This is our 4th cruise on Princess and 8th cruise since the 1990. We have sailed on Celebrity, Holland America and Royal Carribean
We overall had a wonderful cruise and the ports were amazing, that is why we selected this particular cruise.
I found all the staff to be excellent, food in the dinning room (Bordeaux-anytime seating good) we avoided the Lido deck most meals, we do not enjoy 'fast' eating though the food was well presented and fresh, great for a quick salad. We did have one meal a Sabitinis which we enjoyed. We cancelled the other reservation at the Bayou, neither restaurant looked well attended. We did have room service for breakfast every day and took turns getting a special coffee from the Patisserie. Staff at the Customer Service desk great. The ship was on time in all ports, the staff very well organized and enthusiastic. The staff in charge of entertainment were lots of fun and did a great job
We took advantage of excursions most ports since it was our first time, they are expensive but very well organized and the guides we exceptionally well informed. We learned so much.
The entertainment was pretty good, shows a little short but they do bring a lot of talent on board. The final show was very good. Some of the very talented musicians are put in smaller areas and do not get the attention they deserve. The comedian, can't remember his name and don't need to, was ok at first but then became repetative and annoying, 2nd night he was in a lounge and people started to leave. I think he is one entertainer they can do without.
The Island Princess is a very pretty ship with lots of decks but on the negative side, the Island Princess was in dry dock in April and more rooms added and the fitness area and a lounge at the front of the ship removed. I was very disappointed with the fitness room which was poorly equipped, 12 treadmills and only 9 working. It is dark and crowded. On previous cruises I really enjoyed working out with the view. Deck 7 has a mile walk which has now been interrupted by the addition of rooms added to the front of the ship so you have to walk through the hallway which is annoying (but the air conditioning was a welcome cool down). They also created a 'spa area' at the front of the ship where you can pay $40 a day and use the cabana's etc.
As most cruise ships they had difficulty with the selfish people that take up all the deck chairs. On couple we met that spent every sea day in the sun, on the deck, said it was also not uncommon that a group would reserve two chairs per person, one in the sun and one in the shade. Throwing a towel or book on the chair. This is really something that all cruise ships need to adddress. In Rome, 500 new chairs were delivered to the ship, they are aware of the problem I am sure but why it persists I am not sure.
Wifi is expensive and I notice lots of cruises are starting to offer free wifi.
They are always trying to 'sell' on the cruise which I find the biggest difference from our very first cruise.
Our room steward did the basics, the room was clean and tidy, nothing extra, never a little towel creature to greet us when going to bed which I really miss after experiencing this on many cruises.
Back to the positive, it was a bucket list cruise for us and we had a great time. We used Princess for the hotel and transfers at the end in Barcelona. The service was exceptional and the hotel very accomodating. They have a Princess staff member in the hotel. It is worth the extra cost for the peace of mind.
The cabin was fine, we enjoyed the deck. Lots of space for hanging and putting suitcases but no couch in the cabin area. Bathroom was average. I would give it a 6 out of 10