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

Nice cruise , great ports but geared to older people

Island Princess Cruise Review by wishIcouldcruiseforever

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2019
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

We chose the cruise due to the itinerary and the great deal .The gratuities and on board credit sold us and we wanted to see the canal.

We flew in 2 days before the cruise and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Davie which was a wonderful experience especially after being upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite .Of course there was some major credit card meltdown at Sawgrass Mills premium outlet mall which we got to with Uber.

Embarkation was by far the best we have ever had as it is staggered and goes by deck.I wish Carnival would do the same .

The ship is not too large and a bit strange with elevators that only go partway at the bow area

.The cabin was nice with a nice little balcony although I missed the small couch that is in the balcony rooms of the Carnival ships .I must say the shower is very small and I did my share of overflowing on the floor ,My thanks to Roz ,the best cabin attendant for cleaning it up. I wondered how the many large men on board would manage and one told me he felt like a mummy getting wrapped in the curtain.

We enjoyed the dining and meeting different people each night sharing a table at your time dining.Some strange dishes on the menu but I found something to eat every night . The horizon court buffet was excellent and always had a good variety of hot and delicious food however at peak times finding a table was challenging . Staff were very good about getting beverages for people be it coffee ,tea ,water or juice .

Entertainment was not as plentiful as past cruises we have done ,only a couple of shows and trivia . The music and entertainment was geared to an older segment of the population.I missed the Carnival entertainment staff. I actually found some entertainment staff rather standoffish as did my daughter .

The service was impeccable with friendly and pleasant staff always greeting you with a smile especially the young lady who greeted us in Horizon court each morning with a super good morning . I missed her when we got home .Our cabin attendant Roz was the best . He was friendly ,efficient and kept our cabin in apple pie order . You hear that Princess ? He deserves a raise !

Our first port was Amber Cove where we went snorkelling on 2 reefs.and it was an adventure getting out to the catamaran where 4 men turned a boat with outboard bow out ,got us in and pushed it out and over the surf we went-wild ride out .The getting from the boat on the catamaran was bouncy and not for the less nimble . The reefs were beautiful and we got a nice lunch after . it was a bit rough and getting back on the catamaran at the second site was by swimming up to the back pontoon and as the wave lifted you the guide pulled you out of the water and onto the back on the pontoon.

Our second stop was Cartagena which we did the mangroves by canoe and old city stroll . I enjoyed it immensely but the bus ride was bouncy and my daughter was harassed by street vendors which she did not like . We loved our tour guide who was informative and knowledgeable .

At the Panama canal we went through at an ungodly hour as I was up at 530 AM and on the balcony through the 3 locks . We anchored in Gatun lake and tendered off to our tour -the train ride on the Dome car across Panama. Loved our tour guide Roxy who was funny ,knowledgeable and very engaging .The Santa Clara visitors centre is an excellent experience and we loved the train ride .Because we only got small snack boxes on the train Roxy took us back to her office and fed us all 6 inch sandwiches. At he port after where the ships docks to pick you up has no passenger facilities but there was a wonderful market where I got a gorgeous handmade Tshirt .

In Limon Costa Rica we went behind the scenes at the sloth sanctuary and it wonderful to see the babies as well as the iCU . We learned so much about these amazing creatures and we had the privilege of hearing the lady speak who started it all .This also included a canoe ride to see some wildlife . The howler monkeys sure are loud and the caiman we saw was big enough and the butterflies and birds take your breath away .The young man paddling our canoe kept apologizing for his English but I assured him it was excellent . Our overall tour had a lovely young lady as a tour guide who did very well as she was very interesting and well informed .Some cruise guests did a Zipline in Costa Rica and a lot of injuries allegedly occurred including broken bones and deep gashes on one lady .We were told there were 15 people injured after allegedly starting people at the longest and fastest zip line ,the first 2 slower practice lines being repaired .I was told the injuredallegedly had to go down the next segment because there was no other way down .

Our last stop in Falmouth Jamaica was to an authentic Rastafarian village and I must say it was the most laid back and relaxed shore tour I have ever done . I found it culturally informative and very interesting and no we were not offered ganja , As Canadians we were told our country is very civilized having made marijuana legal. We met the drum maker ,soap maker and made ourselves ankle bracelets paying only for the materials . We also were able to be part of a drumming circle too .We had a vegetarian lunch ( Rastafarians believe killing animals and eating them kills you too)and my daughter being allergic to coconut was made a completely different and safe meal, I came away with a much greater understanding and respect for he Rastafarian culture.

I travelled with my 31 year old daughter and she found the cruise "too old" . She prefers the fun and party atmosphere of Carnival and I do too.

I loved the ports and the service on the ship but I am a young 60 year old and like more deck parties ,dancing ,rock n roll music and action shore tours .

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


Nice cabin with nice balcony and large closet suitcase storage area with a lot of shelves for clothes .It was at the opposite end of the ship to the self service laundry so that was a long hike .No couch though and a really small shower . I don't know how big people manage . I got the floor wet most of the time . Thank you Roz for sopping up my mess !

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata)

Snorkelling on 2 reefs with lunch .I did it the last time I was there so that tells you how much I enjoyed it .

Colon (Cristobal)

Went on the dome car and absolutely loved it . Roxy you rock!

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