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We choose this cruise because going through the Panama Canal had always been something we'd wanted to do. Although this is listed as a 15 day cruise we actually got on in Vancouver which made it 18 days. Vancouver is a great city to visit. It's pedestrian friendly with many great things to see and places to eat. Overall this was an excellent cruise. I'll hit the negatives first and they really involve moving people on and off the ship. When we arrived in San Francisco the majority of those who got on in Vancouver were getting off to be replaced by those doing the 15 day cruise. Many of us doing the 18 days had excursions scheduled in SF. We were way late in getting off the ship and to our excursion and since we had to be back for sailing the excursion was cut short. In fairness, Princess refunded some of our excursion fee. Still, it seemed to me Princess should have had a good idea how long it would take to get people off the ship. They blamed customs but again time should have been managed to cope with delays most might expect to happen. Perhaps those with excursions should have been let off first. I'd have been quite willing to go early if it meant getting the entire excursion. This happened to a lesser extent when we tendered in to Nicaragua. We ended up with less excursion time. The planning could have been better. But in life things happen and it didn't ruin our cruise. My other real gripe was when we were leaving a port and there was a party up top hosting by some guy called DJ Delight. This was at night and the music was unbelievably loud. We were two decks down and mid ships and it was loud even in our room Even with a pillow over my head I could feel the thumping of the music. This happened only once so I'm hoping there were complaints and they corrected it. Having said all this we were very happy with the cruise. Service was outstanding. I'm always impressed by how hard working the staff is. Our cabin steward, Nelson, did a great job. The quality of the staff was very good throughout the trip. The food was outstanding. We mostly ate in the Bordeaux for dinner and ate in the sit down restaurants as often was we could. The buffet is fine and is good for quick meals but the sit down offers a more relaxed experience, plentiful choices, and the chance to interact with other passengers. The things to do on the ship were what you'd expect. If you like to do enrichment or like to party on into the night it's there for you. There were shows to attend as well. There were very informative sessions about upcoming ports that we found very helpful. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. So, I heartily recommend the Island Princess and her crew.

A bucket list item (Panama Canal) checked off.

Island Princess Cruise Review by Chippewa74

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We choose this cruise because going through the Panama Canal had always been something we'd wanted to do. Although this is listed as a 15 day cruise we actually got on in Vancouver which made it 18 days. Vancouver is a great city to visit. It's pedestrian friendly with many great things to see and places to eat.

Overall this was an excellent cruise. I'll hit the negatives first and they really involve moving people on and off the ship. When we arrived in San Francisco the majority of those who got on in Vancouver were getting off to be replaced by those doing the 15 day cruise. Many of us doing the 18 days had excursions scheduled in SF. We were way late in getting off the ship and to our excursion and since we had to be back for sailing the excursion was cut short. In fairness, Princess refunded some of our excursion fee. Still, it seemed to me Princess should have had a good idea how long it would take to get people off the ship. They blamed customs but again time should have been managed to cope with delays most might expect to happen. Perhaps those with excursions should have been let off first. I'd have been quite willing to go early if it meant getting the entire excursion. This happened to a lesser extent when we tendered in to Nicaragua. We ended up with less excursion time. The planning could have been better. But in life things happen and it didn't ruin our cruise.

My other real gripe was when we were leaving a port and there was a party up top hosting by some guy called DJ Delight. This was at night and the music was unbelievably loud. We were two decks down and mid ships and it was loud even in our room Even with a pillow over my head I could feel the thumping of the music. This happened only once so I'm hoping there were complaints and they corrected it.

Having said all this we were very happy with the cruise.

Service was outstanding. I'm always impressed by how hard working the staff is. Our cabin steward, Nelson, did a great job. The quality of the staff was very good throughout the trip. The food was outstanding. We mostly ate in the Bordeaux for dinner and ate in the sit down restaurants as often was we could. The buffet is fine and is good for quick meals but the sit down offers a more relaxed experience, plentiful choices, and the chance to interact with other passengers. The things to do on the ship were what you'd expect. If you like to do enrichment or like to party on into the night it's there for you. There were shows to attend as well. There were very informative sessions about upcoming ports that we found very helpful. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. So, I heartily recommend the Island Princess and her crew.
Chippewa74’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BA B420
This is a balcony room that is mid ships and juts out a bit. It was the perfect place to spend the day as we went through the Panama Canal. We ordered breakfast in the room and it arrived on time. It was the ultimate excursion, not having to move at all and having the conveniences of the room available at all times. Everything in the cabin worked fine. I love this grade of cabin. Close to the stairs/elevators and being mid ships means no real long walks to get anywhere on the ship.
Baja Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Todos Santos
    This gave us a chance to see a bit more of Baja and of course, Hotel California. Our guide was from Todos Santos and did a great job. If you're a fan of the Eagles it makes this excursion more worthwhile.
    View All 9 Todos Santos Reviews
  • Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
    Great guide (Sandy) and a chance to see the old city
    View All 43 Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas Reviews
  • City Tour
    This gave us a chance to see more than just the beach. It was interesting to see Managua, volcanic lakes, and just the regular houses and countryside in between. Nicaragua is trying to boost its tourism and is not to where Costa Rica is. This is still a dictatorship in most respects. We didn't feel unsafe but there was one part where we were told not to take photos out one side of the bus at the risk of having our camera confiscated. That side was the national military headquarters and and armed soldier came up and reminded the guide and bus driver about it.
    View All 19 City Tour Reviews
  • Muir Woods
    We missed visiting Sausalito because Princess got us off the ship too late to complete the entire excursion. Our guide was excellent and Muir Woods is very much worth visiting. There was a quick stop to view the Golden Gate.
    View All 30 Muir Woods Reviews