Took my bride of 30 years on this New Year's Eve cruise on the Island Princess to celebrate her "special" landmark birthday on New Year's Eve. Considered other choices for a trip but this cruise offered everything we wanted in one, neat, package. We wanted a mini suite with a balcony and we got one on the Dolphin deck, D707, in the aft section of the ship not far from the stern and rear bank of lifts.
We departed Ft. Lauderdale in a timely fashion after a relatively simple check in at the port. Parked at Park n Go near the port who offered a very reasonable rate. Would recommend them. When we got on board we went directly to our cabin and to our surprise a few of our bags were already there and the rest followed promptly. Our mini suite was lovely. Plenty of room, a full couch that could sleep one or two people, a chair and coffee table, two televisions, refrigerator, make up table and chair. The bathroom was quite roomy and featured a full tub and shower combo, full sized vanity for our stuff and plenty of towels. The closet outside the bathroom was stocked with plenty of wooden hangers even though we brought our own. Probably unneccessary to have brought so many. We went to the Horizon buffet on deck 14 for a bite. The lifts near our stateroom were nearly always empty and always came within seconds. That was certainly unexpected but welcome. From the time we got on to the time we returned everyone, and I mean everyone, on the crew was so gracious and kind and welcoming.
The food, overall, including the Horizon buffet was very good. One night we paid $25 pp to eat at their Italian restaurant, Sabbatini's, which was top of the line. I would definitely recommend that if you take this cruise eat there at least once.
D707 on the Dolphin deck was quite roomy and offered everything we could ask for including ample closet space and hangers, a full tub, ample drawers for non hung items and comfortable seating areas. Location was quiet but being in the stern of the ship we felt the engine vibration even on deck 9 and did a bit of rocking and rolling in rough seas which we had often. Stateroom close to the laundromat and lift in the aft section of the ship which was nice. Balcony was more than adequate and seats comfortable.
Didn't spend very long in Aruba. Some folks took abbreviated land excursions. We didn't. Walked in town and hit a casino nearby. Your normal range of gift and liquor stores, jewelry, etc. Perhaps if they spent more time there we would have gone on a shore excursion and seen more of the island.