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

Cruisin' Time to rejuvenate for tired Moms!

Island Princess Cruise Review by Laurarc

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2019
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony

Experiencing the Panama Canal was on my "Bucket List" especially since my Grandfather was one of the many electricians that helped build the original one. The partial-transit worked well for my time restraints. I will say my friend and myself were some of the youngest cruisers at 61! The majority of the fellow passengers seemed to be well over that and limited mobility abound by many - scooters and walkers! Some younger families with only a handful of kids onboard. Don't know if was off-season or just before spring break.

Boarding was a breeze and the cabins were ready before 2 p.m. Our mini-suite was standard but a bit smaller than some of the larger ships I've ben on The beds were comfy and the room décor is basic and the colors are dull. Our Cabin Steward/Housekeeper was outstanding. Liezal was always friendly and warm. She did a great job on keeping our room clean and comfortable. She always inquired how our day was and how we were doing.

We had the "anytime" dining which was o.k. My recommendation is to arrive before any of the evening production shows get out or you will wait for 45 minutes in a very long line to be seated. I found the service to be professional but slow at times. The food was good.

We mainly ate at the buffet. The selection changed every night and enjoyed the specialties. Indian dishes seemed to be offered as a regularly featured evening optional fare Lemonade is on the drink menu but you have to ask for it.

Sabatint's Italian Restaurant was good and the service was excellent. The selections were somewhat limited but the meal was tasty. Reservations were readily available and we had no problem getting in

I thought the ship's entertainment productions were just o.k. The song and dance routines were boring along with the magic show. They did have a pianist that was exceptional.

We didn't get the opportunity to go to Grand Caymans since the seas were too rough and tenders could not operate safely. It was a disappointment for many of my fellow travelers. The ship went ahead to Cartegena early. This particular port was my least favorite due to the pushy street vendors who will follow you and knock on the tour bus window! I will say once we were on the actual horse carriage tour ti was a beautiful ride through the old city.

Going through the Panama Canal was fascinating. You can watch it from your room balcony and live stream on your cabin t.v. You don't have go to the bow of the ship.

Limon, Costa Rica is beautiful. We took a tour of La Hacienda. The bus ride was 2 hours each way! It is long and windy, so take care if you get motion sickness. The Hacienda was interesting but felt the drive was too long for the short time we were in port.

Jamaica is always one of my favorites. Took the tour of the Raft Ride on the Martha Brea. Again the bus ride was over an hour each way. The gentle bamboo raft ride was relaxing with view of the lush vegetation. The "captain" will try and sell you some carvings that he did and there are vendors along the river that will try an sell you trinkets. My complaint is on the way back te bus stopped at a funky trinket mall for a half hour.

There are several sea days during this cruise which were enjoyable. Time to catch up on much needed rest and relaxation. I took line dancing lessons that were fun, and watched several of the "Movies Under the Stars". If you want to do a Arts & Crafts project plan on showing up at least a half hour early because the class filled up fast and people were turned away,

Finally, disembarkation was a breeze since we took a excursion at the Everglades Airboat and Airport Transfer. I think we were some of the first people off the ship. The tour was short but fun and got us to the airport by noon or so.

Laurarc's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MD D315

Perfect location! it is a quiet stateroom away from ship noises and fellow passengers. Easy to get to elevators and stairs without a lot of foot traffic passing by. The room is comfortable but a bit smaller than some of the mini-suites featured on other Princess ship or cruise line.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Everglades Tour

Extremely noisy fun! it is interesting to see the Everglades on a airboat for a quick half hour jaunt & gator show.

View All 149 Everglades Tour Reviews
Gatun Lake Tour

It was a fun tour traveling from each small island shores looking for wildlife. We were lucky to see monkeys, toucans, aligators, etc.

View All 37 Gatun Lake Tour Reviews
Horse Carriage Tour

The Horse Carriage tour beautiful but short. The shopping time consisted of hanging around an emerald shop and city square. The vendors are extremely aggresive and wil follow you to purchase items and even knocking on bus windows to get your attention!

View All 46 Horse Carriage Tour Reviews
River Rafting

Rafting down the Martha Brea was a liesurely ride down the river on a 2 person bambo raft. The lush vegitation was beautful. The Captain was cordial but wanted to sell his carvings. There are also vendors along the rivers calling ut to you to buy trinkets. The ride is over an our each way

View All 51 River Rafting Reviews

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