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43 Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews

After 11 cruises on Princess, we sadly found there is no loyalty. We let them select our suite on an April 19 voyage. I was coming off major surgery and looking for a quiet, restful way to recovery. We open our cabin door to find no such ... Read More
After 11 cruises on Princess, we sadly found there is no loyalty. We let them select our suite on an April 19 voyage. I was coming off major surgery and looking for a quiet, restful way to recovery. We open our cabin door to find no such suite. It was wheelchair accessible (no bath tub), abbreviated balcony (no lounge chairs) and this non-suite sat on top of the engine room. For 15 days and 15 nights we were subjected to continuous noise and vibrations…unable to sleep or relax. We requested our room be changed but apparently there was no other cabin on the entire ship. After several requests to Princess at the highest level, we were offered a token credit toward a next cruise. Remember, not a moment’s piece for 15 days and 15 nights. They should be ashamed of themselves. Not only did we not come new...we came back exhausted. We will never again set foot on a Princess ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My partner and I just completed a ten-day cruise, aboard the Island Princess, March 30 to April 9 round trip from Fort Lauderdale to the Panama Canal and Southern Caribbean The Problems with the Design of the Island Princess The ship ... Read More
My partner and I just completed a ten-day cruise, aboard the Island Princess, March 30 to April 9 round trip from Fort Lauderdale to the Panama Canal and Southern Caribbean The Problems with the Design of the Island Princess The ship was renovated in 2015. As part of the renovation/updating, Princess added about 300 passengers by increasing cabins/suites and eliminating public spaces. Because of this, the buffet, lounges, restaurants, the theatre, all public area are so crowded that it was often impossible to find a seat. What was worse was that wait time for dining and tenders might exceed an hour. Personally, I went to the buffet for dinner because of the long wait for “Anytime Dining.” I did not go to the theatre because it was impossible to find a seat unless I went to the theatre at least 45 minutes before the show. I was never able to find seating in the Wheel House Bar during happy hour, even the couches outside the bar were filled. At Cooners, for a great entertainer Jere Ringer, there were again never any seats available -- All because of the increase in passengers -- Cruises are supposed to be relaxing, not a fight for seats. There is no such problem on the sister ship, the Coral Princess. I would not recommend this ship at all to anyone. If you have a choice, go on its sister ship the Coral Princess. Princess did not add cabins when it renovated the Coral Princess probably because of the negative evaluations about what was done to the Island Princess. Princess cruises should renew the Island Princess and return it to its former self -- fewer passengers and more public spaces. The Good Things about the Cruise The dining and bar servers, entertainment staff, our cabin steward, and all the buffet staff were excellent They tried their best to make certain every passenger was enjoying himself or herself. The food ranged from very good to excellent. The entertainment in the lounges, theatre, and bars were of a high calibre and drew large loyal audiences Conclusion It is a shame when not the great staff, not the great crew, not the great food, not the great entertainment, can make up for the ill-considered renovation of a ship causing such horrible crowding that it ruined the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I sailed on the Island Princess prior to the latest renovations and found no improvements benefitting passengers. More cabins were added reducing common space area. The gym is now is a small room with no windows. The theatre is small ... Read More
I sailed on the Island Princess prior to the latest renovations and found no improvements benefitting passengers. More cabins were added reducing common space area. The gym is now is a small room with no windows. The theatre is small and, unless you arrive at least one half hour early for shows, you generally cannot find a seat. The Enrichment lecturer, Dr. Glassner, was excellent. The Activities staff were good and there were lots of activity options. A huge problem is having activities on Deck 5 foyer, as their is no proper seating. i opted for My Time Dining and had to wait in line over 45 minutes for a table - totally unacceptable when there were many table that were not in use. Lots of people were unhappy with this situation. Given this disappointing situation, I simply ate in the buffet for the remainder of the cruise. The buffet was poorly laid out. As you came in your picked up your dish and proceeded along two rows of counters and a smaller island counter. It caused traffic jams. I saw a server clear a table and use a napkin that the person who had sat at the table used to wipe down the table! Lemonade was available in the buffet but by request only - I am not sure why this is. The desserts always looked enticing but never tasted as good at they looked. The Guest Relations staff, in general, were not terribly friendly. Given previous disembarkation experience, I opted to walk off with my luggage. There were three walk-off groups. The wrong location as to where to wait was printed in the disembarkation information. Also, it would have been more efficient to have the three groups waiting in their walk-off group instead of co-mingling everyone. The ship was kept clean. As I had been to all of the ports of call, I did not take any of the ship's excursions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The ship was a mess. The front desk staff, particularly one man, was combative, argumentative and rude. I asked to buy two stamps on the 3rd day of the cruise and he told me they didn't have any because they had sold them all. I ... Read More
The ship was a mess. The front desk staff, particularly one man, was combative, argumentative and rude. I asked to buy two stamps on the 3rd day of the cruise and he told me they didn't have any because they had sold them all. I suggested they buy more the next time and he said, "Why don't you get off at the next port and go find a post office." He was a total jerk. The pipes in the ceilings in the hallways broke and there was flooding. Water came up to the door of our cabin. Another guest told us that her cabin was completely flooded when she got up to use the bathroom at 3:00 AM and the folks in the next cabin were flooded too. They were told to pack up everything at 3:00 AM to be moved one floor up. This was odd because many persons said they were told the ship was sold out. We were without water or toilet on two occasions because of the repairs being done in our hallway. The second day we asked why the wall had been removed and the mechanic said, "I am here to repair yesterday's repair." The toilet in our cabin stunk of urine most all of the time. We brought car fresheners and hung them up, which helped a little. Shuttles were advertised as being available at one of the ports and none never appeared after being told "It will only be one hour." It was a really long walk into the port area and many persons were complaining. An extremely rude photographer, dark hair and short and kind of pretty, commanded (not requested) me to move because "I need to stand where you are to take pictures." I use a cane and found her attitude to be insolent and unacceptable. She was self-centered and selfish. The menu said cocktail sauce was to come with a Monte Cristo sandwich, which would be absurd. The cocktail sauce never arrived and you had to request jam or marmalade. Salt and pepper shakers had lids both marked "P" for pepper. The pre-dinner music beginning at 5:00 PM from the Capriccio String Quartet, which blasts out of the overhead speakers while waiting in line to enter the Provence Dining Room is way, way too loud. Most every guest in line complained about the music being too loud and preventing guests from visiting while standing in line. This happened every single evening beginning at 5:00 PM. It was so loud that you were prevented from having an ordinary conversation. There was never any fruit in our mini-suite. Another guest said we could request it but we were never told by the staff that we could do so. We requested two bathrobes when we made our online reservation and there were none in our cabin. The outside door handles of our sliding glass doors to our balcony were covered in bird poop and it was never cleaned during the 19-day cruise. The furniture on the patio also had bird poop on it. The little table's paint was flaking off and was always dirty. The Internet connection for which we paid $99 for 200 minutes sucked. The WiFi rarely worked in our cabin and was really slow no matter where we were sailing. The staff would walk by us throughout the boat and rarely, if ever, greet you. The toilet paper is one-ply and the texture is like sandpaper. Saturday, December 3, my suite mate was taking a nap and I was sitting on the sofa reading and our cabin door opened. A woman and a man entered and she said, "There are people in our cabin!" I looked at her and said, "You are in the wrong cabin." She said, "Well, my key opens your cabin door!" as she and her husband backed out. This was totally unacceptable and a complete lack of security. The food was mediocre at best though our dinner dining room staff was outstanding. Both Tamara and Douglas were excellent. We were told that 100 new staff who had not been on this ship before got on when we did in San Pedro and that must have contributed to the problems everyone experienced. Other cruisers, many who have been on Princess ships more than 30-40+ times said they would never sail on the Island Princess again. We agree; never again. One final thing. Dinner table mates who were in a full suite at the back of the ship said the vibration 24/7 was terrible. Avoid the Island Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
After much research I choice the Island Princess for our cruise to Alaska. I can not recommend it however, after our experience. There are a lot of issues - all doing with their staff. It was very clear that they were not happy and that ... Read More
After much research I choice the Island Princess for our cruise to Alaska. I can not recommend it however, after our experience. There are a lot of issues - all doing with their staff. It was very clear that they were not happy and that the passengers were being handled. The Princess excursions were good and we did hear that they have the best contracts. However, I would NOT recommend doing an excursion on the last day. Just plan something on your own. Also do your own land tour - we did and were very happy. Caught up with people from the cruise that did the land tour with Princess and they were all very unhappy. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and much prefer them. If you still choose to travel with Princess here are some tips: Embark later (around 2:00), you will have no line. If you do embark for lunch - go to the Bordeaux Room for lunch - nowhere does it tell you it is open but it is. You do not have to go to the Horizon (buffet) for lunch on the first day. Go to dinner either very early or very late (after 8:00) on the first night or two. There is afternoon tea most days in the Bordeaux room that is decent (only one kind of tea though - which they can not tell you what it is because the staff doesn't know and doesn't bother to find out). Avoid the spa - it will get you more agitated than relaxed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Celebrate 80 years Birthday. The Matr Hotel and the Maitre D is the WORST personnel we ever came across. No Birthday cake provided, WE PAID and ORDERED 4-months ahead, with the Cruise reservations !!!! In the Dining room NO TABLE ... Read More
Celebrate 80 years Birthday. The Matr Hotel and the Maitre D is the WORST personnel we ever came across. No Birthday cake provided, WE PAID and ORDERED 4-months ahead, with the Cruise reservations !!!! In the Dining room NO TABLE provided! uncooperative ,unfriendly service, table reservation not met the requirement!!! Unprofessional,Worst service we experienced.In the "FORMAL DINING ROOM. MatreD is should NOT work, Should NOT employed by Princess Cruise LIne !!! with his behavior, with his experience uncooperation reflect a VERY SAD, and Terrible time for two SENIORS, lovely passenger. Alaska Cruise with "Island Princess" I can'not and will not recommends to anybody, I can express my judgement after 19 + wonderful Cruises around Word... My complain expressed properly on the Ship to the higher Personals with absolute no help and no professional respond to our major, serious experience!!!!!! Princess Cruise line the last 55-60 years provided one of the best reputations and memory tu US !! Only ONE-personnel: The MatreD in the formal Dining Room able to make a unacceptable poor behaviors to make our Cruise "BITTER MEMORIES.!!!!!!! Management (President & CEO) should be shame to not respond to OUR complaint.!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was the absolute worst cruise ship we have ever been on and we've taken ten cruises, never with Princess. I can promise you we will never cruise with Princess again after this horrid experience. I will break everything down by ... Read More
This was the absolute worst cruise ship we have ever been on and we've taken ten cruises, never with Princess. I can promise you we will never cruise with Princess again after this horrid experience. I will break everything down by category so you can see our reasoning. Cabin - The cabin itself had a decent balcony but we never saw our room steward except twice. I spilled ketchup on the comforter the first night and it sat there the entire trip. Dining - By far, this ship had the worst food and variety of food then any other cruise we have taken. Most of the food was tasteless or tasted very strange. The selection was paltry and not many options for the nightly dining. Embarkation - The highlight of our trip was Ft. Lauderdale, BEFORE we cruised. There are plenty of dining and entertainment options and we took advantage of this by staying at a beachfront hotel with a room overlooking the beach. Entertainment - With the exception of the comedian, Rollin' Jay Moore, the entertainment was absolutely dreadful. The DJ didn't know how to mix songs effectively, the band "X-Cite" was an amateurish, talentless group of people and for anyone under the age of 75, there is NOT much else to do except gamble in the casino which filled out nights with as much joy as possible. Service - The service was absolutely awful. I had a bartender snatch my roomkey roughly out of my hand and the bartenders served watered down drinks. They also measure the amount of alcohol with jiggers, so I would advise getting the unlimited beverage package; otherwise you will pay $9.00 for a watered down margarita with barely any tequila. Shore Excursions - The tour of Colombia was nice; however the one of Panama was terrible. Instead of telling us about local culture, the girl kept talking about the cost of gasoline, of cars, and when we stepped off the bus she kept trying to get us to buy hand woven fabric from her friend who lived on the street corner. We were also disappointed that one of the crew members committed suicide while we were in Panama so the ship was held by Panamanian authorities and we could not go on our rafting excursion in Costa Rica because we didn't have time to stop at that port. They gave us all only $100 a person for missing that port. Overall, we thought the experience was horrible, so horrible I felt compelled to register an account and warn everyone. People told us how nice Princess is, but we are going to switch back to Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian or Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
As a bucket list item the panama canal was at the top. Sorry to say this cruise will be remembered more than the canal, not in a good way. Having cruised multiple times on Norwegian, we liked this itinerary so we signed up. LAST TIME ON ... Read More
As a bucket list item the panama canal was at the top. Sorry to say this cruise will be remembered more than the canal, not in a good way. Having cruised multiple times on Norwegian, we liked this itinerary so we signed up. LAST TIME ON PRINCESS. Embarkation day, the only restaurant open was the buffet, if you have cruised before the last place to go is the buffet on sailing day. Other lines have restaurants open for a nice lunch. Anytime dining at dinner was HORRIBLE. Anytime didn't start until 7:00 and that meant that you could wait in line for up to 45 minutes to get a beeper to be called for a table later. I felt like I was at a chain restaurant, not a cruise ship. Food and service once you got past the door police was very good. Anytime dining means anytime not when the beeper says so. Cabin was on Caribe deck forward with a balcony. Size and closet space excellent along with storage and balcony. The shower was MINUSCULE and had a shower curtain that smelled like mildew. I am 6'2" and had to do 1/2 in the shower then turn to do the other half. The air conditioning in the cabin barely work. I called passenger service and was told to lower the thermostat. I told them it was all the way down and I wanted somebody to check it. A mechanic came up, checked the system and said it was working the best it could because we were on the end of the system. I asked at the desk for a fan and was told they don't give them out. We slept with the balcony door open because it was cooler outside than in the cabin, and it was averaging 80* outside. Can't believe how rude the people who think they are management were. NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We arrived with high expectations as loyal princess cruisers. Boarding was quick and efficient and cabin was ready but we were greeted by a foul stench in the corridor. Attended muster as we ALWAYS do and was scanned in, later that ... Read More
We arrived with high expectations as loyal princess cruisers. Boarding was quick and efficient and cabin was ready but we were greeted by a foul stench in the corridor. Attended muster as we ALWAYS do and was scanned in, later that evening we received a letter 'telling us off' for missing muster. Went to reception to be told don't worry the scanners don't always work! not impressed. Card left on bed to collect gifts that I had pre-ordered, these were due to arrive Christmas day as a surprise not just waiting on the bed on arrival day.Went to shop to collect gifts to be told they were out of stock so pick something out instead, when I asked what value I was told an approx amount that was incorrect (considerably less than had been prepaid). Why didn't they send a card saying it was out of stock instead of raising expectations and the dashing them. Anytime dining, you had to queue around the atrium just to get a pager so gave up first two nights and ate in self-service, where you didn't even get offered water. Had to serve myself. On third day demanded to see Maitre D who said it was a problem since they added the extra cabins, he then resolved the situation by giving us a table at the same time every night with a fantastic waiter. I am a smoker and whilst I understand that it is an unpleasant habit the smoking areas are totally unsuitable. Deck 15 outside no shade, rarely cleaned, no bar staff come near or by. Churchill lounge, very poor ventilation, not enough room for quantity of smokers, staff hate coming in to clean ashtrays, no bar service. Since the refit there is no smoking on the promenade deck, my favorite place to sit, so I had to either use lift to deck 15 or go in the stinky room. Didn't stop at Nicaragua due to weather, not a problem, better to be safe than sorry. Cancelled trip in Costa Rica, not told until 1.30pm when it was too late to arrange an alternative, found out that morning trips had been told at 7.30am, why didnt they tell the afternoon trips at the same time. Lost the chance of seeing crocodiles which was one of the reasons for the cruise. Panama canal, brilliant day but again very poor bar service, the promenade deck was full of passengers but bar staff from crooners or any other bar didnt attempt to help, so we had to go into the bars for service. Cabin steward excellent. Stentch in corridor came and went through the cruise. Code red novovirus well handled by the staff. We washed and used gel so didnt fall victim. Food very good, self service excellent layout but less than expected service from drinks stewards. A good rest and lovely stops, Panama canal was all we hoped for and more. This cruise was let down by poor bar service, lack of cleanliness on open decks and excessive queuing for the anytime dining. All of these points were raised at the time but were not addressed by princess. Would I use Princess again ..possibly. Would I book Island Princess again..NEVER Oh and still waiting for the credit on my onboard account to be refunded to my card 2 weeks after disembarkation. Was told on phone that it could take a further 2 weeks. I didn't make then wait for payment and prepaid everything and the refunds are due to 2 trips being cancelled by princess.....far from impressed, not the consumate host and I definately didn't come back renewed!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
It was a shame what the corporate office did when they decided to add 200 more rooms on the ship. Apparently they didn't account for the 400 more passengers to eat in the main dining room. We had my time dining and most nights were ... Read More
It was a shame what the corporate office did when they decided to add 200 more rooms on the ship. Apparently they didn't account for the 400 more passengers to eat in the main dining room. We had my time dining and most nights were given beepers to wait for an available table. Never had that happen before. Thought I was waiting at Rec Lobster! On formal night they ran out of beepers and we were told to come back in 45 mins. When we came back after 45 mins we were then handed a beeper to wait some more! One night ordered prime rib medium rare. When it came the meat was beige. When the waiter asked me how was my dinner I told him it was too done. He said "you ordered it medium rare and it looks medium rare to me". I then replied "I guess I'll have to order my meat rare from now on". No sommeliers so waiter was responsible with getting people's wine and drinks. I think this added to delays as it took 2 hours to complete our meal. Buffet area was so-so. Boring selection for lunch. Gym was in a small, windowless unappealing room. Casino was so tiny and unattractive. No shopping on board to speak of. Being the cruise was in November you would think that they would have trinkets and souvenirs to pick up. Very little to do on the ship during sea days. Hot tubs did not gave bubbles. Just sitting in a tub of hot water. We got the upper respiratory sickness that had spread throughout the ship. Did not see any aggressive cleaning to try and curtail the spread. Came into our cabin one day after an excursion in port to find our wastebasket sitting on our bed with a damp towel in it under where our sprinkler was. The comforter and mattress were all wet. They just left it like that! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We relied on the very good reviews of this ship when we booked our cruise late in 2014, and the resulting high rating of the ship , but unfortunately most of the reviews and the resulting rating predates renovations that were recently ... Read More
We relied on the very good reviews of this ship when we booked our cruise late in 2014, and the resulting high rating of the ship , but unfortunately most of the reviews and the resulting rating predates renovations that were recently completed in March 2015 after we booked. So be forewarned look at the recent reviews only and ignore the ship rating or you will be misled by them like we were. The renovations among other things added cabins and passengers, blocked off the back of the no promenade deck, eliminated lounges and common area seating, reduced the size of the fitness center, and eliminated any dining options in the piazza like on most Princess ships. As a result there is overcrowding everywhere on the ship. Almost everyone on our crossing got sick with a respiratory illness and while this happens on any ship from time to time the overcrowding makes maintaing good hygiene to prevent the spread of illness more difficult. Forget about anytime dining on this ship...the wait for a table is so long you will be much better off getting a seat in tradional dining. Even in traditional dining many of the meals arrived cool like they were prepared hours before. Even the fries in the grill were not fres or hot. . And if you like buffets while the buffet food was hot and generally good, getting a seat in the Horizon Court was always a challenge. And the buffet line was way too crowded with people running into you and coughing over your food except at dinner. We have cruised on Royal Carribean, Cunard, Holland America, Seven Seas, and this was without a do to the worst ship we ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My wife and I and another couple, long time friends of ours, sailed on the Island Princess from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles from Feb 19 to Mar 6 (note a review on the immediately previous Island Princess trip). It needs the major ... Read More
My wife and I and another couple, long time friends of ours, sailed on the Island Princess from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles from Feb 19 to Mar 6 (note a review on the immediately previous Island Princess trip). It needs the major makeover that the previous reviewer mentioned!! There had been a water leak somewhere in the area of my friends’ cabin just prior to their boarding. The crew had to empty out the cabin and replace furniture and carpeting in the cabin and the passageway. My friends didn’t get into their cabin until the 5 or 6 o’clock time frame. Well, maybe that wasn’t so bad. While heading toward the canal we noticed that there were people leaving the ship with their luggage along the way (more later). This itinerary had a two day canal experience. That meant that after going all the way through the canal, we stopped at Fuerte Amador (Panama City) for a second day in the area, where we could take excursions. We took one of the Princess offered excursions on a small tour boat that took us back through the locks on the Pacific side. The excursion was fine, and we got quite a kick out of going through the locks with other small craft at the same time and being close enough to the walls of the locks to touch them and being almost directly alongside of some of the electric “mules” that were used to stabilize the large ships. During the night, the husband of the other couple woke up wheezing to beat the band. His wife, a retired RN (and a darn good one), took him to the infirmary for treatment. To summarize the next few days, he developed pneumonia and a full-on asthma attack. They had him on intravenous antibiotics and steroids in the infirmary with nebulizer treatments during the day and night. The pneumonia subsided, but the asthma didn’t seem to be improving at all. All during this time, my friend’s wife had nothing but good things to say about the treatment that her husband was getting and the commitment of the doctors and nurses dispensing the medical aid. She also said that the dispensary seemed to always be full, and the staff just couldn’t keep up with the demand (more later). At a point a few days into this, they were talking about putting him off the ship to a private hospital in Mexico. About this time, my wife and I went to visit our friends at their cabin. As we got close to their cabin, my wife noticed a strange odor, and thought that, because of the leak problems that the ship had had (and had been continuing to have in that same area), maybe there was mold in the air. We mentioned it to our friends, who in turn mentioned it to the doctor, and our friends were transferred to another cabin in a different part of the ship. The next morning---a noticeable marked improvement!!!! The ship’s physician noted that when he was taken from one cabin environment to another, he had an almost overnight recovery. During the next day or so, we learned that there had been another leak in the original area and other passengers had been put into our friends’ old cabin. During this whole time the infirmary had just been overwhelmed. There wasn’t a stop on the route that didn’t have people leaving for medical reasons. To be fair, at least two of them were for injuries. There was, however, an ambulance meeting the ship at every stop, including one of the locks in the canal at 9:00 PM at night. We even had a short non-scheduled stop off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, and four people (two couples?) were tendered to shore in two separate tenders.. During this whole time, nothing out of the ordinary was done to protect the passengers. Sure, there were the signs in the restrooms to wash your hands, and Purell dispensers were at the entrances to food venues, and the captain and the ship’s staff didn’t shake your hand at the captain’s reception (They didn’t want to catch anything from the passengers?), but that was all de rigeur. At the very least, wiping down stairway bannisters on a regular basis might have been nice. A mention of the need for even more precautions in the ship’s daily newsletter might have been nice. But no, it was business as usual. We also found out that all of the fancy American regulations such as HIPPA don’t always apply. The ship was in international waters. My friends couldn’t get complete medical reports to take to their doctors on the mainland. Princess wouldn’t allow it. Only a medical summary was provided. So my friend was taken off the ship in a wheel chair. The trip back to his (their) home was delayed while they spent an extra day in LA recuperating. So, the next time you take a Princess Cruise, make sure you have a full supply of everything you could need and the best medical insurance policy you can get!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
chose this cruise as it was on my bucket list, we did the land sea package, found we where really well looked after, both on shore and on ship it was a smaller ship then i was used to, but the service was still the same as on the larger ... Read More
chose this cruise as it was on my bucket list, we did the land sea package, found we where really well looked after, both on shore and on ship it was a smaller ship then i was used to, but the service was still the same as on the larger ships, ( excellent) there were the pools, the adult only section gym spa, and all the staff. where very accommadating. there is always going to some food that people don't like but there is so much to chose from, there is something for everyone. they have your formal dining rooms, as well as seleted resturants, hi light of the cruise was visiting the glacier, i had never been so cold, but it was worth it, it was colder on the water then the helichopter ride to a glacier that we stop and walked around on, and the seals and icebergs, really just helped make the trip for me. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We have been cruising for the past five years, usually aboard Carnival. Up until this trip, which was on the Island Princess, we always had nothing but great things to say about the crew and activities. This shop lacked both. The crew ... Read More
We have been cruising for the past five years, usually aboard Carnival. Up until this trip, which was on the Island Princess, we always had nothing but great things to say about the crew and activities. This shop lacked both. The crew was non-attentive and sometimes rude. They were very good at saying "yes" to your requests, but more times than not they did not give us what we asked for, or just ignored our request completely. We had anytime dining (which I would not recommend)this had to be the slowest dining ever, and confused wait staff. Typically, we went to dinner by 6:30 and did not get out of the dining room until 8:30 or later. When we asked to have a table for two, we were handed a pager and told it would be about 15 minutes. Well, 15 minutes always turned into at least a half hour or more and one time they even scratched off our names without seating us. This entire crew seemed to lack attention to detail and organizational skills. The food was average nothing spectacular stands out to report about. They didn't even serve lobster & filet mignon on formal night. We had an obstructed oceanview room (life boats blocked part of the view). All I can say is unless you enjoy listening to things banging up against the wall at your headboard never accept one of these rooms. While the sleeping area and clothing storage area was accommodating, the bathroom was less than desirable. The shower was sooo small you could barely turn around in it and my husband and I are both average size people. The water was very hot (even when using the temperature adjustment on the lever) there was barely any cold at all, so you jumped in and out as quickly as possible. The activities were geared towards the seniors (many of which were complaining there was nothing to do). Our society is living longer and much more actives lives than years ago. Bingo, shuffleboard, bridge, pottery and crafts, trivia and rated PG comedians just don't cut it anymore. There were NO nightclubs for dancing (well, not at least that played music for those aboard from the 70's and 80's). The best night was island night on the Lido deck it was wonderful to have upbeat music and to see those of all age groups having a good time together. However, the band, TREASURE which was featured throughout the cruise seemed to only know so many songs. The repetition also goes for the piano players and string quartet. While we made the best of it, it made for an extremely long 10 days (especially those 4 days at sea). PS: If you are gluten free; like I am lets just say it was slim pickens and not a great deal of accommodation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
May 6, 2006 Los Angeles to Vancouver via Alaska, Island Princess repositioning cruise. Embarkation. We arrived early (noon), but there was already perhaps a 200 person line. People were processed quickly and efficiently. While waiting we ... Read More
May 6, 2006 Los Angeles to Vancouver via Alaska, Island Princess repositioning cruise. Embarkation. We arrived early (noon), but there was already perhaps a 200 person line. People were processed quickly and efficiently. While waiting we were under a canopy and there was water and seats. We were in our room by 1pm. No problems and boy were we impressed. Ship. This French-built 3 year old ship is beautiful from stem to stern, without exception, including the public rooms, the grand multi-deck atrium, library, internet facilities, and pools. Even though the ship was completely full, there were many places to go, and it almost never felt crowded. Again, this made a great impression on us, and that aspect never left us. Cabin. We had a standard oceanview cabin that was approx. 170 square feet. First, let me say that the room is beautifully appointed including nice wood, furnishings and the tiled bathroom with Grohe fixtures. However, it is just too small even for 2 people in love. The shower doesnt fit a normal man. The bathroom is postage stamp sized and there is barely room to walk around the bed. We would never stay in a cabin this size again. Tendering in ports. Things started going downhill here. It took up to three hours to get off the ship in Sitka, with complete disorganization and horrific lines. Regular Princess customers said that they had never seen anything like this before. A similar experience occurred in Ketchikan when tenders were unable to load and unload. Princess apparently did not pay for docking, which really made for a mess. At the last minute, after many passenger complaints, Princess unexpectedly moved the ship mid-day to the dock to avoid any further problems. Food. Things feel off the map here. For us, this food was just unbelievably poor. However, Ill start by saying that the premium Sabatinis restaurant did have reasonably good food, wonderful service, and great ambiance, view and seating. Otherwise, the anytime dining venues (Bordeaux dining room and Horizons buffet) had abysmal, low quality, moderate variety, high quantity food. If you just want to stuff yourself on Hometown Buffet, then Princess is the place for you. The food in all of the venues is the same. The only difference is that in the dining rooms it is plated and served on china. In the buffet, the same food sat around and seemed to be yet worse quality (if that was possible), and there appeared to be problems with proper temperature control of food, which could result in health issues. The service in the dining room was generally either excellent or bad, and rarely in between. We enjoyed a few of the wait staff, and the others should probably have had jobs in agriculture Im afraid. What a mess. So it was a constant effort to get what you asked for without repeated requests. Even then we often just gave up. Cruise director. The cruise director and his assistant were slovenly and unprofessional in both demeanor and dress. Their morning TV shows included unnecessary insulting humor and repeated simulated strangling of one another. This was an embarrassment for us and our family. Tipping. We ended up not using the automatic tipping, and instead gave the same amount of money to the people who did the best work. There is no explanation from Princess as to how the automatic tipping works, and how it is distributed among the staff. Further, we were clearly advised that adding any tips to a room or restaurant charge results in that money going into the pool rather than to the individual providing the service. Therefore, cash is the only way to reward good service. Our tips were spread amongst our wonderful room steward, various restaurant personnel, and an assistant purser. Just a further note on personnel. The crew is obviously very poorly paid and were primarily from the Philippines. Seeing them wait on the American bourgeois crowd was just a said statement about the state of affairs in this industry. Fitness. We signed up for fitness classes upon embarkation. What immediately struck us was the intense smell of alcohol on the breath of the fitness instructor. So I should not have been surprised to find the fitness class completely off-base, and unprofessional in a most unprecedented way. Luckily they dont seem to charge for even the premium classes, so we paid nothing and got nothing. Spa. We also signed up for use (during the entire cruise) of the sanctuary, a premium sauna/steam/heat bench facility, and we were excited to use it. However, when we showed up there the next day, we found no staff, no bathrobes or towels, empty water containers, and a wet, dirty, unsanitary, and unmaintained facility to which we never returned. Repeated calls to the spa manager were never returned. Subsequent calls to the purser, as suggested by the cruise director, were likewise never returned. So here we paid for something and got nothing. Entertainment. There are two large venues plus several bars. The large production shows were generally well done and moderately entertaining. However the individual entertainers were quite poor, and even in bad taste. I would have expected to see them on Venice Beach, but not here. Disembarkation/luggage handling. This was the king of the messes. We were called as expected to disembark (by group). However when we arrived within the port facility to claim luggage, it was a free for all. I only wish Id taken photos. Luggage that was supposed to be organized by color code ended up all being mixed together. Imagine 2,000 passengers and perhaps 3,000 suitcases all mixed on one huge warehouse-type floor. People were tripping over each other and the luggage. One key problem was that the luggage tags provided had no adhesive and only a simple tab to hold them in place. Many fell off and were on the floor. As a result, luggage that needed to go the airport ended up at the dock and visa versa. We were later told by princess that 30 suitcases were sent to the airport in error for example. Many regular Princess passengers said that this was the worst, by far, that they had ever seen. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
This was our 16th cruise with Princess and by far the best. Embarkation was a breeze...even in Los Angeles. A nice surprise! The cabin was clean and well stocked when we arrived and our room steward was there to greet us. Our steward ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise with Princess and by far the best. Embarkation was a breeze...even in Los Angeles. A nice surprise! The cabin was clean and well stocked when we arrived and our room steward was there to greet us. Our steward (Karn) was amazing. Invisible but attentive. We have had stewards that feel the need to phone us when the do not disturb sign is on the door but Karn was "stealth". Never knocked to ask when we were leaving, just magically appeared when we left. The room was always clean when we returned. Ten days at sea can be a long time for some, however, we found that there was always something to do and the sea days flew by. We only took one Princess shore tour and rented a car on the other islands. The one tour we did take was whale watching on Maui and it was grand. We actually had four whales "performing" for us for an hour or more. Princess can't seem to get the tendering part right. Some people waited two hours for a tender and got a bit testy. We were not able to stop at one island due to high seas in a tender port. There was a lot of grousing but it doesn't seem reasonable to blame Princess for bad weather. We chose second seating (8:00 PM) and found ourselves seated with six wonderful people. The group was so congenial that we actually entered the "Scrap Heap Boat Building" contest together which provided six days of laughs! For the record, we won although we were BY FAR the "old folks". Our waiters, Butch and Edwin were the best we have ever had. Excellent service along with jokes and magic tricks every night. Butch selected my meals -- he had already seen it all at the early seating and knew what was the BEST. Princess food is Princess food. Never gourmet but well presented and never bad. Yes, the coffee is terrible but we always take our own pot and enjoy the good coffee in our room. Disembarkation was a bit of a nightmare. Long lines clearing customs and some people missed their afternoon flights. We always solve that problem by booking our flight home the following day. We found all of the staff to be polite and helpful. The ship was clean and well appointed. The kids at the casino actually smiled when they took our money! We would sail on the Island Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
It saddens me to have to say that I can no longer recommend the Princess Cruise line. Under the management of Carnival Corporation for the past few years service has degraded to the point that the cruise has become more trouble than its ... Read More
It saddens me to have to say that I can no longer recommend the Princess Cruise line. Under the management of Carnival Corporation for the past few years service has degraded to the point that the cruise has become more trouble than its worth. You have to beg, bargain or beseech for: 1) A table for two at a time more or less to your liking; 2) Robes; 3) Toiletries; 4) Extra Towels (rationed!); 5) Fruit bowl (which we never got); 6) Laundry bag; 7) etc. Additionally, there were no seat covers in the restrooms; there was an irritant in the air that bothered many passengers' bronchi -- probably from the aerosol used on the stages to make the lighting more apparent; the on-board lecturers were unprepared or boring; and, finally, the food quality ranged downward from good (foul) to inedible. The cruise director's idea of a high time was Bingo. Passengers were allotted one (1) threadbare beach towel for use on deck. The beach towel was assigned to the cabin and passengers lugged it with them wherever they went till they found a likely spot. The balconies on the cabins were miniscule, of limited use. Those on the upper three or four cabin decks were open to public view. There were some good points: the entertainment was generally very good to exceptionally fine, with the exception of two comedians who had the misfortune to die (theatrically speaking) on stage. The ship is well designed and pleasantly decorated. The cover-charge restaurant Sabbatini's is excellent. The same cannot be said for the other cover charge restaurant, the Bayou, which, although it served excellent Oysters Bienville, also served inedible steaks! Also, embarkation and disembarkation were very well handled. Too bad the good hardly outweighs the bad. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
It saddens me to have to say that I can no longer recommend the Princess Cruise line. Under the management of Carnival Corporation for the past few years service has degraded to the point that the cruise has become more trouble than its ... Read More
It saddens me to have to say that I can no longer recommend the Princess Cruise line. Under the management of Carnival Corporation for the past few years service has degraded to the point that the cruise has become more trouble than its worth. You have to beg, bargain or beseech for: 1) A table for two at a time more or less to your liking; 2) Robes; 3) Toiletries; 4) Extra Towels (rationed!); 5) Fruit bowl (which we never got); 6) Laundry bag; 7) etc. Additionally, there were no seat covers in the restrooms; there was an irritant in the air that bothered many passengers bronchi -- probably from the aerosol used on the stages to make the lighting more apparent; the on-board lecturers were unprepared or boring; and, finally, the food quality ranged downward from good (fowl) to inedible (fish, beef). The cruise director's idea of a high time was Bingo. Passengers were allotted one (1) threadbare beach towel for use on deck. The beach towel was assigned to the cabin and passengers lugged it with them weree're they went till they found a likely spot. The balconies on the cabins were miniscule, of limited use. Those on the upper three or four cabin decks were open to public view. There were some good points: The entertainment was generally very good to exceptionally fine, with the exception of two comedians who had the misfortune to die (theatrically speaking) on stage. The ship is well-designed and pleasantly decorated. The cover-charge restaurant Sabbatini's is excellent. The same cannot be said for the other cover charge restaurant, the Bayou, which, although it served excellent Oysters Bienville, also served inedible steaks! Also, embarkation and disembarkation were very well handled. Too bad the good hardly outweighs the bad. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004

Top Island Princess Itineraries

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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