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Island Princess Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,190 Reviews

Most Interesting Panama & Western Central America Cruise on the Island Princess

Island Princess Cruise Review by Captain Pinball

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2016
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Interior

Round trip Los Angeles!!!! No air travel required!! We live in So Cal so, so easy!

Boarding was a snap. The Island is a smaller ship so few passengers. The Ship really grew on us. Our cabin was mid-ship. Dining rooms, theater, and buffet were all forward of mid-ship. We had few needs to assess the aft areas of the ship. Getting to and from was easy. The food was as good as any Princess ship. Service was excellent. All of the ports were places that few ships call, therefore new to many passenger. The excursions allowed us to visit Mayan pyramids and learn of their culture. The Panama Canal with overnight anchoring at Gatun Locks made for two tracks through the canal. The Canal Lecturer was expert and enthusiastic. He does these cruises as a 'hobby" because it has been a lifetime passion. I'd do it again soon but, well, there is so much more earth to explore and doing it on Princess is such a rich experience.

Captain Pinball's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin IA A507

OK. Interior cabins are small yet we've never had a cramped room on any Princes inside. The Inside on the "Island" are very average for the fleet. The layout is very easy to use.and really familiar. Beds are quite comfortable. We always ask for a top sheet on the bed in addition to the duvet. Air handling was very responsive and quiet. The cabin was very near the mid-ship lifts. The only down side appeared upon embarkation and debarkation nights. The crew moving luggage behind the cabin made some noise but that quieted down by 11:00 PM. The ship bought a special transmitter device to support my hearing aid "streamer." It was a big help when listening to entertainment in the theater and Movies under the Stars.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


This was our second time to Hautulco. Our first visit's excursion was a bike ride along the bays. This time we took a power catamaran to see the bays from the ocean. The tour was fine but the life preservers on the catamaran were in awful state of repair, useless. I made the excursion staff aware and was told that they had not has the opportunity to evaluate the boat because this was the line's fist visit to Huatulco in a long time. OK.but the operator needs to repair of replace most of the life jackets The waist band on many of them had no plastic clip to insert rendering the device as unusable.

Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

Our tour was to a smaller, recently discovered Mayan ruins. Very interesting. That was followed by a visit to a small but typical village with its church and central park plaza. There we witnessed the making of chocolate from beans. Local coffee tasting followed.

Tram Through Rainforest

Easy excursion. Up the side of the mountain and then back down followed by a walk through a butterfly enclosure. After that a good typical Costa Rican lunch was served.

View All 26 Tram Through Rainforest Reviews
City Tour

OK. Just a bus ride to a beach. The highlight of the port was that powerboat races began as the ship was departing.

View All 7 City Tour Reviews
Los Angeles

L.A. is good because we can take a car to the port and have a car meet us at the end. NO air travel. That means overweight luggage is free. No standing in security lines. We live in So Cal. What more do we need in the city so familiar to us?

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Captain Pinball
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