June 2014 Destination:
My family just got off the Island Princess on a 50th wedding anniversary for my folks. Overall it was a wonderful trip. I have sailed before on the Coral Princess, the Island Princess sister ship. We sailed on the Coral right before it went into dry dock, and it was great. I thought the Island would be just as nice, and in many ways it was, but it also fell short in some areas. The ship looked worn and will greatly benefit from its time in dry dock, but the cabins and ship were very clean. My niece, Abby, has a severe nut allergy. It was handle with great care. The kids staff were trained in the use of the epi pen. We got to know the head chef in both the dining room and the buffet. The head chef in the buffet made special meals for Abby whenever she arrived, even with no notice. During the cruise, the ship had 2 kids only dinner parties in the buffet. Because of Abby, everything at those meals was nut free. The head waiter in the dining room was wonderful with Abby, and would deliver More
her meals himself, checking on her often throughout each meal. Our waiter at the 5:15 time was Fernando. He was wonderful, making sure he called all of us by name and worked very hard to accommodate the special requests. Fernando took great care of my family. My family had 5 kids using the Shockwaves program (ages 8 - 12). The program and staff were wonderful. My son spent almost all of his time there. We enjoyed being on the ship very much, but there were a couple of downsides to the trip. Unfortunately the music was blaring, and I mean blaring, during sail away. Leaving out of Vancouver is so pretty, but it was unpleasant to be on deck for the party. One had to shout to be heard. It was like a rock concert. My family went to the back deck, away from the music and watch the ship sail out of the city. On the second day of the cruise my mother tripped on an unmarked step. She hurt her foot and needed it elevated for a couple of days. Alexis in customer care was wonderful. She got my mother use of the dining room room service, even though my mother was not in a suite. My family enjoys having drinks and visiting in places like Crooner's and the Wheelhouse Bar, before and after dinner. However, in the evenings the music in both places was too loud to carry on a conversation. That was frustrating. Also, something was wrong with the ship's air filters. The smell of smoke was in many places surrounding the inside smoking lounge. On the first night I could even see the smoke floating in the air in the Wheelhouse bar. I heard many passengers complaining about the smoke throughout the cruise. I think time in dry dock will probably fix this problem. The food was hit or miss, and for the most part I enjoyed it. The goat cheese soufflé was the best thing I ate on the trip. The staff overall was wonderful, polite, and worked hard to serve. But this was the first cruise I have been on where some of the staff were rude. I won't go into details, but it was disappointing. I think the ship will be beautiful and the smoke problem will be taken care of at dry dock. The kids' program is great. But since we never found a place to hang out and visit, and since some of the staff was unpleasant, I think we will go back to the Coral or some other ship. Less
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