the cost cutting us showing.must add the dining room managers were very good and accommodating.We are hopeful that after the dry dock things will be better.However the back of the ship is ruined. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We loved the mix of ports and days at sea. Going through the canal was also a big part of why we chose this cruise. We had great luck with the weather and had smooth seas and sunshine every single day. The ship is a bit smaller, ... Read More
We loved the mix of ports and days at sea. Going through the canal was also a big part of why we chose this cruise. We had great luck with the weather and had smooth seas and sunshine every single day. The ship is a bit smaller, built to fit the old canal. This makes for fewer passengers but also fewer amenities. Overall if you've cruised with Princess before this ship will be familiar as will the service and food. It's all very consistent and predictable. That's not a bad thing if you like it. Service is attentive, although the servers are spread between too many table to really dote on you. The food is good but tends towards bland. "Jerk" seasoned food, at least, should have a little kick to it. Not here. The best meals on the ship cost you more at the specialty restaurants. The rooms are fine. We got a reasonable upgrade offer to move from a balcony suite to a mini-suite and enjoyed the extra room and the bigger bath/shower. The best move we made was reserving chairs in the Sanctuary for the whole trip. Service there was fantastic and it was nice to have a set place to meet up after various activities on the ship. We will do that again. We did zip-lining in Costa Rico and that was great fun. We did Grand Cayman on our own with a walk and a great meal at Da Fish Shack. Cartegena was an interesting city, but the mosquito-like street vendors will drive you to distraction. Overall we really enjoy Princess. If they could just improve their game on food (and decent beers) they would get all of our cruise business. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise due to the cost and wanting to do a Panama transit. We had previously did a Panama Canal cruise from Ft. Lauderdale. We live in SC and drove to Ft. Lauderdale due to the plane fare from FL being so much cheaper to LA. ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the cost and wanting to do a Panama transit. We had previously did a Panama Canal cruise from Ft. Lauderdale. We live in SC and drove to Ft. Lauderdale due to the plane fare from FL being so much cheaper to LA. We used the Park n Go near the cruise port. The traffic to the port in LA was terrible due to activity at the Naval base by the cruise port. We used Princess transfer from the airport to the ship and were glad we did since it would have cost a fortunate to have sat in all the traffic with a taxi meter running. After doing European embarkation and disembarkation on previous Princess Cruises, both processes were way below par. We were an hour late in getting off the ship in Ft. Lauderdale which was a mess. The Island Princess is an old ship in need of refurbishing. Due to all the creaking in our cabin ceiling, we were moved after the first night to another cabin. The front desk was very helpful in this process. It did mean packing and unpacking again but worth it. We had a toilet to overflow in the new cabin in the middle of one night which was handled promptly by the night staff. It was fortunate the running water awaken me and the entire cabin was not flooded! The captain of the ship was the best one ever. He was always out and about on the ship talking to staff and passengers. His “bye, bye” at the end of his updates made everyone smile and sat the mood of the cruise. Callie Smith, the Cruise Director, was outstanding. He had the same congenial manner as the Captain. The overall entertainment on the ship was the best we have experienced on our cruises. Food was as usual, not outstanding, but no one went hungry. I personally did not like having to get my own drink at the Horizon Cafe. It is too cumbersome with a plate of food. Our cabin steward was the best we have ever had. We did no Princess excursions opting to find people at the ports which worked out really well. In Puerto Vallarta, we caught the city bus near the port and paid 50 cents fare. It worked out very well and I would recommend. The buses are old but the driver was helpful in letting us know where to get off for the Old Town. It is an easy walk to all the sites downtown. (There is a really nice ladies clothing store in the area right off the ship - quality clothes!) In Nicaragua, we hired a taxi after an hour or so using the free Internet in a restaurant. We paid $30 each and were treated to a 2 hour trip to the volcanoes and the statute above the city. The view from the top was gorgeous. Going thru the Canal was the high light of the trip. It was great to see the new Canal in operation. In Cartegena we did a tour with a company right at the port. It required a trip to the emerald shop but we expected that. We paid $20 each and were taken all over the city. Overall, it was a restful cruise due to the number of sea days. We just loved sitting on the promenade deck reading and enjoying the sea breeze. I loved having a promenade deck on which to walk each morning. Internet connection continues to be terribly slow. We spent at least an hour in each port going to a cafe to use Internet. Princess really needs to update their broadband space so the Internet is easily accessible. Overall, a nice cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Wanted to cross Panama off the bucket list Embarkation in Long Beach was effortless. The lineup to get to the building on the roads was long because of Memorial day services at the USS Iowa. Once out of the shuttle, the embarkation ... Read More
Wanted to cross Panama off the bucket list Embarkation in Long Beach was effortless. The lineup to get to the building on the roads was long because of Memorial day services at the USS Iowa. Once out of the shuttle, the embarkation took about 20 minutes. The cruise went very smoothly. No rainy days or missed ports. The ship was due to go to drydock at the conclusion of the trip. No major deficiencies were noted during the cruise. More public washrooms worked than in the Royal Princess!! Some bad smell at the rear on deck 7, but that's it. The Island has good flow to get around the ship. Our cabin was a mini suite, which is nice to have the extra room. Balcony was a generous size. Bathroom was showing it's age with some rust, but maybe that'll be fixed in drydock. The ceiling had some rattles in it which I fixed with shims of paper. DId traditional dining. Our group was a good match for each other and the wait staff was top notch. No need to use the specialty restaurants. Alfredo's was a hidden gem, taking over Sabatini's during sea days for lunch. They make a good pizza Calli and his gang kept us entertained. The theatre on the Island is smaller than usual and was always full for any 7:30 presentations. Entertainment was high quality and very enjoyable. Got off the boat at each stop. Puerto Vallarta we did a Dolphin Encounter through Princess. Very enjoyable being towed by the dolphins. Nice buffet was included. Huatulco just walked off the ship and grabbed a beach chair at the local bar. Very relaxing spot San Juan Del Sur was a tender stop. Area was hit by hurricane so the beach was pretty rough with some beached boats in the sand. Not very developed for the tourists. Could have passed on this stop. Puntarenas went to a Macaw sanctuary with Princess. Very enjoyable seeing the birds and wildlife. Panama canal went very fast as there were no line ups at the locks. Interesting experience. Cartegena was a beautiful city that gets marred by the sea of street vendors constantly after you to buy stuff. Not sure how to do it differently in the future to enjoy the beautiful architecture without the hassles. Cayman did some snorkelling in the clear water. Shore was much more relaxed with only tour operators politely asking , rather than throngs of street vendors. Not many children on board this time of year so no comment on that. Would travel on the Island again. Very enjoyable trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first time on Princess. It absolutely exceeded my expectations. The food in the main dining rooms were better than the specialty restaurants on some of the other cruise lines. The staff were all fantastic. They remembered ... Read More
This was our first time on Princess. It absolutely exceeded my expectations. The food in the main dining rooms were better than the specialty restaurants on some of the other cruise lines. The staff were all fantastic. They remembered names, drinks, food choices, how you like the bed made, etc. We had a lot of sea days, and we always felt like there was something to do. And everything we did was loads of fun. Most of the excursions we took were 3rd party, so I can't speak to the quality of the Princess branded trips. If I had a gun to my head and had to make just one criticism, it would that the musical entertainment was definitely for crowd 20 years my senior. I'm 54 (as of this writing), so my musical tastes are from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and early 90s. The lounge music (for the most part) was from the 50s and earlier. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The staff were wonderful everywhere, especially my cabin steward and the head waiter in Bordeaux dining room. Balcony was spacious unlike all the new ships like Regal & Royal with almost Juliette balconies. The cabin was adequate ... Read More
The staff were wonderful everywhere, especially my cabin steward and the head waiter in Bordeaux dining room. Balcony was spacious unlike all the new ships like Regal & Royal with almost Juliette balconies. The cabin was adequate with a few kinks like a crooked shower head that sent the jet towards the inside wall right below the soap and shampoo dispensers which immediately washed away any liquid from your hands. Had to yank out the shampoo container and install it in cavity below shower head and use soap bars instead of the liquid. Hot water supply was uneven during the whole cruise. Water was even cut off completely for 2 hours one morning. We were close to the stern of the ship on the Emerald Deck and could often feel the rumbling of the motors. The size of the ship makes it more unstable and we experienced more roll and pitch than on any other Princess ship even though not enough to make us seasick. There is still our cherished Promenade Deck on this ship but it has been reduced by installing additional cabins at the stern (with the deck serving as a balcony) which forces you to cross through the ship in front of the aft elevators when walking or jogging. Several additions of this type have resulted in the loss of some lounges and created a roller coaster effect in some of the hallways - up then flat in front of the doors, then up... The floorboards (or cheap plywood) under the rugs were sagging in these areas and other hallways too. On the positive side, we found the public restrooms on this ship to be extremely clean with a pleasant smell. The entertainment was fabulous and were some of the best we have seen on Princess. The Sabatini was a disappointment with bland food but the steaks in the Bayoo were superb. The food in the main dining rooms was above average most of the time but a few times, the choices were disappointing. We loved many Casino slot machines and managed to break even. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Panama was on our bucket list and we combined this cruise with one to USA/ Canada Fall Cruise, also with Princess. We flew into Fort Lauderdale from Quebec and had a Princess Transfer to Hotel. The transfer turned out to be a real ... Read More
Panama was on our bucket list and we combined this cruise with one to USA/ Canada Fall Cruise, also with Princess. We flew into Fort Lauderdale from Quebec and had a Princess Transfer to Hotel. The transfer turned out to be a real nightmare as the rep didn't show up on time and when he did.. he was so disorganised. Gave us the wrong forms and told us to go to Bus #1 and then said he didn't say that...really embarrassed us in front of fellow passengers with his attitude. It took well over 1 hour to get to the port..supposed to be a 10 min trip. Very disappointing and real lack of Customer service on his part.. The service staff on the ship were terrific and couldn't be faulted. We had anytime dining which we hardly used as we preferred the Horizon. The production shows were great and a couple of the comedians were good. for Port excursions In Aruba we picked up a taxi outside the port for a reasonable price and did a 3 hour tour of the island. We covered most of the items on the princess excursion lists. We were back in plenty of time to have a cold beer at one of the bars on the foreshore. In Cartagena we went on a pre-booked tour with Dora tours. Very good. $65.00usd per person. Puntarenas..We did the Train and boat cruise. Reasonable..Train was old. San Juan del Sur ..Here we took the Princess tour..Nature experience,Masaya Volcano Apoyo Lagoon andGranada. The Volcano was the highlight...never did we imagine that we would stand on the rim of an active volcano...amazing Hautulco..We just went of ship and sat at a bar on the beach and went swimming in the water there. Temp in water was 28 degrees...beautiful. Local beer very good and cheap. Peurto Vallarta..We took a taxi from the port..One company has access to port and they are the first you meet outside the dock. If you go further into town there are other taxis but not sure what they offer. We took one on the dock and Roman the driver charged $30.00per hour for as long as you wanted. We took 4 hours and saw heaps. He was very good, letting us off in market places and along the malecon and waiting and picking us up further along the road. Thanks Roman loved the tour. Our one regret was that we didn't have longer in Los Angeles before our flight home. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We are retired and doing a canal transit was on our list. The ship will be in dry dock soon and needs significant repairs. For us personally, this was not a major factor. Our balcony room, E-711 was fine. Nothing broke. The room is ... Read More
We are retired and doing a canal transit was on our list. The ship will be in dry dock soon and needs significant repairs. For us personally, this was not a major factor. Our balcony room, E-711 was fine. Nothing broke. The room is too small. There was a desk chair and one other chair that did not fit well in any position is the small space available. No way a small sofa would have. Comedians can have a field day on the small shower, but the balcony was of decent size. Our room steward was great. In areas of the ship there were bad odors at times, but not in our area. There were small pipe leak floods in some halls and rooms, but not in our area. Emerald deck has a great public back deck, but no seating. It would be a nice area to sit and watch the sea, visit, or read. Embarkation was very good. The room was available immediately and ready for us at noon. Luggage came efficiently. The ship was not full, so it was rare to feel crowded. The one level theatre only seats about 660 people, so there were often three shows in the evening. The entertainment was very good, The ship is currently rated by passengers as the top Princess ship for entertainment. The central plaza area has a tiny dance floor, but the Explorer Lounge and Wheelhouse bar are public areas are very nice and intensely use. They must be zoos when the ship is full. In terms of decor, colors, and art, this is a very fine ship. The crew and service staff are tops. Our time in Aruba was very short, but we had a great Princess snorkel excursion. Our time in Cartagena was also too short, but we had great private tours there and in Nicaragua arranged through the board pre-cruise discussion here in Cruise Critic We did a good Princess archeological tour with a lot of walking in Huatulco, but were on our own in Costa Rica and in Puerto Vallarta, places we've been multiple times. Cartagena, Nicaragua, and Huatulco were all first time places for us, and we loved all three. The sea days were lovely. Lots of diving birds to entertain us. The first sea day out of Puerto Vallarta gave us great views of Cabo and the Baja Coast. Lots of sail boats, motor crafts, even oared and paddled craft. Lots of dolphins breaching and even jumping out of the water in unison. The buffet, because of the excess of rooms to public space had very tight passage ways between tables to exit the area. It must really be difficult when the ship is full. The central plaza patisserie bar is markedly below average for a snack or dining space, but everywhere the service was wonderful. Don't expect a donut on this ship. We had a set dinner time at a table for 8. We started out with just 4. Nelson, the head waiter was able to find 4 more people to fill out our table. Nelson is the best head waiter I've had on any cruise. We got on well with out tablemates. Overall, the food in the dining rooms and buffert were high average, but I sometimes felt some food was being strictly rationed. I could not get extra spinach, but could get asparagus, green beans and peas. I'm on coumadin and my dosage is based on me eating a certain amount of green vegatables. Several salads I had that contained "tomato" had a single cherry tomato split in half. Just before the end of the cruise they ran out of papaya and banana. I sang a chorus of "Yes! We have no bananas!" with a tablemate that last morning. Callie, the cruise director was wonderful. He was the best cruise director ever. One evening he hosted the shows in drag. It took his feet days to recover from the spike heels, but he looked fabulous. I'm sure some female passengers were envious. Disembarkation were smoothly, very smoothly. Read Less
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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