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Island Princess Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1147 reviews
15 Awards

Classic Lovely Ship But Service Needs Upping

Review for Island Princess to the Eastern Caribbean
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10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2019
Cabin: Mini-Suite with Balcony

My husband and I tried Princess for the very first time for this unusual 4-night cruise. We did it because we’re considering it for the Panama Canal. So this was a test. Princess had one chance to impress us and, well . . . for us, their customer service did not wow.

We have been Royal Caribbean and Carnival people for 15 cruises over the past decade (mostly Royal). We also took one Disney cruise. We boarded the ship, excited and open-minded.

First, the positives: The Island Princess is lovely with its abundant rich wood trim, reminiscent of Disney ships. Also abundant is comfortable seating in the library and lounges, atrium and even walkways – more than we’ve ever seen on any ship. Great to sit and chat with friends or to read quietly – kudos. We also found the ship much quieter than our past experiences.

Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony

The following is one of those experiences you probably won’t have so skip it if you want. But I think it does speak to overall “customer service” and "problem resolution":

We noticed the first night that our cabin was unusually cold, and adjusting the thermostat did nothing to warm it up, so we reported it the next morning. My husband had caught a cold and was wanting to sleep that day so he would feel better by the next day for our one port, Amber Cove. A maintenance person came and said he needed parts and would return in the afternoon. He never did, so I visited Passenger Services. As the gentleman looked at his computer, he let it slip that “this has been reported before”, meaning a guest on a previous cruise had apparently reported it (so Princess knew of the problem before giving us that room?) He sounded very pessimistic that it would be fixed by the end of the day so around 5:30 he offered a different cabin.

He said someone would come to our cabin and then show me the new room, for my approval. That “someone” eventually arrived, but it took a long time. All in all, it was more than a three-hour process to deal with Passenger Services and get us moved. They helped with our hanging clothes and luggage but it was very annoying to have to pull everything out of drawers and cubby holes, repack and then unpack again – just for a four-night cruise! The timing was such that I barely had time to change for dinner and of course my husband did not get the rest he had hoped for that day!

I did hear an apology, but I fully expected some type of gift delivered to us the next day. Nothing. So did they resolve the problem? Yes, but it seemed like a problem that they were aware of before putting us in that room, which is unacceptable. And then the resolution process was too slow and convoluted. I kept getting calls “Did this person come to your door yet?” No. Repeat. Repeat. To be fair, they said they "upgraded" us when they moved us: well, it was a balcony which meant nothing to me because we had purposely picked a minisuite that had more square feet within the room itself INSTEAD of a balcony (for us, that was more valued).

I know that a bad cabin or inattentive waiter can just be the luck of the draw, but people do judge on their own experiences. So we are thinking through and debating whether we should choose Princess for our ten-night Panama Canal cruise or not.

Port Reviews

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata)

Just tone down the volume of DJ and music -- became annoying to many of us. Otherwise Amber Cove is well done.

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