Firstly, I agree with the many in they have ruined Island Princess with the recent updates. The additional cabins block off the Promenade deck, the additional plating on the rear makes it look almost ugly and the loss of Vista lounge is a big shame. That said the ship traveled smoothly and rode the waves very well. The crew were particularly good and well organised. Dining was first rate and the general condition of Island was very good. The new shows were excellent to exceptional, most impressive.
Boarding for us was at Port of LA, San Pedro. The cruise was already partly filled with travelers on a Panama Canal relocation cruise, so boarding was quite quick and painless. San Pedro was a wonderful port to depart from, plenty of parking for those who drove and easy access for us since we walked from our hotel. We did a short tour of the harbour and the USS Iowa which filled our pre cruise day perfectly. Both attractions were great.
We visited San Francisco which was beautiful, as expected. I haven't been there for 40 years so it was a bit bigger and busier than I remember but it is still a lovely port to visit. We missed Astoria due to the Pacific Gale we endured. We were amazed at how well the ship handled the force 12 gale and up to 9 metre waves.
Victoria was visited and we traveled to the Butchart Gardens, which at the peak of Tulip season was absolutely stunning. A wonderful experience for sure. Arrival at Vancouver was hassle free, bit different to boarding Coral Princess 3 days later!
We had a Deluxe Balcony cabin which was a good size for two people and didn't suffer from the fully exposed balcony most of the Mini Suites did. The bathroom was typically small, a bit too tight really. The ship felt quite similar to our local older Princess ships here in Australia, with a blending of the Grand class that visit each year. All in all, a typical Princess affair.
A good size cabin for two people with a semi sheltered balcony, about half exposed and half sheltered which worked well. Comfortable but with a small bathroom which was a bit tedious.
Our ship's tour included Alcatraz, a city tour, over the bridge and a lookout point, dropping us at the ferry terminal.
Alcatraz was great. Interesting, nice gardens (for a Jail!) and scenic views. Seemed to cope well with the crowds of people. Bus through town was congested, traffic wise with a limited tour. Over the Golden Gate bridge was cool, fisherman's wharf was packed. Too busy to be pleasant. Was disappointed that the bus just dropped us at the ferry terminal and we were told, go get a ticket. We lost our tour guide and really didn't know what was happening. Could do better Princess.View All 41 Alcatraz Reviews
We followed Cruise Critic advise and did a tour from the sellers in town, on our own so to speak, after taking the shuttle in to town. We had almost unlimited time at the Butterfly Farm and Butchart Gardens as the company ran their busses in a shuttle style. As long as you caught one before the time ran out, there were plenty to catch. Both attractions were really good, Butchart Gardens exceptional. The bus drivers provided some commentary which was nice too. Victoria was a lovely town to walk around, we found some nice shops including some great chocolate!