Panama Canal-April 29 2011: Island Princess Cruise Review by rough and ready

Island Princess 5
rough and ready
Member Since 2010
2 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Panama Canal-April 29 2011

Sail Date: April 2011
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
1st of all, it was a fabulous cruise. I traveled with my husband and 8 others, and we all loved the Island Princess. The ports were great, with Puntarenas, Costa Rica being our favorite. The real thrill is going through the Canal itself. We read the book "The Path between the Seas" by David McCullough before the cruise, so going through the Canal seemed somewhat familiar. It's a long read, but very informative, and one I would encourage anyone going on this cruise to read. There was someone aboard who gave lectures on the Canal, and there was always commentary on the Stateroom TV while cruising through it.

Some of the things we enjoyed doing on the ship was meeting with our friends for a drink at the Crooners Bar on Deck 7. We fell in love with Alan, our bar steward who mixed a martini with his whole body. The other stewards tried to copy his technique, and they came close. Mickey and Franco were also very good. I enjoyed the morning Zumba class with Bernie. She was More great, and made our workout a lot of fun. I also joined the Pop Choir and had a blast rehearsing with entertainer Joe Sackenheim, a very talented and sweet guy. On the day of our performance, we all celebrated afterwards with champagne.

The only negatives we had were not having enough hand sanitizers throughout the ship. They were in the public bathrooms, and at the Horizons Court, but not at the dining rooms. I hated bringing my purse along, so I didn't have my own and felt a need to use the rest room to wash my hands before dining. The other gripe I have, is the pictures taken on the ship and at the ports. We felt like we were hounded by the paparazzi at every turn. We often ducked the photographers, because we knew we would not be buying the high priced photos. At the end of the cruise, there were thousands of pictures that were unpurchased sitting in boxes. If Princess reduced the price by half, they would make more money in the long run, since people would be more inclined to buy. At 19.95 and 24.95 a picture, you know there's an incredible mark up. The disembarkation process in San Francisco was not good. There was one delay after another, and we thought we would never get off the ship. I love that ships are arriving in departing in San Francisco, since it's close to home, but they need to make some major adjustments at the port and the instructions given on the ship. Less

Published 05/29/11

Cabin review: BDB710 Balcony

We liked our cabin very much. The shower was a bit small. I'm a small person and wondered how a large person could maneuver. We were very close to the laundromat, which I liked, since I could always easily check to see if there was an empty washer. There was no noise because of this. The room was more than adequate, and the bed was comfortable. Actually, there was a lot of closet space, but we could have used a few more hangers for a 15 day cruise.

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Port and Shore Excursions

It's a beautiful port. We did not book a tour, but when we left the ship, we saw a guy with a sign that led us to an air conditioned van, and for $20 a person, gave us a very nice two hour tour. Very colorful place and relatively clean. Vendors had their space and did not get in your face.
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It's a beautiful port. Did no tour, but had lunch with some friends from the ship. One improvement from the last time we were here, the street vendors are now behind a chain link fence, so you need to go to them if you want something.

Lets get this out first. I gave it a high rating because had the temperature and humidity not been so darn high, I would have enjoyed it more. We took a Highlights tour and it was very good and informative. Here, the vendors are in your face every way you turn, but they're just trying to make a buck. The tour guide kept putting us in diamond shops and emerald shops, and being hot and tired, we did not appreciate it, though it was mentioned in the tour description. As I stated, it's well worth visiting, but at a cooler time of year.

Actually, we rode the Panama Railway back to Colon from Puerto Amador, which was not on the list. A fabulous tour, that took us to the Gatun Locks. This was a highlight for my husband, as he got to get inside a Mule.

Loved this place. We took the Aerial Tram tour and enjoyed it very much. The botanical gardens at the tram was very beautiful, and our guide was very knowledgeable about the plants and snakes (caged). The tram itself was very relaxing, and the lunch provided was tasty. Would definitely come back for a longer visit.

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rough and ready
Member Since 2010
2 Forum Posts
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