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

Panama Canal - Bucket List Item Checked Off!

Island Princess Cruise Review by mforkner

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

Have been on Princess before (same ship actually) and liked them and the itinerary was exactly what we were looking for.

Considering we were traveling out of country, emabarkation and disembarkation was as well organized and efficient as could be expected. We chose anytime dining and food in the dining room was generally good, as was the buffet for other meals. Steward was excellent and all the staff was friendly and efficient.

The on board entertainment, especially Craig Richard, was excellent and the sea days were well filled with activities for all.

Specialty dining was a bit of a disappointment, but certainly not atrocious - probably not really an upgrade from the dining room choices, though.

Given where we were going and total lack of familiarity on our part, we chose to use Princess excursions exclusively. Other than a pathetic experience in Ft. Lauderdale, all were very good and a couple were excellent. In Cartagena, we went on the Horse and Carriage tour of the Old City with Fernando Lopez as our guide - he was great! In Costa Rica we did the long tour to Veragua and Tortugera Canal with Edrei as our guide and he was also excellent. On Grand Cayman we did the Land and Sea excursion. The Semi- Sub boat tour was very good; the rest of tour okay. The Ft. Lauderdale excursion was spoiled by the worst guide possible - there were some foreign visitors on the tour and he was an embarrassment - see Trip Advisor for details.

The primary reason for the trip was to experience the partial transit of the Canal. We stood outside on the observation deck in a downpour and got soaked! And enjoyed every minute of the experience - a great sight to see the mix of the old (the locks) and new technology (mules).

Given the expereince of the Canal, the stops in Colombia and Costa Rica and Princess's overall quality this cruise is highly recommended.


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

Balcony

A bit small and furniture could be better arranged, but the location, bed, cleanliness were all very good. Shower was miniscule. Our steward was great.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

The Tortuguero Canals

Long, bumpy drive to rain Forest - well led by Edrei and an enjoyable day touring the Rain Forest including a couple of staff lectures and a decent lunch. This was follwed by another long bumpy ride to a boat tour of the canals with sloth, monkey and bird sightings - all very enjoyable, but a very long day.

View All 82 The Tortuguero Canals Reviews
Veragua Rainforest

see above - one combined tour

View All 39 Veragua Rainforest Reviews
Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Again, the stop was on the tour ... if I had been more familar with Grand Cayman, I would have booked the semi-sub and skipped the other stops.

Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Too crowded and disorganized, tiny place with several buses outside. Obviously a stop to sell stuff ... no bargains here!

Semi Submarine Tour

Semi- sub was fine (a bit warm and stuffy, but not unbearable) with a good guide (can't recall her name) with some corny jokes. Views were good and the fish feeding, while staged, was fun.

View All 63 Semi Submarine Tour Reviews
Turtle Farm

Had mixed feelings about this place - still do, but the grounds were clean and the turtles generally did not seem too overcrowded. Would not visit again, but it was on the tour so we went and it was not as bad as expected.

View All 329 Turtle Farm Reviews
City Tour

Booked a tour which was really a glorified transfer to Miami Airport, but the guide was HORRIBLE - probably the worst excursion we have ever taken. Details will be on TripAdvisor.

View All 60 City Tour Reviews
Horse Carriage Tour

Old City is beautiful and this was a great way to see it without extensive walking. Our guide, Fernando Lopez, was great. Tour included a couple of stops prior to the approximate hour "bouncing" in carriage. Vendors are a bit pushy, but readily take No and move on. Almost all, anyway.

View All 46 Horse Carriage Tour Reviews

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mforkner
2 Reviews Written
2 Helpful Votes
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