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

A Continuous Cycle of Disappointment

Island Princess Cruise Review by KrystalD

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony

My family (a party of 15 people total) selected this cruise line because of the ports and shore excursions we were promised. Traveling to Juneau to see the glaciers, wildlife, and sled dogs were items on many of our bucket lists. Unfortunately, we did not get to see any of those things. Due to mechanical issues on the ship, we experienced a 12 hour delay at the Vancouver port and Princess Cruises cancelled the Juneau destination. They provided a $100 on board credit and 15% off our next cruise (if booked by 9/20/2020) as "compensation," which is both laughable and offensive. This was my first vacation in 4 years, and something I spent a long time saving up for. I can't simply book another cruise within a year, nor would I want to with Princess Cruises. In the end, $100 does not make up for the sights and experiences we were denied, and it was a general consensus amongst my party that we felt robbed.

Other items of comment:

- The buffet food was terrible and barely edible, but the dining room made up for it. I typically saved my appetite for a dining room meal.

- I do not recommend this cruise for anyone under the age of 50. There are very few entertainment options on board, especially for a younger crowd. I was most excited for the 90's Music Night, but ended up being the only person in the room that knew any of the music. There was not a single person on the dance floor.

- The theater entertainment was subpar. I have seen high school musicals with better production value, and the ventriloquist act was cancelled due to the talent having laryngitis. The irony of the situation was not lost.

- Princess Cruises replaced the Juneau destination with the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. Other than the fact that this was not an Alaskan port on an ALASKAN CRUISE, this port does not experience much tourism and couldn't accommodate 2,200 visitors. There were no sights to see, and only a couple excursion options (the majority of which involved walking around a park, which you could do for free). There was a rumor on board that we only went there because they had the parts needed to repair the ship.


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

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB B526

As a hospitality interior designer, I am pretty critical of the overall lodging experience but I do try to be fair. My assessment of the ship design is that it is highly outdated, especially with the quantity and accessibility of outlets in the staterooms. It is 2019, and it is expected that there will be outlets next to the bed. There weren't. My roommate and I had to plug one phone at the desk and another in the bathroom. If you aren't going to provide an outlet next to the bed, the cruise line should at least provide an alarm clock. Having to get up and turn off an alarm (my phone) in the bathroom was ridiculous.

The beds were very comfortable and the size of the mini-suite was good. I can't imagine staying in anything smaller than the room we had. The shower was tiny, but manageable. Having a balcony was a nice amenity.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Adventure Kart Expedition

The Adventure Kart excursion was amazing! It was raining very hard while we were there, but that just meant more splashing and mud during the drive...which is exactly what we paid for! The sights were beautiful, and I wish I had time to see more of it. One point of note, however, is that I discovered through the guest service desk at the excursion stop that Princess Cruises charged us 4 times the amount of money that it actually cost. I would not book an excursion through the cruise line again, even if there is peace of mind with availability and transport.

View All 33 Adventure Kart Expedition Reviews
Prince Rupert

This is not a port that was designed for tourism. There are no offerings or sights to see on the island at all. There wasn't even an actual port! We had to take a water taxi from the ship to the island. The one thing on the island that you can do is tour a Canadian naval trip, but it was closed while we were there because the governor was visiting. Just another disappointment for a cruise that didn't go as planned.

Vancouver

From what I saw of Vancouver, it is a pretty cool city and the sights were beautiful.


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KrystalD
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