1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Island Princess
The ship is showing its due for dry dock. On several occasions they were combating water leaks in the hall ceiling outside our cabin. This was our first cruise on Princess and on both our most recent vacations on RCL the balconies were covered, so silly me I just assumed this would be. Live and learn. Since the ship was only about 2/3's full I called the Service Desk and asked if we could change cabins and was told by the young lady who took my call that she would check into it and call me back. After several hours and no feedback I went down to the service desk and explained the situation to the young man at the counter. He was most apologetic about the lack of a response and then excused himself as he went back into the office area to see what could be done. He returned several minutes later with the response that he was sorry but there was "nothing comparable available". I never got a straight answer what exactly this meant and was never offered any attempt to ameliorate the situation. Shame on me once again for not pushing it up the line to at least receive an understandable reason why nothing could be done. It was an interesting contrast to our last RCL cruise where we had a less than desirable dinner experience in one of their optional dining venues and they went way above and beyond to make it right. At any rate I didn't feel as if this were properly resolved. Being a panamax ship it also was much smaller than the last several ships we've been on and it felt a little claustrophobic. We prefer the promenade and wide open spaces of the RCL ships. The other issue we had is with the quality of food in the main dining room. We chose anytime dining which worked well and provided us flexibility plus allowed us to meet a lot of interesting fellow cruisers. To Princess credit the menu selections were extremely varied but the actual food served was spotty. While several of the entrees were quite good we also experienced dry pork tenderloin, fatty almost scrappy beef and dried out fish. We would have gladly opted for less variety of better prepared dishes. One of the highlights was the on board lecturer Bill (his last name didn't register) who held informative talks prior to every port. He was thorough, extremely knowledgeable, most approachable and entertaining. Overall he did a fantastic job. We enjoyed the trip a great deal. The ship was OK but the ports of call were all fascinating, and/or very pleasant. We'd definitely like to do it again when the Canal expansion opens in 2016 but we may try Celebrity for that trip.

Wonderful Itinerary - OK ship

Island Princess Cruise Review by dfriise48

Trip Details
The ship is showing its due for dry dock. On several occasions they were combating water leaks in the hall ceiling outside our cabin. This was our first cruise on Princess and on both our most recent vacations on RCL the balconies were covered, so silly me I just assumed this would be. Live and learn. Since the ship was only about 2/3's full I called the Service Desk and asked if we could change cabins and was told by the young lady who took my call that she would check into it and call me back. After several hours and no feedback I went down to the service desk and explained the situation to the young man at the counter. He was most apologetic about the lack of a response and then excused himself as he went back into the office area to see what could be done. He returned several minutes later with the response that he was sorry but there was "nothing comparable available". I never got a straight answer what exactly this meant and was never offered any attempt to ameliorate the situation. Shame on me once again for not pushing it up the line to at least receive an understandable reason why nothing could be done. It was an interesting contrast to our last RCL cruise where we had a less than desirable dinner experience in one of their optional dining venues and they went way above and beyond to make it right. At any rate I didn't feel as if this were properly resolved.
Being a panamax ship it also was much smaller than the last several ships we've been on and it felt a little claustrophobic. We prefer the promenade and wide open spaces of the RCL ships. The other issue we had is with the quality of food in the main dining room. We chose anytime dining which worked well and provided us flexibility plus allowed us to meet a lot of interesting fellow cruisers. To Princess credit the menu selections were extremely varied but the actual food served was spotty. While several of the entrees were quite good we also experienced dry pork tenderloin, fatty almost scrappy beef and dried out fish. We would have gladly opted for less variety of better prepared dishes. One of the highlights was the on board lecturer Bill (his last name didn't register) who held informative talks prior to every port. He was thorough, extremely knowledgeable, most approachable and entertaining. Overall he did a fantastic job. We enjoyed the trip a great deal. The ship was OK but the ports of call were all fascinating, and/or very pleasant. We'd definitely like to do it again when the Canal expansion opens in 2016 but we may try Celebrity for that trip.
dfriise48’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Island Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MD D619
The sofa in our mini-suite was stained and there were obvious signs of a prior leak in our bathroom. We opted for a mini-suite because it was the lowest category of stateroom that included a sofa. The cabin itself was very comfortable and nicely outfitted. We had the sofa, lounge chair, a built in desk with chair, a good size closet area and lots of shelving, mini-fridge, safe, two flat screen TVs and a decent size bathroom including a combination shower/tub. It was very comfortable EXCEPT.. when I booked the trip I did not think to ask if our balcony was covered and it was not.
Caribe Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Segway Tour
    Cartagena was the second port on our Princess cruise to the Panama Canal. It was our fourth cruise and the first booking our own tours rather than just go with what the cruise lines offer. After a bit of research it looked like this was a decent value and a great way to cover a lot of ground in the limited time we had in port. It also helped that all of the online feedback I found was universally positive. One of the highlights of a visit here is touring the historic walled section of the city which is about a 15 minute cab ride from the cruise terminal. We were greeted at the Segway Cartagena office by the owner and tour leader Cesar Reyes. Cesar, who is a native Columbian had spent time in the States and actually attended Syracuse University so his English is excellent. My wife and I are both in our 60's and I am not the most highly coordinated specimen on the planet so it was with some trepidation that I signed us up for this adventure. Much to my amazement with Cesar's excellent tutelage we were off and away within five minutes of donning our helmets. We had signed up for a 90 minute tour and with his knowledge of the area and its history and his great personality it was very informative, highly entertaining and just a great time. After the tour our shuttle driver was waiting and since we had several hours until we had to be back to the ship we negotiated a city tour to see the old fortress and then the new part of the city. As it turns out my wife and I later agreed we would have enjoyed ourselves more if we had just taken some extra time to stroll through parts of the walled city after our segway adventure rather than partake in the city "tour". The first place we stopped was at a jeweler that of course specialized in emeralds. The sales pitch was as relentless as it was annoying. As our "tour" progressed our driver Joaquin and his copilot Gilberto all but berated us for not taking advantage of the fabulous emerald bargains laid before us. To top it off as we returned to the port Gilberto tried to shake me down for a tip for himself. Needless to say he got exactly what he deserved which was nothing. I would definitely do it again. Cesar was terrific and his 90 minute tour is $70/person payable at the conclusion. He accepts plastic and uses Paypal. The shuttle is $15/couple each way unless you negotiate any extra excursions. My only caveat is should you decide to take any additional side trips have a pretty definite itinerary in mind to avoid being led around by the agenda of your cabbie.
    View All 10 Segway Tour Reviews
  • Ziplining
    Wanted something different with a variety of experiences and found this online. I no sooner hit the "send" icon on my email inquiring about a package tour when the phone rang and it was the company proprietor, Mr. Eduardo Humphreys, calling to answer our questions. We arranged a 5 hour tour package that included a stop at a local fruit stand to sample the typical fruits of the area, a visit to a banana plantation, a zipline adventure through the tree tops of the rain forest, a 1 hour flat boat trip on the Tortuguero Canal and a stop for lunch at a local seafood restaurant overlooking the city of Limon and the bay. The adventure began with our driver, Sam, who is a retired railway conductor, picking us up outside the port terminal. Right out of the box he proclaimed he liked to talk and take his time so he hoped we were OK with that - and we were. We meandered along in Sam's car on the way to the fruit stand stop and it was obvious from the get go that this man was not to be rushed. He took his time throwing out factoids and stopping at points of interest along the way and pulling over as often as we felt the need. The fruit stand stop - which honestly felt like a filler - could have been skipped and it wouldn't have impacted our impression of the day. We did get to try some lucious pineapple, nibble on fresh sugar cane and sample some local melons. We also connected with another Your Lucky Tour guide who had two other couples in tow and the eight of us then headed out for a visit to the near by Del Monte plantation. One caveat is the plantations do not operate on Sundays so although you can walk through the facilities there is no actual activity taking place. We still got a decent overview of the operation and were able to walk out into the rows of crops to learn more about the bagging, tagging, propagation and picking of the fruit. Sam had worked in a plantation earlier in his working life and seemed to know a great deal about the whole process and was extremely informative about the plants and the process. From here we headed to the Jungle Breeze zip lineadventure. After first fending off the heat with an icy cold Imperial beer we fitted up and headed to the first platform. I am not a fan of heights but I must say this was a blast. There are a total of 12 segments during this adventure and in some instances because of the distance and the overhanging foliage we couldn't see the next platform until midway through the traverse. It definitely was a highlight for the day. We all had a terrific time. After a couple more icy cold brews (our drivers had soft drinks) we split up as the other couples went on to a wildlife sanctuary and we headed toward our canal excursion. At the canal it was my wife, myself, our captain Paris and his granddaughter in the boat. At first I thought this was going to be the waste of a perfectly good hour. We were probably 90 seconds from the dock when we spotted our first egret and then it was basically nonstop bird and wildlife sightings until we returned an hour later. Egret, heron, sloths, vultures, iguanas, yellow breasted kiskades, king fishers, night herons, tri-colored herons, blue sparrows... it was wonderful. We then headed to the "Red Snapper" restaurant and since neither of us was especially hungry we passed on lunch and just enjoyed the view for a bit before heading back to the cruise terminal. I did poll some of the diners there and they said the snapper was some of the best seafood they had ever had. Our 5 hour tour ended up being almost 7 hours long and Sam was a delight. It was $91/person (cash only) and well worth every penny.
    View All 9 Ziplining Reviews