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We chose this cruise to go through the Panama Canal and because it had a stop in Aruba which we have wanted to see what it was like. This was our first time on Princess and so there were some differences from the other cruise ship we have been on. We loved the Suite that we had and the perks that went with it. It is definitely the way to go if possible to have a Suite during a longer cruise. We enjoyed the ports, the days at sea were slow days and as discussed in many cruise critic posts, it was definitely a much older crowd (read late 70's and 80's) however we had a great time. The activities were limited and very sedate. The Movies under the Stars were top rated movies and had a good attendance. The narrator for the Ports and all day during the passage of the Panama Canal was Outstanding! The food was only moderate at best, there was an extraordinary amount of Lamb and Pork that was served and more often then not, there was not a theme to the dishes where the side dishes had any relationship to the main course. The casino is very small and as most of you know, a ship casino is typically busy and at any given time, there were probably 10 people in the casino. The one bright spot which appeared to attract more customers, is that they had 3 smoke free nights in the casino. What a treat that I wish other cruise lines would employ. Because we had a suite, it was lovely, the cruise was very smooth, the weather was the best with only one day that was just mildly rocky. Enjoyed each of the ports. We had a tremendously good cabin steward, I only gave it a 9 because of the mediocre food and the sedate activities and entertainment. Otherwise it would have been a 10. After talking to others, we will be happy to try Princess again, as everyone said that the other Princess cruises are much more energetic and have better food and activities.

Panama Canal Cruise, April 2016

Island Princess Cruise Review by nado

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise to go through the Panama Canal and because it had a stop in Aruba which we have wanted to see what it was like.

This was our first time on Princess and so there were some differences from the other cruise ship we have been on. We loved the Suite that we had and the perks that went with it. It is definitely the way to go if possible to have a Suite during a longer cruise.

We enjoyed the ports, the days at sea were slow days and as discussed in many cruise critic posts, it was definitely a much older crowd (read late 70's and 80's) however we had a great time. The activities were limited and very sedate. The Movies under the Stars were top rated movies and had a good attendance. The narrator for the Ports and all day during the passage of the Panama Canal was Outstanding!

The food was only moderate at best, there was an extraordinary amount of Lamb and Pork that was served and more often then not, there was not a theme to the dishes where the side dishes had any relationship to the main course.

The casino is very small and as most of you know, a ship casino is typically busy and at any given time, there were probably 10 people in the casino. The one bright spot which appeared to attract more customers, is that they had 3 smoke free nights in the casino. What a treat that I wish other cruise lines would employ.

Because we had a suite, it was lovely, the cruise was very smooth, the weather was the best with only one day that was just mildly rocky. Enjoyed each of the ports. We had a tremendously good cabin steward, I only gave it a 9 because of the mediocre food and the sedate activities and entertainment. Otherwise it would have been a 10. After talking to others, we will be happy to try Princess again, as everyone said that the other Princess cruises are much more energetic and have better food and activities.
nado’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Premium Suite with Balcony
Cabin S5
Our Suite was in the middle of the ship on Deck 9. We were on the Starboard side which ended up being a great side of the ship during the Panama Canal passage, as our ship which originated in LA and ended in Ft Lauderdale and we happened to be on the "shady" side of the ship in the afternoon. We had a light cloud cover making the transit very nice. The humidity was high but it was still pleasant to sit outside. The ship is built different then other ships and only the middle cabins/suites have a partial overhang so from what I hear many of the other cabins have direct sun most of the day.

The suite was equipped with two tv's a living room and a bedroom that was separated by a curtain, a very large bathroom with the sink and commode in a separate room and a shower and a separate Jacuzzi bathtub that worked and left no residue. There were plenty of drawer space and a walk in closet.

The outside balcony was very large and had two chaise lounges and a table with two chairs that was great! The biggest balcony that we have ever had.

The Suites have a few more complimentary things like the bar is included for the initial mini bar, we had canapés and afternoon tea, the thermal spa is included in the price of the Suite, Easy embarkation and disembarkation, and they have a special restaurant for people having a Suite. Also Suites have free laundry and shoe shining if you need it. This came in handy, however the ship has self laundry on many of the floors.

This was our first time in a Suite, on any ship. The furnishings were a bit dated however, the suite was spotless and we were very happy to have the extra room during this voyage.
Baja Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aruba
    We hopped in a cab and went to the Marriott to check it out. We have thought about flying and staying a week. The Marriott was lovely, they showed us a room and we later checked out the casino and walked the beach.

    We came back to town in a cab and walked around before returning to the ship. There were two of us in the cab and each way cost about $11 before tip. That is per cab, not per person.
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  • Cabo San Lucas
    We had been here in December so we were aware that we could just hire a small boat, we went out to the arch and then was delivered to the Beach and had nachos and beer, had a great day!
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  • City Tour
    We took the Hop on Hop Off Tour, there was not enough time to get back to the ship so we didn't Hop Off. It took about 90 minutes. There were people who didn't like it because they thought that the bus was very uncomfortable. This was true, but we Did like it, it was a very simple thing to do and we enjoyed just traveling around the city.
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  • Los Angeles
    Didn't take any excursion. Just spent the night before and got onto the ship the next day. The ship docks in San Pedro and was easy to get to and easy to board.
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  • Zip-Lining
    We had a great time, there were 17 different runs. It does take some upper body strength and the ability to jump if you are short in order to get hooked onto the line. The staff were safety conscious however, since we are in a foreign country, I am not confident should something go wrong so I cannot comment on that piece of it. There were six of us from the ship who went and we all had a great time. The price is extremely reasonable and they also offered different activities however, we were all exhausted after the zip lining. They pick you up at the ship and take you back. We ended up going because we met some friends on the ship who had signed up.
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