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My wife and I and another couple, long time friends of ours, sailed on the Island Princess from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles from Feb 19 to Mar 6 (note a review on the immediately previous Island Princess trip). It needs the major makeover that the previous reviewer mentioned!! There had been a water leak somewhere in the area of my friends’ cabin just prior to their boarding. The crew had to empty out the cabin and replace furniture and carpeting in the cabin and the passageway. My friends didn’t get into their cabin until the 5 or 6 o’clock time frame. Well, maybe that wasn’t so bad. While heading toward the canal we noticed that there were people leaving the ship with their luggage along the way (more later). This itinerary had a two day canal experience. That meant that after going all the way through the canal, we stopped at Fuerte Amador (Panama City) for a second day in the area, where we could take excursions. We took one of the Princess offered excursions on a small tour boat that took us back through the locks on the Pacific side. The excursion was fine, and we got quite a kick out of going through the locks with other small craft at the same time and being close enough to the walls of the locks to touch them and being almost directly alongside of some of the electric “mules” that were used to stabilize the large ships. During the night, the husband of the other couple woke up wheezing to beat the band. His wife, a retired RN (and a darn good one), took him to the infirmary for treatment. To summarize the next few days, he developed pneumonia and a full-on asthma attack. They had him on intravenous antibiotics and steroids in the infirmary with nebulizer treatments during the day and night. The pneumonia subsided, but the asthma didn’t seem to be improving at all. All during this time, my friend’s wife had nothing but good things to say about the treatment that her husband was getting and the commitment of the doctors and nurses dispensing the medical aid. She also said that the dispensary seemed to always be full, and the staff just couldn’t keep up with the demand (more later). At a point a few days into this, they were talking about putting him off the ship to a private hospital in Mexico. About this time, my wife and I went to visit our friends at their cabin. As we got close to their cabin, my wife noticed a strange odor, and thought that, because of the leak problems that the ship had had (and had been continuing to have in that same area), maybe there was mold in the air. We mentioned it to our friends, who in turn mentioned it to the doctor, and our friends were transferred to another cabin in a different part of the ship. The next morning---a noticeable marked improvement!!!! The ship’s physician noted that when he was taken from one cabin environment to another, he had an almost overnight recovery. During the next day or so, we learned that there had been another leak in the original area and other passengers had been put into our friends’ old cabin. During this whole time the infirmary had just been overwhelmed. There wasn’t a stop on the route that didn’t have people leaving for medical reasons. To be fair, at least two of them were for injuries. There was, however, an ambulance meeting the ship at every stop, including one of the locks in the canal at 9:00 PM at night. We even had a short non-scheduled stop off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, and four people (two couples?) were tendered to shore in two separate tenders.. During this whole time, nothing out of the ordinary was done to protect the passengers. Sure, there were the signs in the restrooms to wash your hands, and Purell dispensers were at the entrances to food venues, and the captain and the ship’s staff didn’t shake your hand at the captain’s reception (They didn’t want to catch anything from the passengers?), but that was all de rigeur. At the very least, wiping down stairway bannisters on a regular basis might have been nice. A mention of the need for even more precautions in the ship’s daily newsletter might have been nice. But no, it was business as usual. We also found out that all of the fancy American regulations such as HIPPA don’t always apply. The ship was in international waters. My friends couldn’t get complete medical reports to take to their doctors on the mainland. Princess wouldn’t allow it. Only a medical summary was provided. So my friend was taken off the ship in a wheel chair. The trip back to his (their) home was delayed while they spent an extra day in LA recuperating. So, the next time you take a Princess Cruise, make sure you have a full supply of everything you could need and the best medical insurance policy you can get!!

Island Princess - A Medical Emergency may await you

Island Princess Cruise Review by grandmamarie

Trip Details
My wife and I and another couple, long time friends of ours, sailed on the Island Princess from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles from Feb 19 to Mar 6 (note a review on the immediately previous Island Princess trip). It needs the major makeover that the previous reviewer mentioned!!

There had been a water leak somewhere in the area of my friends’ cabin just prior to their boarding. The crew had to empty out the cabin and replace furniture and carpeting in the cabin and the passageway. My friends didn’t get into their cabin until the 5 or 6 o’clock time frame. Well, maybe that wasn’t so bad.

While heading toward the canal we noticed that there were people leaving the ship with their luggage along the way (more later).

This itinerary had a two day canal experience. That meant that after going all the way through the canal, we stopped at Fuerte Amador (Panama City) for a second day in the area, where we could take excursions. We took one of the Princess offered excursions on a small tour boat that took us back through the locks on the Pacific side. The excursion was fine, and we got quite a kick out of going through the locks with other small craft at the same time and being close enough to the walls of the locks to touch them and being almost directly alongside of some of the electric “mules” that were used to stabilize the large ships.

During the night, the husband of the other couple woke up wheezing to beat the band. His wife, a retired RN (and a darn good one), took him to the infirmary for treatment.

To summarize the next few days, he developed pneumonia and a full-on asthma attack. They had him on intravenous antibiotics and steroids in the infirmary with nebulizer treatments during the day and night. The pneumonia subsided, but the asthma didn’t seem to be improving at all. All during this time, my friend’s wife had nothing but good things to say about the treatment that her husband was getting and the commitment of the doctors and nurses dispensing the medical aid. She also said that the dispensary seemed to always be full, and the staff just couldn’t keep up with the demand (more later).

At a point a few days into this, they were talking about putting him off the ship to a private hospital in Mexico. About this time, my wife and I went to visit our friends at their cabin. As we got close to their cabin, my wife noticed a strange odor, and thought that, because of the leak problems that the ship had had (and had been continuing to have in that same area), maybe there was mold in the air.

We mentioned it to our friends, who in turn mentioned it to the doctor, and our friends were transferred to another cabin in a different part of the ship. The next morning---a noticeable marked improvement!!!! The ship’s physician noted that when he was taken from one cabin environment to another, he had an almost overnight recovery.

During the next day or so, we learned that there had been another leak in the original area and other passengers had been put into our friends’ old cabin.

During this whole time the infirmary had just been overwhelmed. There wasn’t a stop on the route that didn’t have people leaving for medical reasons. To be fair, at least two of them were for injuries. There was, however, an ambulance meeting the ship at every stop, including one of the locks in the canal at 9:00 PM at night. We even had a short non-scheduled stop off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, and four people (two couples?) were tendered to shore in two separate tenders..

During this whole time, nothing out of the ordinary was done to protect the passengers. Sure, there were the signs in the restrooms to wash your hands, and Purell dispensers were at the entrances to food venues, and the captain and the ship’s staff didn’t shake your hand at the captain’s reception (They didn’t want to catch anything from the passengers?), but that was all de rigeur. At the very least, wiping down stairway bannisters on a regular basis might have been nice. A mention of the need for even more precautions in the ship’s daily newsletter might have been nice. But no, it was business as usual.

We also found out that all of the fancy American regulations such as HIPPA don’t always apply. The ship was in international waters. My friends couldn’t get complete medical reports to take to their doctors on the mainland. Princess wouldn’t allow it. Only a medical summary was provided.

So my friend was taken off the ship in a wheel chair. The trip back to his (their) home was delayed while they spent an extra day in LA recuperating.

So, the next time you take a Princess Cruise, make sure you have a full supply of everything you could need and the best medical insurance policy you can get!!
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BE D235
The cabin was the average cruise ship cabin. Our cabin steward(ess) was fine. She kept the cabin clean and made up promptly. See the overall review for more comments.
Lido Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews