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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal. I had taken this cruise 5 years ago with a friend and I knew my husband would enjoy the itinerary and seeing the Canal. And I knew Princess was a reliable ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal. I had taken this cruise 5 years ago with a friend and I knew my husband would enjoy the itinerary and seeing the Canal. And I knew Princess was a reliable company. We did not explore Ft. Lauderdale since we are Florida residents and have been there many times. My husband prefers cruises that we can drive to and from, so this itinerary was suitable. The ship was nice and not overdone and gaudy. It was a bit shop worn in places, but it did not affect our enjoyment. All the staff we encountered throughout the cruise were friendly and helpful. We upgraded to a Club Class mini suite with a balcony and we are now totally spoiled. The Club Class dining was great. We never had to wait in line to get a great seat in the restaurant and the waiters were excellent, remembering our names and preferences. The extra menu choices for the Club Class were always great. The extra room in the mini suite was perfect for a 10 day cruise. There was LOTS of storage available and the cabin location was very convenient. The only disappointment in the Club Class Mini Suite was the promised daily afternoon hors d'oeuvres. They were mostly tasteless and dry. After 2 days we didn't order them anymore. We enjoyed the "movies under the stars", seeing many Oscar nominated movies we had missed last year. It was nice to also be able to see the movies in our room the next day if we missed in on deck in the evening. Because we saw a lot of the movies, we missed the shows in the Princess Theater, except the last night. It was an excellent show and we were sorry we missed the others. The orchestra was fabulous and the singers were sensational. We were disappointed that we could not stop in Grand Cayman. The seas were too rough for the tenders to get us to the island. But some extra activities were added for the additional day at sea. The passage through the Panama Canal was awesome. We had our breakfast on the balcony as we watched the intricate process unfold before us. We bought jewelry in the EFFY store on board. Unfortunately, when we disembarked, it triggered an alert and we had to be escorted to a "special" customs agent to see if we needed to pay any duty. This seemed totally unnecessary since EFFY emphasized that their jewelry was made in the USA and was duty free and duty exempt. Our "special" customs agent was not at her station when we got there. We were delayed about 45 minutes by this process and much annoyed. (This wasn't the fault of the cruise line, though) Another annoyance was that we sailed from Terminal 2 and returned to terminal 19. Shuttles were provided, but the drivers and vans were not efficient. We got on and off 3 shuttles before we were on our way to our car. (again not the fault of Princess) Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
On my bucket list for years and could never convince my past wife to get on a ship and the timing was right. I have read some of the reviews and cannot agree with them as they sailed at a bad time. My cruise was FANTASTIC, the Panama Canal ... Read More
On my bucket list for years and could never convince my past wife to get on a ship and the timing was right. I have read some of the reviews and cannot agree with them as they sailed at a bad time. My cruise was FANTASTIC, the Panama Canal visit was the highlight, on board service was excellent and I never had to wait to be seated. The waiters did not hover over you but watched and knew when attention was required.I was not pressured into buying more drinks than I wanted. Ten days and not a bad meal, food was top notch. The buffet on deck 14 was all anyone could hope for. Housekeeping was above and beyond, I had an ocean view cabin (605) and it was always kept neat and tidy, any time that I left for a walk or a meal, things were tidied up while I was away. There was always something on the go for entertainment and the movies under the stars helped end the evening on a high note.I am giving it some serious consideration for an Alaskan cruise and it if possible definitely be on the Island Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
our stwerd was awesome. He there when we needed something. Said hi in hall and talked with us. The Buffet was okay. Lots of food from different countries. Not my kind of food so I just picked. Breakfast was the same old thing and ... Read More
our stwerd was awesome. He there when we needed something. Said hi in hall and talked with us. The Buffet was okay. Lots of food from different countries. Not my kind of food so I just picked. Breakfast was the same old thing and the bakery was the same at breakfast. Lunch and dinner bakery was great. Main room dining was good. Photographer they know their job. They do great shots. I loved all my 129 pictures. Get the photo package be you sail. Save $50. Do all shot and have fun with them. This cruise did not have very many kids on board. You only see them at food time. The shore excursions was good. Grand tuck stay away from the town tour with lighthouse. Big disappointment. Shop around ship or do water trips. Pamama canal going thought locks was awesome. tour after to see new locks pamama city and ride old train back to ship. Have to do it. Pools and hot tub very relaxing Try out spa. Got good programs. Getting on and getting off ship was very smooth from Fort Lauderdale fl. We carry-on our luggage. Bags 24 and 28 inch and two smaller one too. Long drive from lubbock tx. Two day drive. 3600 mile around trip. Nice drive if you have time. Oh yes!! Holiday Inn express off of us 84 and I 595 just 10 minutes from ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise as I thought my husband would enjoy the Panama Canal. It was great! I was a little worried about reviews complaining about the ship. Do not believe these reviews. It was just fine. I’m sure there are ships out ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I thought my husband would enjoy the Panama Canal. It was great! I was a little worried about reviews complaining about the ship. Do not believe these reviews. It was just fine. I’m sure there are ships out there that are more glamorous but Island Princess was great. Excursions are too expensive on ship. We waited and got tours off ship except in Jamaica and saved money. Following are ones we took and highly recommend all of them. In Turks & Caicos - www.islandtrams.com, Island Trams, 42 Front Street, Grand Turks & Caicos 649-432-TRAM. In Cartagena - rouscartagena09@hotmail.com. In Costa Rica - Oregon Tours with Christian Robinson - Highly recommend you request Christian. We just got off ship and got our tours with groups that will be right there as you get off ship. We were very pleased with all the tours we had. Disembarkation was great. We walked right on ship. No waiting. I think they need more signs however in regards to where to leave luggage if you’re not carrying on board. Also signs on how to get to parking and which way to go to get on ship. We were early to board but our room was ready shortly after we boarded. Disembarkation was smooth and quick. Chose to carry our luggage off ourselves and recommend this if possible. No waiting at all. The service in the dining room was great. My husband is lactose intolerant and he just mentioned it to our waiter and the head waiter was right there talking to him. They had him fill out a menu each night for the next night so they could be sure no milk products in it. The chef made special desserts for him that were great. Our cabin was comfortable and service great. Loved our bed. We have always gotten inside cabins and very pleased with them. Gone from the cabin most of the time so we don’t need the balcony. Entertainment was excellent. Enjoyed it each night. The regulars on ship were outstanding. Great voices. One complaint would be people who put their towels on lounge chair and leaving them there all day so many people don’t get a turn. Have a great cruise! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First and foremost it was a great cruise. Any criticism I have here should be taken lightly as I consider it very minor. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, Princess was the only cruise line that had the dates we wanted and ports we ... Read More
First and foremost it was a great cruise. Any criticism I have here should be taken lightly as I consider it very minor. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, Princess was the only cruise line that had the dates we wanted and ports we had never been to. We are four time Carnival cruisers and had heard good things about Princess so why not. The staff was wonderful, as they have been on every cruise we have been on. The food was really good, on par with Carnival. Naturally we liked some dishes better than others (depends on your taste) but all really good quality and quantity. Good selection in the dining rooms and great selection in the Horizon buffet. I highly recommend the Bayou Cafe, my wife and I thought it was the best steak filet we have ever had. Service there was great as well. Just a warning about anytime dining, they allow reservations which defeats the purpose in my opinion because it now ties a table to a time. If you don’t get there by 5:30 or after 8 you are going to wait (they’ll give you a pager). We never had to wait a long time but it’s annoying watching people get there after you go in before you. There was lineups to get in the Horizon Court but that was due to a continuing Norovirus outbreak so you had to wash your hands before going in (and shame on the people that sneak around the line and claim they just washed their hands). Also due to this they had to serve everything to you in the buffet which slowed things down a bit but I was grateful because we didn’t catch anything. Don’t base your decision to go on this because it was not a normal situation (it had been eradicated by the end of the cruise). As another reviewer said, there was definitely an older crowd on this ship. We are also early 60’s and felt like we were part of the youngest group aboard, I suspect a lot of the negative reviews are due to the older demographic. Yes the ship is smaller than the newer ones but it has to go through the Panama Canal. It never felt overcrowded though, there are the usual people that stake out loungers first thing in the morning and then come back 2 hours later but we always managed to get a spot we liked. Getting a table in the Horizon Buffet at peak times was a challenge but that’s to be expected if everyone goes at the same time. Entertainment was good in the theatre, again catering to an older crowd. Most of it not my thing but it was very well done. Get there early though, it’s full 15 minutes before showtime. We thought there could have been more deck entertainment but again, older crowd, so they could be keeping it sparse for them and there was always something on the movie screen (we saw 4 good movies while sunbathing). To be fair, on the first sea day they tried to get people to join the Hairy Legs competition and not one person volunteered. Different story on the last sea day, they got 8 contestants, and later an impromptu beach ball game broke out in the pool. There is also another pool with a retractable roof that they don’t open, we went in there once to get out of the blazing sun and it was ok but it’s an indoor pool so I’ll leave it at that. Ports and excursions were great. You have to bear in mind that most of the stops are industrial ports so if you don’t do an excursion you’re not going to see much. Grand Turk was excellent, no excursion required. We lucked out as we were the only ship that day so it wasn’t crowded. Tropical paradise with Jimmy Buffet drinks! (By the way you can research how many ships will be in a particular port each day on line, just google “ship port calendar”) We took the bus/walking tour in Cartegena which was really good. The street vendors really pester you but you just have to be patient and keep saying no thank you (they would usually leave and then come back 2 minutes later, but hey, they’re just trying to eke out a living). Some of them were quite comical and give you a laugh during their efforts. The city is beautiful and full of history. The Panama Canal is amazing! We got to the front observation deck at 6 am and stood mesmerized for the next 3 and a half hours. We felt we didn’t need to do an excursion there as the canal transit was the attraction for us. We stopped in Colon after we came out and there wasn’t much there but it didn’t matter as the transit itself was our day’s excursion. After seeing not much in Colon we booked the Bus/boat/rainforest walk excursion in Limon. Amazing. Think Disney Jungle Cruise but for real. Saw a Toucan, Sloths, Jesus Christ Lizards, Iguanas, Howler Monkeys, Poison Dart frogs and the Coast Guard station with a confiscated drug runner boat. We did Dunn’s River falls and the Bamboo Beach VIP excursion in Ocho Rios. Again excellent. If your knees and heart can handle some exersize, go for it, it was a lot of fun. The Beach club was not what I expected, it’s a little rustic, but we walked out of there a little wobbly from the free drinks and so full we couldn’t go to the dining room that night. Two observations: we thought the rum drinks tasted like plastic from the coolers at first until I realized it was Appleton’s rum we were tasting; and the difference between the VIP and the regular excursion is that they serve you food and drinks instead of having to get them yourself. All three excursions we took had excellent guides and were well worth it. I also want to mention that the embarkation/debarkation/transfer were the smoothest we have ever experienced. So all that said, I would highly recommend this cruise and I hope this helps your decision. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Every part of our Panama Canal cruise experience met or exceeded our expectations. Both the embarkation and disembarkation processes were seemless and simple. Our stateroom adequatley met our needs and our steward Michelle made sure we ... Read More
Every part of our Panama Canal cruise experience met or exceeded our expectations. Both the embarkation and disembarkation processes were seemless and simple. Our stateroom adequatley met our needs and our steward Michelle made sure we were well cared for every day. The Horizon Court breakfast and lunch dining options were amazing. We sampled all sorts of dining delicacies and ulimately overate at every meal. We enjoyed our evening dining very much. We went to the scheduled production show every night of the cruise. All of the shows were exceptionally well done and the entertainment value was consistently high. We frequently discussed the shows we had seen while on the cruise and we still do since coming home. Our shore excursions all were informative and entertaining. Going through the Panama Canal locks was a real bucket list experience. The canal is truly one of the greatest engineering marvels of all time. Our favorite excursion otherwise was the day on Grand Caiman...fish and reef viewing in a semi-sub, visiting the turtle center, and going to Hell and back. What a great cruise it was and full of life lasting memories. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Fantastic experience! Stateroom was beautiful but I can confirm the vibration is excessive, even for an aft stateroom. However, the overall quality of the room and that balcony during the transit far outweighed the vibration being a ... Read More
Fantastic experience! Stateroom was beautiful but I can confirm the vibration is excessive, even for an aft stateroom. However, the overall quality of the room and that balcony during the transit far outweighed the vibration being a problem. Would book it again in a heartbeat. Balcony dinner was FANTASTIC. Club Class dining was wonderful and we were able to have the same server every night and never a wait. They accommodated my no dairy / no gluten needs without a problem. I found the food to be exceptional. Canal transit was the highlight for sure. We opted to stay on board instead of doing an excursion and watched the transit from our aft balcony going into Gatun and then from deck 11 forward leaving Gatun so we got both perspectives. Great choice in my opinion. We embarked from terminal 2 but were bumped to a different terminal upon return but they handled it wonderfully with minimal inconvenience. We stayed at the Hilton Marina the night prior to sailing. Great location, not impressed with the grounds at all. Not a good representation of a Hilton property. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the date, we wanted to be away at New Year. After reading some negative reviews I was a little worried but I didn't need to be. Embarkation was smooth and we were on the ship in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the date, we wanted to be away at New Year. After reading some negative reviews I was a little worried but I didn't need to be. Embarkation was smooth and we were on the ship in no time at all having a nice lunch. Our cabin was ready soon after and with the cases delivered we were ready to unpack. Cabin # C426: The cabin was a good size with a decent balcony and plenty of hanging space. The only couple of gripes were the towels are too small and the shower was very small. However we are not big people and we managed. Food: We enjoyed most of the food in the Horizon Court and the MDR. There was plenty of choice and if we were not sure what we wanted in the MDR we ordered two different options, no issues with doing that. The only gripe was the food on the last night, it was really not good and the service that had been great all week was sadly lacking, we waited nearly 40 minutes for our main course. It was one blip in a 10 day cruise so not that bad. Excursions: We booked all our excursions through Princess and they were all superb. We decided to be brave and take a helicopter ride in Grand Caymen. wow!!!! We did the Banana train and canal cruise at Limon which were both really interesting and we saw a total of 8 sloths along with other wild life. My partner did the Panama Canal by boat which was a long long day but he loved it. I stayed on ship and really enjoyed the Gatun Locks and Lake. We went to Yamaan Park in Ocho Rios that was a blast and the jerk chicken lunch was to die for. Cartagena we did the highlights which was great and we got free time to look around the old town. All in all a great cruise with amazing friendly staff. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I enjoy cruising during holidays, when we can -- Christmas, New Years, Easter. This was a Christmas cruise. We chose it mostly for Cartagena and Panama Canal. Cartagena was a vision as Island Princess entered the harbor. The ... Read More
My husband and I enjoy cruising during holidays, when we can -- Christmas, New Years, Easter. This was a Christmas cruise. We chose it mostly for Cartagena and Panama Canal. Cartagena was a vision as Island Princess entered the harbor. The city is designed so that the sun lights up the white skyscrapers like torches at sunrise. It's breathtaking! This was our second cruise to go through the Panama Canal but there are plenty of excursions and this time we took a tour of the old city and Miraflores locks. The tour was great, mostly because of Rosablanca, ("White Rose") our tour guide. We only took three excursions on this 10-day cruise. Cartagena Old City (a UNESCO World Heritage site), Trolly Tour in Grand Cayman and Panama mentioned above. Cartagena has some over-assertive street vendors. With plenty of sea days and a couple of great lecturers -- Bill Fall and Marina Oborotova -- this turned out to be a relaxing cruise. Played trivia and Bingo with Robbie (best Bingo caller in the fleet, I think!). We didn't win. We were always in the dining room at 5 sharp so we could make the 6 pm show. Robert and Jelana always competent in the dining room and brought smiles with their conversations. (Table 75 anytime dining). Horizon Court offered up a great variety of chow and desserts. They also had gingerbread houses and decorations and they baked four humongous cakes (enough for 1,000 perhaps?) strawberry, blueberry, chocolate decorated like a christmas tree, and German chocolate -- spectacular effort! Dining room food was a medley that could be graded A (NY strip steak, lamb roast, prime rib), A- (lobster tails with no butter, but on a pile of sticky rice/arugula) and one F (bad red snapper). Balcony cabin was good with a full length closet. On the last morning, the room steward wanted to come in and strip the beds when we went to breakfast. This was ten minutes before six a.m. -- my suitcase was on the bed, open, waiting for a few last minute additions to be thrown in. That thing weighs 40 pounds. That was inconvenient! We had some heavy seas and the captain and crew handled the steering as well as possible to alleviate pitching and yawing. They had the stabilizers out when called for. I slept like the dead, but you might want to pack your dramamine, just in case. One of the best production shows ever, on any cruise ship -- their new New Orleans show. I've seen Encore three times, it never gets old. The Secret Silk show is magical. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Exceptional Princess entertainment. We also enjoyed Crooners most every night with David Moore. The Princess orchestra did an amazing job with all of the entertainers. Our mini-suite was a plus-loved the larger balcony and bathroom. ... Read More
Exceptional Princess entertainment. We also enjoyed Crooners most every night with David Moore. The Princess orchestra did an amazing job with all of the entertainers. Our mini-suite was a plus-loved the larger balcony and bathroom. Steward service by Khus was efficient and friendly on the 10th deck. The guitarist-Danny- provided great music in the Wheelhouse. The lectures were outstanding—-especially the day-long dialog going through the Panama Canal with Bill. Boarding in San Francisco was quick as well as our Deboard in Ft Lauderdale. The best part for us was going through the Panama Canal since this was reason we opted for this particular cruise. In December the canal traffic was light but it still takes all day to go thru the locks. Remember to inform those at home to check out the island princess.com web camera so they can view you going thru the locks. The weather in Dec 2018 was perfect. Read Less
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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