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

Everything was (almost) perfect on board the Island Princess

Island Princess Cruise Review by arkellyfl

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

My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal. I had taken this cruise 5 years ago with a friend and I knew my husband would enjoy the itinerary and seeing the Canal. And I knew Princess was a reliable company. We did not explore Ft. Lauderdale since we are Florida residents and have been there many times. My husband prefers cruises that we can drive to and from, so this itinerary was suitable.

The ship was nice and not overdone and gaudy. It was a bit shop worn in places, but it did not affect our enjoyment. All the staff we encountered throughout the cruise were friendly and helpful.

We upgraded to a Club Class mini suite with a balcony and we are now totally spoiled. The Club Class dining was great. We never had to wait in line to get a great seat in the restaurant and the waiters were excellent, remembering our names and preferences. The extra menu choices for the Club Class were always great.

The extra room in the mini suite was perfect for a 10 day cruise. There was LOTS of storage available and the cabin location was very convenient. The only disappointment in the Club Class Mini Suite was the promised daily afternoon hors d'oeuvres. They were mostly tasteless and dry. After 2 days we didn't order them anymore.

We enjoyed the "movies under the stars", seeing many Oscar nominated movies we had missed last year. It was nice to also be able to see the movies in our room the next day if we missed in on deck in the evening. Because we saw a lot of the movies, we missed the shows in the Princess Theater, except the last night. It was an excellent show and we were sorry we missed the others. The orchestra was fabulous and the singers were sensational.

We were disappointed that we could not stop in Grand Cayman. The seas were too rough for the tenders to get us to the island. But some extra activities were added for the additional day at sea.

The passage through the Panama Canal was awesome. We had our breakfast on the balcony as we watched the intricate process unfold before us.

We bought jewelry in the EFFY store on board. Unfortunately, when we disembarked, it triggered an alert and we had to be escorted to a "special" customs agent to see if we needed to pay any duty. This seemed totally unnecessary since EFFY emphasized that their jewelry was made in the USA and was duty free and duty exempt. Our "special" customs agent was not at her station when we got there. We were delayed about 45 minutes by this process and much annoyed. (This wasn't the fault of the cruise line, though) Another annoyance was that we sailed from Terminal 2 and returned to terminal 19. Shuttles were provided, but the drivers and vans were not efficient. We got on and off 3 shuttles before we were on our way to our car. (again not the fault of Princess)

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

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M1 D503

The cabin was roomy, well located and had lots of storage. The balcony was ample to sit and enjoy the view. The only complaint was the sofa in the cabin. It was very uncomfortable. However, that is probably on purpose. The cruise line doesn't want you spending lots of time sitting in your room!! The beds and pillows were VERY comfortable. Our room steward was great. We didn't see him or interact with him too often , but our room was always in great shape and well supplied. I would have preferred a separate shampoo and conditioner rather than a combo product. I am glad I brought my own even though they advertised the convenience of not having to pack those items. The bathroom had plenty of room. We rarely felt any movement in our cabin, although on one day we felt lots of movement in other areas of the ship.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Cartagena (Colombia)

knowledgeable, friendly tour guide. enjoyed the boat ride to see the city from another view. Didn't do any shopping.

Didn't really get as much info as we would have liked at the new locks. A brief film was not very informative about the building of the new locks. the return bus ride through Colon was dreary, to say the least, since the city is deteriorating shockingly. I would not select this excursion again.

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