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Sail Date: July 2019
We were on the Island Princess for one week Alaskan cruise Northbound (July 31, 2019 to Aug, 7, 2019) traveling from Vancouver to Whittier. We really enjoyed this itinerary, Voyage of the Glaciers, and the ship! With approximately 2200 ... Read More
We were on the Island Princess for one week Alaskan cruise Northbound (July 31, 2019 to Aug, 7, 2019) traveling from Vancouver to Whittier. We really enjoyed this itinerary, Voyage of the Glaciers, and the ship! With approximately 2200 passengers, we never felt crowded or lost. We particularly enjoyed having a room toward the front of the ship as the Horizon buffet was also at the front, and it had an excellent view with so many windows facing the front. Our balcony room was on the Dolphin (9th) deck. Our balcony view was magnificent, particularly because the weather cooperated so well. Sunny skies, around 70 degrees each day, and not one drop of rain throughout our cruise. Our room was kept super clean by Jovey, our room steward. Clean is a biggie with us, and we especially enjoyed a carefully cleaned bathroom with towels replaced throughout the day by our room steward. We learned the layout of the ship on our first day of cruising. The atrium covers three floors and is lovely with the glass elevators for an added touch. We enjoyed the theater productions, especially the dancers, singers, and male comedian (Delena). Anytime dining was wonderful too; we enjoyed ordering from a menu and the staff was extremely helpful. We are an active, retired couple. This was our fourth cruise to Alaska in six years, so we have a frame of reference concerning Alaskan cruises. On the previous three Alaska cruises, my husband and I traveled alone as a couple, but this time we asked my husband's sister and her husband to join us. It was fun watching them see Alaska for the very first time. And, the Island Princess certainly made our cruise very memorable, from the food to the staff. Everything went well on this trip, and we highly recommend the Island Princess for a relaxed, memorable, and enjoyable journey to Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted to see he coast of Alaska and had cruised with Princess before. They offered a package that included airfare, transportation and the cruise. We enjoyed everything. My husband uses a motorized scooter on the ship. All the ... Read More
We wanted to see he coast of Alaska and had cruised with Princess before. They offered a package that included airfare, transportation and the cruise. We enjoyed everything. My husband uses a motorized scooter on the ship. All the ports and lots of the excursions could accommodate the scooter. Touring the Glaciers was incredible! Especially College fjord. Having a Naturalist as per of the crew was wonderful. His commentary as we cruised through the Glaciers was perfect and we enjoyed his seminars. This ship is smaller than the last few ones we've been on, so there weren't as many shops and the casino was small. The food in all the restaurants and the buffet was good and there was a nice variety. All the crew were very pleasant and helpful. The ship is easy to get around - my husband uses a motorized scooter on board so that is an important factor for us. Also, on this cruise, all the Ports and quite a few of the excursions could accommodate the scooter. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The next cruise is already being looked into because we had such a great time. The entertainment was very professional and had plenty of variety. The Dining and food selection had many options to fit even the most picky eater. ... Read More
The next cruise is already being looked into because we had such a great time. The entertainment was very professional and had plenty of variety. The Dining and food selection had many options to fit even the most picky eater. Service is second to none! The views of the Glaciers and ocean creatures were fantastic. We traveled with 18 people from many ages categories. everyone had several things they enjoyed and will remember about their special family vacation. The excursion were fun, timed perfectly, educational, exciting, entertaining and very enjoyable. The activities on the ship were fun and varied. Game shows, mysteries, dancing, games, animal watching, crafting, wine tasting, auction, swimming, just to name s few. The teenagers enjoyed meeting other teens in the youth club. The 18-20 struggled with meeting people their own age and had limited access to appropriate activities for them on the ship. The land portion had wonder coach drivers who enjoyed sharing interesting information about the areas we rode through. One thing that we wished to have done before the cruise started was to explore Vancouver, Canada. The land portion was breathtaking but felt very rushed. I might switch to having the land potion of the trip fist and the cruise second. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I wanted to see what is becoming the last frontier in the most comprehensive way. Alaska is so huge that a cruise seemed the most efficient and relaxing way to go about it. Arriving just in time for the summer solstice festival in ... Read More
I wanted to see what is becoming the last frontier in the most comprehensive way. Alaska is so huge that a cruise seemed the most efficient and relaxing way to go about it. Arriving just in time for the summer solstice festival in Anchorage got the trip to a great start. Mingling with the natives and having my first taste of reindeer sausage got me in the mood for our Alaskan adventure. My husband along with another couple (close friends) took in the Alaskan midnight sun and hiked the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail topped with a birthday dinner at the Glacier Brewhouse with a waitress with just the right amount of sassiness! What a first day! And because of Princess organization, it just got easier from there. Just a little pre-planning of what we needed to have on our person, and our luggage showed up at the next stop without us having to lug it. No need to check-in - keys pre-delivered to us! Land highlights included a side-trip stop in Talkeetna - good beer, good shopping, and good meeting the legendary mayor - a cat! Loved the treehouse at Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge where other guests loaned us their binoculars to get a glimpse of that elusive summit of Denali. But nothing could beat the all-day Kantishna Denali Park tour - where a mama bear and two cubs literally sauntered along the side of our bus. Caribou, moose, fox - all made an appearance for us! Felt quite lucky as I know that this is not Disneyland and animals cannot be made to appear. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the wildlife and the history of the park, and I am now a Fannie Quigley fan! What better way to conclude the land portion with a glass car train-ride back south to Whittier where we saw the best view of Denali, rivers, and forests with amazing service and narration. Just like the rest of the trip, the transition to ship was seamless. I am not sure how they get 600+ people off the train and onto the ship without long lines and waiting. We were in our stateroom in minutes. This was my first cruise and although the stateroom was compact, the furniture/cabinets were well-designed with plenty of room for all our luggage. Having a balcony was key for me as I loved sitting in a private space with my husband to watch the water, glaciers, and islands. The good was good in the buffet, and our service at the Provence dining room was exceptional. I liked the sinks to wash hands right by the buffet - I felt everything was done to keep the ship germ-free. We loved playing games/cards in the library, and listening to the singers who encouraged taking requests and sing-alongs. I definitely recommend having excursions booked at each port as the actual towns are touristy stocked mainly with souvenir shops. The land tour and excursions were the excitement portion of the trip. The cruise with all the fine service and entertainment was the relaxation portion of the trip. In tandem, this was a perfect mix of adventure, education, and rest! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to take our family on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. My wife and I had taken this exact same itinerary 10 years ago and we knew from experience our family would enjoy it. Eleven of us did the land ... Read More
We wanted to take our family on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. My wife and I had taken this exact same itinerary 10 years ago and we knew from experience our family would enjoy it. Eleven of us did the land tour from Anchorage to Denali before the cruise, and then we were joined by 5 more at the ship for the cruise. We had a total of 16, 8 adults and 8 children. The land portion went great, Princess really handles the land portion well and we all enjoyed the McKinley and Denali lodges. Our rooms at both locations were very nice. We stayed in the newer A/B lodge at the top of the hill and our rooms were very modern and spacious. The train ride from Denali to Whittier was a highlight of the trip, especially since we got to see Denali mountain several times along the route. Lunch in the dining car was very good. They came around to see who wanted lunch and then came and got us as our time approached. Food was also very good--highly recommend the reindeer chili. Embarkation at the ship was handled well. Princess reps boarded out train at Wasilla and we completed the embarkation process prior to arriving at Whittier. Even so, by the time we got off the train and into the terminal the lines were long going through security and that took awhile to get onboard. We had set dining at 7:30 pm with two tables to accommodate our family. Although we wanted earlier dining, this worked better for us as we were getting back from excursions late on several days. Dining seemed to take longer than usual so we started ordering our desserts when we received our entrees to ensure we made the 9:30 entertainment in the Princess Theater. We took multiple excursions and everyone enjoyed them. My favorite was the Denali flight and glacier landing from Talkeetna. Hint, if the pilot starts talking about the right seat being open during his preflight spiel, quickly raise your hand for that co-pilot seat. I did and I had fantastic views of the mountain and scenery from the front of the airplane. Puppies came onboard at Skagway and the lines were very long but they moved well. It took about 30 minutes for us to get our turn and then our pup slept the entire time. Glacier viewing was superb on the south bound trip. Onboard naturalists and part rangers gave informative and interesting talks about flora, fauna, and natural sights. Angelito, our cabin attendant, was the best ever. He went beyond what is normal to ensure our cruise was the most enjoyable one we've had. Disembarkation went very smoothly and there were lots of taxis available to take us to our hotel. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a bucketlist cruise for our family aged 83-17. We all really enjoyed it. The onboard activities kept everyone busy. The ship is older, but nicely maintained. We enjoyed the whale watching in Icy Strait, my son loved the ... Read More
This was a bucketlist cruise for our family aged 83-17. We all really enjoyed it. The onboard activities kept everyone busy. The ship is older, but nicely maintained. We enjoyed the whale watching in Icy Strait, my son loved the zip line. We enjoyed the summer dog camp and the fishing in Juneau. The ship chef prepared our dinner the next night with our fish. That was delicious! We enjoyed the Skagway train ride. We did the bus up and the train back with Liarville. The food was very good. The portage glacier transfer was spectacular. The nightly entertainment was fun and we all enjoyed the comedian and magic shows. We rarely had to wait for dinner and we were a party of six. The specialty dining was the only disappointing dinner - good food, just not worth the money. I had a massage and updo at the salon. I’d highly recommend them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I picked this cruise because of the scenic cruising of Glacier Bay and Prince William Sound. Glacier Bay and College Fjord were fantastic. Great views from Aloha 727 suite with wrap around balcony. Cabin is spacious, wonderful bath. Bed ... Read More
I picked this cruise because of the scenic cruising of Glacier Bay and Prince William Sound. Glacier Bay and College Fjord were fantastic. Great views from Aloha 727 suite with wrap around balcony. Cabin is spacious, wonderful bath. Bed was very comfortable. Pillows were too soft. We didn't explore departure city of Vancouver since we just arrived the evening before. Might have been nice to arrive a day sooner & do the hop on hop off bus. We stayed at a hotel within a 10 minute cab to cruise terminal. Nice city, easy walk to dining. We ate at the Italian Tomato which was wonderful. Embarkation and disembarkation very smooth. Able to go right to our suite. Did take awhile to get our lugguge. Suspect very smooth for non-suite passengers also; they seem very organized. Service on ship was fantastic by everyone. These people work very hard and are so professional. I think they work a lot of hours and they will not complain when you mention it (notice same person working late at night is working again in the morning). Suite & ship in general in very good condition. Dining was excellent. Accommodated special dietary request of gluten free. Shows were very good. Icy Straight point: Enjoyed whale watching excursion and saw mama & baby humpback. Also enjoyed the small nature trail and museum. Juneau: arranged for independent excursion to Tracey Arm Fjord which was great. For the amount of time left in port after that, only walked around a little; didn't want to spend money to do the gondola since didn't have time spend on top of the mountain. If hadn't done Tracey Arm, would have done gondola & Mendenhall glacier. Skagway: walked around town, really liked seeing it & then did the shorter train trip which was good. Did a non-Princess land tour from Whittier to Denali.The weather on this trip was amazing. Was lounging at the swimming pool in Vancouver on the ship & swam. It was a mistake not to pack a pair of shorts & only 1 bathing suit. Each stop had sunny warm weather. I detest the cold. I was only cold on this trip when I went outside without my heavier coat for a little bit on the later part of this cruise. Did not travel with children. Feel like internet should have been free for the amount of money we spent. Also had to ignore a lot of flyers/promotions for jewelry, etc, but no big deal. Took advantage of suite benefit of free laundry service which was cool. One interesting issue we did have was that you are not allowed to take food off the ship, at least not officially. The all day independent excursion could not accommodate GF lunch. Didn't know ahead of time that I would not be able to get a to go GF lunch to take off the ship. In addition to fantastic service from Princess, service on all excursions during & after this trip in Alaska was fantastic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Alaska is a beautiful place and our cruise on the Island Princess was great! Cruising Glacier Bay and was the highlight--be sure to spend time with the park rangers. The park rangers give a presentation and were also on the upper deck ... Read More
Alaska is a beautiful place and our cruise on the Island Princess was great! Cruising Glacier Bay and was the highlight--be sure to spend time with the park rangers. The park rangers give a presentation and were also on the upper deck for many hours with the passengers. We saw both Margerie and Lamplugh Glaciers. The staff in the MDR and our cabin steward were awesome. My only complaint would be the specialty dining at Bayou Cafe--worst meal of our entire cruise--food was poor quality and the service even worst--wish we had skipped the Bayou and gone to the MDR instead. We were really happy with the food in the MDR doing anytime dining--never had to wait too long for a table. The food at the buffet was great for breakfast and lunch. Also the Grill had crab cakes from Tracy's King Crab Shack the day we were in Juneau. The show Encore was the best show of the cruise. Also be sure to catch Funch, the piano man entertainer. He puts on a show one night in the theater, but you can also listen to him every night in Crooners Bar. Stay away from the jewelry store--Effy--they are extremely pushy. The ladies crafts were nice. Made a nice "Alaska" bracelet and luggage tag. Enjoyed the trivia, the art auction and the Voice of the Ocean. The cruise director was great--always around day and night. Cruising College Fjord was beautiful. We did the Princess Transfer for Disembarkation and highly recommend it. After the cruise we spent a week touring Alaska on our own in a rental car--a little bit of work to arrange it all on our own, but it was nice to be on our own schedule and more affordable than booking the land portion as a Princess Cruisetours. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was the best vacation ever. Alaska was wonderful. The scenery was unbelievable. The Naturalist, Mark, was interesting and entertaing. You should go to his presentations. The dining room service and food were great. We had ... Read More
This was the best vacation ever. Alaska was wonderful. The scenery was unbelievable. The Naturalist, Mark, was interesting and entertaing. You should go to his presentations. The dining room service and food were great. We had wonderful selections given to us by our waiter. The junior waiter had our drinks ready each night. The ships singers and dancers were the best entertainment. We didnt care for the comedians. Balcony is the way to go. We could sit and relax as we watched the beauty of Alaska. Our steward was great....always willing to help us. He made sure we had blankets to sit out on balcony. The ship is small but that was fine. One friend enjoyed thd hot stone massage...he went three times. The land portion of our trip was just as great. Weather was wonderful. We just layered each day and then took things off if it got warmer. We were able to see Mt McKinley two days in a row. Great time was had by all 5 of us. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose to sail on Princess because they are one of only a few cruise lines allowed to go up into Glacier Bay. My sister and I took an 11-day "cruisetour" which was a 7 night northbound cruise from Vancouver and 4 nights on land ... Read More
We chose to sail on Princess because they are one of only a few cruise lines allowed to go up into Glacier Bay. My sister and I took an 11-day "cruisetour" which was a 7 night northbound cruise from Vancouver and 4 nights on land - 2 at Denali, 1 at McKinley and 1 night in Anchorage. It also included the train from Whittier to Denali on Princess's own glass-domed railcar and all the subsequent transportation. We flew into Vancouver the day before the cruise and had a wonderful visit touring this lovely city and Stanley Park. The day of the cruise we walked about six blocks from our downtown hotel to the cruise port. The Island Princess is a beautiful ship and we were pleased to find everything was fresh and clean. The crew was amazingly friendly and always accommodating. It isn't a huge mega-ship (2200 guest capacity) and it provided a casual atmosphere with little crowds in the dining rooms, buffet, entertainment offerings and on the decks watching the amazing Alaskan scenery. They had Mark Harris, a top-notch naturalist, onboard who gave talks about AK and what we'd see, and when we arrived at the glaciers he did a live commentary of the sights. We had two specialty dining experiences - I didn't like the Bayou Café because the "New Orleans" food was not authentic and not very good IMO but the Crab Shack was better with the king crab legs. With both restaurants we didn't feel it was worth the $29 per person cost. (I suppose Princess is to blame for having such a great menu in the MDR and a vast array of offerings in the buffet.) Our agenda on the cruise was one day at sea, then to Icy Straight (a lovely little community), to Juneau (where we took an independent bus to Mendenhall Park - amazing! - and walked around the friendly city), then to Skagway (also a nice little town where we took the Princess excursion "To the Klondike Summit" - at $45 it was a bargain and a fabulous tour - and walked a gorgeous trail near the airport right by where the ship was docked). The last two days were at Glacier Bay and College Fjord, two extraordinary experiences, where the ship just floated around and we could absorb the majesty of the sights. Mark's commentary helped us learn more about the glaciers and appreciate them beyond their awesome beauty. The next day we arrived in Whittier (no time to see anything there) to begin our land tour. The debarkation was seamless as we easily walked from the ship to the train. (Our luggage was collected the night before and transported separately to each location, so no worries.) The 9 hour train ride with a knowledgeable narrator was great and that evening we were transported to first class lodging at the Princess Denali Lodge. Princess included an excursion of Denali National Park that took 4-5 hours and it was awesome. We walked some of the trails around the visitor's center and walked back to the lodge. Two days later we went by bus (with driver narration) to Princess McKinley Lodge where we stayed one night. Both Princess Lodges are peaceful and the McKinley Lodge is very secluded. There weren't many options about dining except at the lodges (especially McK) so meals were a bit expensive but the restaurants were nice. On our last day we took a bus (with driver narration) to Anchorage and stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel, a very nice hotel. The next morning we checked out but left our luggage with the concierge and rented bikes to ride the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. We saw two moose grazing in a quiet area a few feet off the trail. A fabulous day, although a bit tiring after the 12 mile bike ride. At the end of the day we retrieved our luggage and took a taxi to the airport ($20) and waited a few hours in the pleasant airport for our 1am flight home. Yes, I would definitely go to Alaska again and Princess will be my first choice! We loved the land part of the adventure but I doubt we would take it again because what we experienced satisfied our longing to see Mt. Denali (previously known as Mt. McKinley). Apparently only 30% of visitors get to see the mountain and we saw it two days in a row! We felt very lucky about that and the other great weather we had - no rain on the whole trip! We weren't sure about going early in May but we saw snow on all the mountains and people said it wouldn't there later in the season. We'd like to go back again late in the season (September/October) and hope to see the Northern Lights. They call Alaska the Last Frontier and with the help of Princess we discovered it is an amazing place and hope to return some day. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
All was really, really, perfect !!! The personal, the restaurants, the menus was excellent. All the services was perfect. The differents excursions was so nice and the organization was excellent and really fast. My best cruise ... Read More
All was really, really, perfect !!! The personal, the restaurants, the menus was excellent. All the services was perfect. The differents excursions was so nice and the organization was excellent and really fast. My best cruise off all time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Timing as we needed to get away for a short break without flying anywhere. Have travelled with Princess a number of times before but not recently. Found the overall experience better than expected. Space in cabin very good. Food and ... Read More
Timing as we needed to get away for a short break without flying anywhere. Have travelled with Princess a number of times before but not recently. Found the overall experience better than expected. Space in cabin very good. Food and beverages very good as was service in most ket areas. Production numbers in theatre outstanding as good as Broadway/ London productions. On a negative point had my only steak in dinning room on last night of trip, NY Strip. It was very, very tough full of grizzle but other nights made up with quality dishes. Service in dinning room pretty good for the most part and the dialogue with the more experienced officers in dinning room very good. Their experience showed through and they a efeective representatives for Princess. While not a direct responsibility of the cruise line it would be worth your time to complain to Vancouver Port Authorities about the appalling conditions of the taxi service after the cruise. They give a very bad impression on Vancouver but the travellers from overseas seemed to be impressed with Vancouver on all other aspects. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We have completed a Coastal California cruise previously and had such a nice time we wanted to take the cruise again. We loved the Island Princess. It is a smaller ship but great for those cruisers who like to meet people and enjoy a ... Read More
We have completed a Coastal California cruise previously and had such a nice time we wanted to take the cruise again. We loved the Island Princess. It is a smaller ship but great for those cruisers who like to meet people and enjoy a smaller ship experience. Lots of wood used which made it seem warm and inviting. Entertainment was really good with a standing ovation one night for one producation. There is a Sabatinis and Blue Bayou Cafe on board. We ate at Sabatinis and had a good meal and wonderful service. There were lots of activitities including Harmonica lessons and Quilling as well as bingo. The ports were one of the reasons we chose this cruise. With Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Astoria and the beautiful Victoria BC one can't help but have a great time on shore. I recommend Butschart Gardens in Victoria. Beautiful experience if you love gardens and Muir Woods / Saulsilito in San Francisco. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, ... Read More
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, took 15 hours, due to malfunction of a A/C button, Embarkation was a breeze, best ever from 17 cruises with 6 different cruise lines. Arrived at 11am, checked in, on board and lunch with-in 1/2 hour. Cabin, A627, balcony, (we usually have inside, but choose the balcony to celebrate our anniversary). Very nice, large and spacious, lots of closet space and hangers. Bathroom the usual ship board bathroom, shower small, we’re 135 and 150 pounds, and we had problems, The cabin steward very nice, can’t remember his name and I’ve lost the paper with it on. We found the comforter too hot for us, he found a light blanket for us to use instead. Dining:- We had “any time dining “ as we east early at home, the MDR opened at 5.15pm every evening, we chose not to eat every evening meal in the MDR, we alternated with the buffet. We also had two B/F’s in the MDR. Lunch and the rest of the breakfast were in the buffet. The food in both areas were excellent and hot, and very tasty. I have a “blue cheese” allergy and the chef at the buffet come and talked with me to assure if there was any blue cheese in anything, it would be noted. Entertainment and Activities :- The evening theatre was excellent, by far the best we’ve seen on a cruise line. The singers and dancers out did them selves, as did the ships orchestra. Through out the ship, there were other performers who were just as good too. During the day I attended all the trivia, and as many games as I could. The cruise director and his 5 crew staff were just a riot, lots of fun. Service:- Service from all the crew, whether the desk, dining, bar, photography etc., were great, always smiling. Ports and excursions:- Ports from F. L to the Panama Canal, we have done them all before, so unless I was looking to send off emails, didn’t get off the ship, used it as another Sea Day. Panama Canal:- didn’t take any tours, relaxed on the balcony and watched the world go by, Puerto Amador, Puntarenas and San Juan Del Sur, just walked around the port. Huatulco Sur:- just walked around town. Puerto Vallarta:- Took a taxi to the “New Beach”, don’t now how new, but it is a quaint beach area, has some interesting statues along the boardwalk. Los Angeles:- Took a four hour ship tour “ Easy City Tour” not what we expected, we thought we would see some “ stars homes”. but no. It was a waste of time and money. Santa Barbara:- A very nice town, just took the shuttle up the Main Street, and saw the Mission museum, San Francisco:- I booked a Alcatraz tour on line, for the first ferry 8.45, you have to book at least a month in advance. It’s an easy 5 minute walk from the cruise port. A very interesting place, and well worth a visit. We took a “bicycle tutu”, along the boardwalk to catch the “ cable car” there was at least an hour wait, and after an hour in the cold wind, we gave up. Took a taxi back to the ship with a small detour to see some sights. Astoria:- a quaint sea side town, there’s a shuttled around town, you pick up at the dock. We visited the “Marina Museum “ Victoria:- Had a taxi tour around town, have visited Victoria before. Vancouver:- Disembarkation time. Very easy, One thing that did puzzle us we didn’t go through any customs either in Victoria or Vancouver, not even at the airport. We did see 12 police embark at Victoria, so may be they check our customs cards there, as we had to fill them out two days before hand. We didn’t travel with children and there was only a hand full on board, Would I travel with Princess again, yes, it was our first time with them, (have sailed 17 times all told) and really enjoyed the ship and line. I liked the way all the entertainment, from trivia, games and musicians and theatre were on two decks, 6 and 7, making it very easy to get from one to another. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on ... Read More
Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on right hand side of old locks. Tip: booking the Sanctuary which on this ship is aft gave us great views of both sides and back. For the front view we had to leave for forward of ship but this was quite crowded. We went down to our port side balcony a few times for a different perspective. Loved being in Sanctuary though as they opened for our reservation at 6am and we stayed all day. Costs extra but worth it. The PC expert gave several talks prior to and after locks. He was interesting and informative. Thought the food was very good. Like the changes in MDR which now offers a select Timon of “starters” then entrees. The Curtis Stone pot pie is excellent! The daily burger offered in MDR is changed up daily and quite good too for a change of pace and likely popular with kids. Drink prices continue to be very reasonable ranging from $8.50 - $10 on average. Ship is in pretty good shape but may be getting close to needing some refurbishment. Definitely smaller ship in comparison of Grand Class which requires some planning. For instance we generally went to Princess Theater or other venues 15-20 min before show times to get a good seat. Not an issue but for those who arrive a minute before it may be hard to find multiple seats together. The chef Gaetano and maitre d’hotel Sylvio are an awesome team. We did Chef’s table which was one of the best culinary experiences of my foodie life! Highly recommend!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Cabin with Balcony Dolphin 235. Had been planning this trip for about a year and a half. Was a bit concerned after reading so many negative reviews about the ships adding 150 cabins in 2015 without increasing the public space. Our fears ... Read More
Cabin with Balcony Dolphin 235. Had been planning this trip for about a year and a half. Was a bit concerned after reading so many negative reviews about the ships adding 150 cabins in 2015 without increasing the public space. Our fears were unfounded as we found the ship to be no more crowded than any of our past cruises with Princess. The ship was in clean and in good repair. Our cabin was in good condition and the flat screen TVs that have been installed since our last cruise were a nice addition. Note- we had some service people in our room one afternoon that were installing hardware on the TV that will be allowing on-demand viewing of movies and shows. We always opt for any-time dining as we don't do Formal nights, and enjoy the buffet as much as the main dining room. Food, as always was excellent in both venues. Entertainment was what we have come to expect with Princess. I did not care for the 3 productions shows, but my partner did. The magician was great, though a bit raunchy for the crowd lol. Sonia, one of the guest female vocalist was amazing. As stated by others, you need to get to the theater a little early as it does fill up, but we never had an issue and almost always sat in the same spot. Service started off a bit "surly", but once they realized that we said please and thank you and actually engaged in conversation with crew members they warmed up. We heard so many rude and demanding older passengers, it is no wonder the wait staff starts off that way. We booked all of our excursions with Princess, and had one at each port. Very well organized! Overall Princess once again provided us with a memorable and relaxing vacation! Thank you to Chris, Duval, Nelly, Sammy, Tania, Giri, Manuel, Emil and Marius for your great service, it is crew like them that make this cruises pleasurable. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same ... Read More
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same birds and monkeys at the boat dock in their sales area up closer. Did swim with stingrays and the Hell tour, always loved the Cayman Islands. Limon we did the Rain forest walk,I do not recommend this for anyone with walking problems. You go up a steep hill and it's loaded with rocks to see a couple of frogs,it had a great view of the Caribbean sea .Saw a lot of poor and trashy cities that you should not go into un-escorted in Colon and Limon. The ship's crew was efficient and treated us well. The food was above par. Wife liked the lobster but not the rice it was served on. Maybe its just me but I feel that now that they have all these specialty restaurants on the ships the great food is served there at a cost. Here is a thought for Cruise lines . Offer menu items to be served off the specialty menu in the regular dining room. One partner may want a great steak and is willing to pay the price while others in same party are not willing. Read Less
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
6 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
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 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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