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Our Hawaiian adventure aboard the Island Princess was a trip to remember. We started in September reading and writing posts from roll call passengers eagerly waiting for our December 7th cruise to Hawaii. We became friends on the computer and that made for a very pleasant cruise. Princess did a great job scheduling our transportation. Everything went like clock work at the airport and upon our arrival at LAX. LAX,however, is a nightmare of an airport and there was a delay boarding busses to travel to pier. People were arriving from all over the country and a very frustrated Princess representative tried her best to accommodate passengers and massive amounts of luggage. Once at the pier all went smooth boarding the ship. The crew had friendly faces and were more than willing to help passengers get where they were going. I was particularly impressed with the help they gave to handicapped people. Throughout the cruise, the crew lifted wheel chairs, helped them in dining area, theatre, etc. Our cabin was very clean and our steward was great. We had a change in our bed configuration, which made him change size of sheets and spread. He graciously accommodated our request. We were impressed with the stewards on decks cleaning the balconies each day. They would wipe the table, chairs-including the rungs of each. They must have a large night crew because each morning the whole ship seemed to sparkle. We were amazed at the transformation of the ship at Christmas time. When we boarded on the 7th of December, the ship was tactfully decorated with modest Christmas decorations,and by the time we were ready to leave on December 22 it was a Christmas wonderland, but still not overstated. The entertainment was very good and a lot of variety. There was a 4-piece string group that played primarily in the main lobby in evenings before the dinner hour. They were great. Most of the comedians were fun and in pretty good taste. There was one we thought made too much of the fact he could not perform his regular routine because of the mixture of audience-well duh-we are a mixture! Dancers & singers were very professional and entertaining. There were performances in both the Princess Theatre & Universal Lounge. There were many first-run movies if one preferred that entertainment. We had Personal Choice dining, and while we liked the concept of going when we wanted, we felt the service was poor. We enjoyed eating with new tablemates each evening and found we were better off with a table of six or less. The waiters & servers tried their best to accommodate but the food was slow in coming and the coffee was difficult to get. We solved the problem by finding a waiter and server we liked and requested his table each evening. He got to know us and our tastes and coffee arrived on time, and when he saw us coming to the table the server automatically brought us iced tea to start. The food in the dining area was good and had a nice variety. We enjoyed the buffet in the Horizon court in the morning. Eggs were cooked to order and there was a wide variety of bagels, fruit, etc. It was ok at lunch but seemed to be the same day to day. We never ate there at night. The Cruise Director was great. Because there were so many sea days, he and his crew had to have a lot of activities planned for a wide variety of tastes. I thought they did a wonderful job. There were a lot of trivia activities planned for all tastes and expertise. They had a lot of water activities planned for days that permitted it. The activities were interesting and geared for adult participants-scrap heap wars, survivor, etc. We do not usually participate in the sea school activities but I went to a seminar on purchasing a new computer. Found it very informative and wished I had enrolled in her other computer classes. A lot of people were working with pottery and it was fun to watch. I have two areas of criticism of the cruise. First area was the pursers desk. They were not very knowledgeable in handling problems. We made a complaint regarding the service in dining area and their solution was to remove all dining gratuities and that was not satisfactory to us. We could not reduce our charged amount and give a special tip to our new waiter & server we found. We were not the only ones making the same complaint. The second area was of course the anytime dining room. Thankfully, we found a solution before the cruise went too far. The trip was a wonderful experience and we would not hesitate to book the trip again. I realize we are not all the same and many people like to find areas to complain about, but Princess certainly went out of their way to make a very pleasant vacation.

Island Princess - Hawaii

Island Princess Cruise Review by Mary Murray

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2005
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Our Hawaiian adventure aboard the Island Princess was a trip to remember. We started in September reading and writing posts from roll call passengers eagerly waiting for our December 7th cruise to Hawaii. We became friends on the computer and that made for a very pleasant cruise.
Princess did a great job scheduling our transportation. Everything went like clock work at the airport and upon our arrival at LAX. LAX,however, is a nightmare of an airport and there was a delay boarding busses to travel to pier. People were arriving from all over the country and a very frustrated Princess representative tried her best to accommodate passengers and massive amounts of luggage. Once at the pier all went smooth boarding the ship. The crew had friendly faces and were more than willing to help passengers get where they were going. I was particularly impressed with the help they gave to handicapped people. Throughout the cruise, the crew lifted wheel chairs, helped them in dining area, theatre, etc.
Our cabin was very clean and our steward was great. We had a change in our bed configuration, which made him change size of sheets and spread. He graciously accommodated our request. We were impressed with the stewards on decks cleaning the balconies each day. They would wipe the table, chairs-including the rungs of each. They must have a large night crew because each morning the whole ship seemed to sparkle. We were amazed at the transformation of the ship at Christmas time. When we boarded on the 7th of December, the ship was tactfully decorated with modest Christmas decorations,and by the time we were ready to leave on December 22 it was a Christmas wonderland, but still not overstated.
The entertainment was very good and a lot of variety. There was a 4-piece string group that played primarily in the main lobby in evenings before the dinner hour. They were great. Most of the comedians were fun and in pretty good taste. There was one we thought made too much of the fact he could not perform his regular routine because of the mixture of audience-well duh-we are a mixture! Dancers & singers were very professional and entertaining. There were performances in both the Princess Theatre & Universal Lounge. There were many first-run movies if one preferred that entertainment.
We had Personal Choice dining, and while we liked the concept of going when we wanted, we felt the service was poor. We enjoyed eating with new tablemates each evening and found we were better off with a table of six or less. The waiters & servers tried their best to accommodate but the food was slow in coming and the coffee was difficult to get. We solved the problem by finding a waiter and server we liked and requested his table each evening. He got to know us and our tastes and coffee arrived on time, and when he saw us coming to the table the server automatically brought us iced tea to start. The food in the dining area was good and had a nice variety. We enjoyed the buffet in the Horizon court in the morning. Eggs were cooked to order and there was a wide variety of bagels, fruit, etc. It was ok at lunch but seemed to be the same day to day. We never ate there at night.
The Cruise Director was great. Because there were so many sea days, he and his crew had to have a lot of activities planned for a wide variety of tastes. I thought they did a wonderful job. There were a lot of trivia activities planned for all tastes and expertise. They had a lot of water activities planned for days that permitted it. The activities were interesting and geared for adult participants-scrap heap wars, survivor, etc. We do not usually participate in the sea school activities but I went to a seminar on purchasing a new computer. Found it very informative and wished I had enrolled in her other computer classes. A lot of people were working with pottery and it was fun to watch.
I have two areas of criticism of the cruise. First area was the pursers desk. They were not very knowledgeable in handling problems. We made a complaint regarding the service in dining area and their solution was to remove all dining gratuities and that was not satisfactory to us. We could not reduce our charged amount and give a special tip to our new waiter & server we found. We were not the only ones making the same complaint. The second area was of course the anytime dining room. Thankfully, we found a solution before the cruise went too far.
The trip was a wonderful experience and we would not hesitate to book the trip again. I realize we are not all the same and many people like to find areas to complain about, but Princess certainly went out of their way to make a very pleasant vacation.
Mary Murray’s Full Rating Summary
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