At the outset I always want to describe myself as someone you will find in the gym, restaurants, bars or casino - not the shops or shows. I am a lawyer in my 60's that practices with a large firm in Los Angeles.
Living in Los Angeles I could not pass up a brief repositioning cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver. For very little I was able to book a standard cabin with a balcony - no stops -just two days at sea. This was my second Princess cruise - my first being a 14 day cruise on the Diamond Princess, which is based in Japan. The Island Princess is one of their older and smaller ships and really does not compare to the newer and larger Diamond Princess - which is really great, including its Japanese toilets (the Diamond Princess was built in Japan). In the past few years I have also taken cruises on Regent, Silversea and Crystal - which I may mention for comparison.
1. Getting on and off - very good. The staff was friendly and efficient in Los Angeles. In Vancouver there were quick and easy choices of getting off. I chose the 7:30am walk off and precisely at 7:30 I was on my way to the terminal - no muss nor fuss.
2. Food - the food on the Island Princess was very good, as was the food on the Diamond Princess. Frankly, for the money, it's a great deal and really not that much different than what you get on Regent or the other high end ship main dining rooms these days. The selections on the Island Princess main dining room menu were more limited than Regent, Crystal, Silversea or the Diamond Princess. The selections in the buffet are about the same - with pretty good coffee (the coffee on Regent was terrible). There are two speciality restaurants - which are priced at $29 per person (this must be a recent increase from the $25 per person which is mentioned in other recent reviews). I did not try them as their menus were not all that exciting - to me at least. The service in the main dining room was ok. The waiters seemed to wait for a whole bunch of dinners to be ready from multiple tables before getting them and staggering out with 10 covered dishes on the tray. The service in the buffet was very good - better than my last Regent cruise (Voyager - I have a separate review there) where there were not enough tables and servers to handle everyone promptly. Overall, Silversea (Spirit) had the best dining - but the Diamond Princess is a close second together with Crystal (Serenity).
3. Cabin - very comfortable bed and pillows - two uncomfortable chairs. As noted by others, the shower is small with an annoying shower curtain. The water pressure was good. I am 5',7" - 140 pounds - and just fit.........
4. Bars - good, with fast service.
5. The gym - not good. As noted by the professional Cruise Critic "critic", the gym was recently moved from a top deck with views to inside space on deck 6. I did not catch this and before the cruise (there are a number of You Tube videos showing a beautiful large gym with nearly 360 degree views) and was very disappointed to find a small claustrophobic gym that seemed like an afterthought. Moreover the equipment is old and the free weights seemed to be on the heavy side (no it was not because of my bar experience the night before).
6. The casino - a let down. Here again, on You Tube you will see a large casino with a fairly good sized craps table - not any more.....It appears the the remodel that pushed the gym to the 6th deck also took half of the casino. The craps table is gone and the tables that remain (blackjack and three card poker) are pushed up against a wall so that there is very little room to move around. There are a number of slot machines (although no where near what you see in the posted You Tube videos) which have a varied number of games, including a block of Quick Hit machines - which a lot of people like. The staff in the casino were friendly.
7. Other - the front desk was well staffed and organized - no lines. The same cannot be said for the Diamond Princess. The ship was clean - but the absolute cleanest and brightest (of all ships I have been on) was the Diamond Princess.