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Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on right hand side of old locks. Tip: booking the Sanctuary which on this ship is aft gave us great views of both sides and back. For the front view we had to leave for forward of ship but this was quite crowded. We went down to our port side balcony a few times for a different perspective. Loved being in Sanctuary though as they opened for our reservation at 6am and we stayed all day. Costs extra but worth it. The PC expert gave several talks prior to and after locks. He was interesting and informative. Thought the food was very good. Like the changes in MDR which now offers a select Timon of “starters” then entrees. The Curtis Stone pot pie is excellent! The daily burger offered in MDR is changed up daily and quite good too for a change of pace and likely popular with kids. Drink prices continue to be very reasonable ranging from $8.50 - $10 on average. Ship is in pretty good shape but may be getting close to needing some refurbishment. Definitely smaller ship in comparison of Grand Class which requires some planning. For instance we generally went to Princess Theater or other venues 15-20 min before show times to get a good seat. Not an issue but for those who arrive a minute before it may be hard to find multiple seats together. The chef Gaetano and maitre d’hotel Sylvio are an awesome team. We did Chef’s table which was one of the best culinary experiences of my foodie life! Highly recommend!!

Panama Canal Full Transit Ocean to Ocean

Island Princess Cruise Review by OCtravelernottourist

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Trip Details
Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on right hand side of old locks. Tip: booking the Sanctuary which on this ship is aft gave us great views of both sides and back. For the front view we had to leave for forward of ship but this was quite crowded. We went down to our port side balcony a few times for a different perspective. Loved being in Sanctuary though as they opened for our reservation at 6am and we stayed all day. Costs extra but worth it.

The PC expert gave several talks prior to and after locks. He was interesting and informative.

Thought the food was very good. Like the changes in MDR which now offers a select Timon of “starters” then entrees. The Curtis Stone pot pie is excellent! The daily burger offered in MDR is changed up daily and quite good too for a change of pace and likely popular with kids.

Drink prices continue to be very reasonable ranging from $8.50 - $10 on average.

Ship is in pretty good shape but may be getting close to needing some refurbishment.

Definitely smaller ship in comparison of Grand Class which requires some planning. For instance we generally went to Princess Theater or other venues 15-20 min before show times to get a good seat. Not an issue but for those who arrive a minute before it may be hard to find multiple seats together.

The chef Gaetano and maitre d’hotel Sylvio are an awesome team. We did Chef’s table which was one of the best culinary experiences of my foodie life! Highly recommend!!
OCtravelernottourist’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin ME C226
This is a forward mini suite on port side. First time I stayed in a forward cabin so was curious if motion would be felt. No problem whatsoever. Very smooth sailing so not an issue. Convenient to Horizon Court and Princess theater as both are forward above and below this deck respectively.
Baja Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cartagena (Colombia)
    Beautiful cathedral and a nice comfort stop
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  • Cartagena (Colombia)
    Nice view once you reach top of port but it is quite a hike up! Dont recommend if mobility is an issue.
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  • Cartagena (Colombia)
    Loved the tour but not enough time to explore the colonial city. Next time Id just go in and walk around this magnificent and colorful old town. Loved the dancers we saw but very short timeframe. Emerald factory really just a store. Would ha e preferred free time in place of.
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  • Fuerte Amador
    We did the Panama City tour. Although we had an excellent guide it just easn’t That interesting to sit in bus and drive around the city. Once we got out to see the old colonial city it was go, go, go to visit one church after another. Once again would have preferred to just go to old city and leisurely walk around.
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  • Huatulco
    We did an off beaten path with a visit to family run chocolate factory which was quite interesting and lots of tasting. Family was so friendly. Next we went into a mezcal tasting room. Quite enjoyable and lots of new tastes. Our visit to Mazunte cosmetics factory was very different. Products all organic and great smells and textures. To the surfer beach to have a snack which was actually 3 Oaxacan cheese tacos served with rice, chips and bean dip. We paid for our own drinks. Truely a hippie dippie, laid back surfer beach, a beautiful place to cool off and enjoy the beach ambiance. Only 8 of us in a comfortable van so a real highlight!
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  • Las Caletas Beach Hideaway
    This was a catamaran trip to Majahuites, a private beach for snorkeling or lounging. Pastries and fruit available as we boarded boat. Lots of shady spots to sit, some sunny too. The beach was gorgeous once we arrived with lots of shaded areas with good facilities and comfortable seating provided. Paddle boards and kayaks were available too. Next we headed to the picturesque town of Yelepa. Some hiked up to swim in waterfall. The rest of us were lead to beach where Vallarta tours had reserved loungers for us in front if a restaurant. Yelepa is a cool town only accessible via boat. A nice afternoon but trip back a highlight. We had a cold cut and salad lunch in between beach visits but once headed back to marina the bar was open! Margaritas, beer, sodas, water, etc.
    The staff turned up music and entertained us with dances in costumes to big hits! A wonderful tour and tailored to anyone whethe4 you want to get wet or not!
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  • San Juan del Sur
    One of my favorite ports as the tour took us to Volcano to look into caldera. No magma to see that day but very impressive. We also stopped at an artisan market and had enough time to ship. The colonial town of Granada was next and had interesting walk about to see famous hotel, art museum, traditional dancers. Our tour guide had very interesting stories about the Sandinistas and changes to country. Most informative and great pace with variety of sights! Felt very safe along the way.
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