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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: February 2019
On my bucket list for years and could never convince my past wife to get on a ship and the timing was right. I have read some of the reviews and cannot agree with them as they sailed at a bad time. My cruise was FANTASTIC, the Panama Canal ... Read More
On my bucket list for years and could never convince my past wife to get on a ship and the timing was right. I have read some of the reviews and cannot agree with them as they sailed at a bad time. My cruise was FANTASTIC, the Panama Canal visit was the highlight, on board service was excellent and I never had to wait to be seated. The waiters did not hover over you but watched and knew when attention was required.I was not pressured into buying more drinks than I wanted. Ten days and not a bad meal, food was top notch. The buffet on deck 14 was all anyone could hope for. Housekeeping was above and beyond, I had an ocean view cabin (605) and it was always kept neat and tidy, any time that I left for a walk or a meal, things were tidied up while I was away. There was always something on the go for entertainment and the movies under the stars helped end the evening on a high note.I am giving it some serious consideration for an Alaskan cruise and it if possible definitely be on the Island Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Unwelcoming excursions for wheelchairs and unsafe, uncomfortable handicap washroom. The excursions was unadaptable, unwelcoming for wheelchairs and all our water excursions was cancel out, without letting you see fit to make your own ... Read More
Unwelcoming excursions for wheelchairs and unsafe, uncomfortable handicap washroom. The excursions was unadaptable, unwelcoming for wheelchairs and all our water excursions was cancel out, without letting you see fit to make your own decisions. It was disappointing because we were so excited for the island princess to enjoy some water and the island feeling. We did not get to do any snorkeling or any water activities and been deprive from it because of wheelchair unfriendlyness and discrimination. However, the diamond princess excursions allow you to have freedom in choosing your excursions and you can decide if the excursions is right for you in real time or can choose to sit out if you feel uncomfortable. Whereas, Island princess excursion will just cancel you out without gaving you the freedom to choose. Handicap washroom was unergonomic, uncomfortable, unsafe because the handrails was design horizontal poking at your back. On comparison, the diamond princess to Japan with handicap washroom was design much better and the excursions was helpful than “ Island princess cruise for being wheelchair unfriendly.” Read Less
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Interesting destinations. Panama canal, Cartagena, and Limon well worth seeing. Great snorkeling on Grand Cayman. Well organized and executed tours. As usual service on board and embarkation and debarkation very good. Rooms were well ... Read More
Interesting destinations. Panama canal, Cartagena, and Limon well worth seeing. Great snorkeling on Grand Cayman. Well organized and executed tours. As usual service on board and embarkation and debarkation very good. Rooms were well appointed and clean. Ship is unique in that it offers and indoor pool and lounge area along with a sauna. There is also a top sun deck with a splash pool. Additional outdoor lounge seating can be found along lower outdoor passageways. Dining and entertainment is top notch. On board activities are well organized and presented. For those selecting Princess be aware that this cruise line is generally not suitable for children, young adults and young couples. The majority of passengers are elderly (many over 70), white and American. Although the band was excellent and played up-to -date music, most passengers do not participate in dancing. Woe betide the person who does not get up early, especially on at sea days as passengers tend to reserve deck seating despite ship policies to the contrary. This ship was my favourite in the Princess line as it is somewhat smaller and service and seating is more accessible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Outstanding value for the cuisine that is included and onboard entertainment. I would not recommend the premium restaurants as many have complained about the food quality for the extra price. Long wait times for Anytime Dining. You need to ... Read More
Outstanding value for the cuisine that is included and onboard entertainment. I would not recommend the premium restaurants as many have complained about the food quality for the extra price. Long wait times for Anytime Dining. You need to reserve your dining times to avoid. Ports of call on this itinerary are below average and the excursions are not worth the money. This cruise is clearly targeted for senior citizens. It is not recommended for ages 55 and below. Very laid back vibe. The staff on this ship are very well trained and accommodating. Countries represented are mainly from the Philippines, India and China. They have the most pleasant demeanor and disposition unlike some cruise lines that represent Eastern European cultures. Princess has an amazing reputation for providing excellent quality food and highly skilled chefs that prepare a variety of international dishes. Our new preference for cruise companies is clearly Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My Husband and I cruised the Panama Canal from Acapulco to San Juan 25 years ago for our Silver Weeding Anniversary. So when # 50 was on the Horizon, we decided to do it again, this time in the other direction. Unfortunately my Husband ... Read More
My Husband and I cruised the Panama Canal from Acapulco to San Juan 25 years ago for our Silver Weeding Anniversary. So when # 50 was on the Horizon, we decided to do it again, this time in the other direction. Unfortunately my Husband got ill and could not go, but I found a friend who could travel with me, so all was not lost. Embarkation went without a snag and we were on board in less than 15 minutes. This by far was the best embarkation I ever had on any cruise. The Ship needs some TLC. Some of the Elevator indicator lights did not work, so after pressing the elevator button you could hear a ding, but it was nearly impossible to detect which elevator was there. We had booked a dining package for the first two nights and elected Chops for night 1 and Giovanni's night 2. The Service and Food in both establishments was outstanding. Our Dining Room Waiters were quite observant and took care of our needs. The timing of the delivery of the courses could have been a bit better. We waited in excess of 15 minutes after finishing our appetizer before the main dish arrived and again for desert. The shows we watched were good. We had booked Shore excursions for every Port, the majority through Royal Caribbean. No problems until we got the Cabo San Lucas. On day one in Cabo they distributed Tender Tickets and Shore Excursions met on Board and went in a group on a Tender. On Day 2, they did not issue Tender Tickets and it seemed like all the passengers on the Ship decided to tender ashore at the same time. Our tour was to meet on the pier at 9:15, so we got in line to get ashore at 8:15. Needless to say we didn't make it ashore on time and our tour left without us. For future overnights in any Tender Port I would suggest having different Tender Lines for Excursions and other passengers. This snag could have been prevented. Or, do like on day 1 and issue Tender Tickets. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - full traverse of the Panama Canal and lots of stops in countries other cruise lines don't stop in. We have travelled with other companies, Celebrity, RCI, Cunard, P&O and now NCL. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - full traverse of the Panama Canal and lots of stops in countries other cruise lines don't stop in. We have travelled with other companies, Celebrity, RCI, Cunard, P&O and now NCL. The reason for the low score for NCL is that there were lots of little things which were not as good as other cruise companies and they added up to make a big difference. Firstly the good: The organisation of the Freedom dining is fantastic. We only had to wait (briefly) for a table on a couple of occasions - the rest of the time it worked like clockwork. This is down mainly to the ladies who work at the front desk. They do an exceptional job. The staff in the dining rooms were all fantastic. Hardworking and always cheerful. No mean feat! The chinese restaurant is included rather than the usual cover charge and we thought the food was superb. The presentation of the food in the main dining rooms was the best we have seen There were proper showers in all of the rooms (not just shower curtains) The bad: The menus in the Chinese and O'Sheehans never changes nor does it in Grand Pacific at lunch time. Not too bad if you are on a 7 day cruise but this was 19 days of the same choice. The drinks are very expensive The ship was late in to nearly every port. Sometimes just by 15-20 mins but it messed up our plans (and on two of the occassions this was when the ship was only travelling a short distance between ports) Disembarkation was a shambles with poor communication. They put on too few tenders when needed so that it took us until after 1pm to get off the ship when we had to be back on board by 4pm. We paid for an upgrade to an ocean view room and yet all we could see was a lifeboat. There was no warnings about it being a partial view. There was insufficient shade on the ship so there was always a battle to be up early enough to grab some. They have a great lounge at the front of the boat where you can sit in the shade and cool and look at the view but insisted on running bingo and other talks in there all through the day despite having other areas that would accomodate these things. They even had to draw the blinds in the room to make it dark enough to see the projector. The talks about the ports and countries we were visiting were awful. The entertainment in the bars was not to our taste and hardly varied. No gala type dinners so no lobster or other special food. Food was the worst we have had on a ship (not bad like other reviews have said - just not as good as other ships) The food in the buffet was not great and was very repetitive. All of the entertainment was geared towards Americans (even though they were in the minority on the ship). I understand that they are usually the majority so I guess it would be too much trouble to change things cruise by cruise. Guest Relations were terrible. They handled a minor complaint so badly that it ended up being a big issue. They have zero authority and a terrible attitude. One thing that isn't the ships problem but is worth mentioning is that we like to share our table with others in the evening. Clearly most people who choose NCL don't like to so it was rare that we managed to get a table with other people on it. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise (my first) based on itinerary to a partial passage of the Panama Canal and chose Princess on its reputation for good food and levels of service. The itinerary to visit Columbia, Panama and Costa Rica was good but visits ... Read More
I chose this cruise (my first) based on itinerary to a partial passage of the Panama Canal and chose Princess on its reputation for good food and levels of service. The itinerary to visit Columbia, Panama and Costa Rica was good but visits to Grand Turk and Jamaica (Ocho Rios) were a waste of time and more time at the other ports would have been better. Before I talk about Princess I must add two caviates. First that this is my first cruise and my expectations were set by Princes advertising and other reviews. Second caviate is that the previous cruise had several nori virus outbreaks and there was several measures in place to combat another outbreak. I mention this second one as the ship felt understaffed and the workload of the staff seemed to affect the attitude of the majority of serving staff. An example was that even in the buffet you could not serve yourself and the staff served you. If I was less generous I would say it was a cost cutting exercise to reduce the portions. I only mention this as there was a general air that there was cost savings being made in the quality of food and service. Along with the constant added costs or trying to find ways to charge more was disappointing but this may be all cruise lines. (Role on Virgin Voyages style charging). Overall I was disappointed with the quality of service at evening dining, who seemed rushed/under staffed. Another disappointment was the afternoon tea which started with tea being served followed by a line of people trying to get food on to you plate all at once and get you out. I chose anytime dining which was what I would choose again as it gave me the opportunity to meet a new group of people each evening. However the quickest time from starting to queue to sitting was 25 mins and the longest was 55 minutes. What was more annoying was to then see empty tables not being used. This was for a single looking to share on a large table. The evening entertainment shows were generally good and different music in each bar was good enabling you to choose what you wanted. I stayed in a mini suite and this was a very good size with a great balcony. It has very nice flat screens but no use has been made of the space where the old style TVs used to be giving a slight feel that something is missing. Overall a disappointing first cruise and may be a while before I take another one. If I do I am pretty sure I will go with another cruise line as I think Princess are making cost cuts where they can. This was also the view of other passengers who had taken many Princess cruises and said this was the worst Princess Cruise they had been on. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
our stwerd was awesome. He there when we needed something. Said hi in hall and talked with us. The Buffet was okay. Lots of food from different countries. Not my kind of food so I just picked. Breakfast was the same old thing and ... Read More
our stwerd was awesome. He there when we needed something. Said hi in hall and talked with us. The Buffet was okay. Lots of food from different countries. Not my kind of food so I just picked. Breakfast was the same old thing and the bakery was the same at breakfast. Lunch and dinner bakery was great. Main room dining was good. Photographer they know their job. They do great shots. I loved all my 129 pictures. Get the photo package be you sail. Save $50. Do all shot and have fun with them. This cruise did not have very many kids on board. You only see them at food time. The shore excursions was good. Grand tuck stay away from the town tour with lighthouse. Big disappointment. Shop around ship or do water trips. Pamama canal going thought locks was awesome. tour after to see new locks pamama city and ride old train back to ship. Have to do it. Pools and hot tub very relaxing Try out spa. Got good programs. Getting on and getting off ship was very smooth from Fort Lauderdale fl. We carry-on our luggage. Bags 24 and 28 inch and two smaller one too. Long drive from lubbock tx. Two day drive. 3600 mile around trip. Nice drive if you have time. Oh yes!! Holiday Inn express off of us 84 and I 595 just 10 minutes from ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise as I thought my husband would enjoy the Panama Canal. It was great! I was a little worried about reviews complaining about the ship. Do not believe these reviews. It was just fine. I’m sure there are ships out ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I thought my husband would enjoy the Panama Canal. It was great! I was a little worried about reviews complaining about the ship. Do not believe these reviews. It was just fine. I’m sure there are ships out there that are more glamorous but Island Princess was great. Excursions are too expensive on ship. We waited and got tours off ship except in Jamaica and saved money. Following are ones we took and highly recommend all of them. In Turks & Caicos - www.islandtrams.com, Island Trams, 42 Front Street, Grand Turks & Caicos 649-432-TRAM. In Cartagena - rouscartagena09@hotmail.com. In Costa Rica - Oregon Tours with Christian Robinson - Highly recommend you request Christian. We just got off ship and got our tours with groups that will be right there as you get off ship. We were very pleased with all the tours we had. Disembarkation was great. We walked right on ship. No waiting. I think they need more signs however in regards to where to leave luggage if you’re not carrying on board. Also signs on how to get to parking and which way to go to get on ship. We were early to board but our room was ready shortly after we boarded. Disembarkation was smooth and quick. Chose to carry our luggage off ourselves and recommend this if possible. No waiting at all. The service in the dining room was great. My husband is lactose intolerant and he just mentioned it to our waiter and the head waiter was right there talking to him. They had him fill out a menu each night for the next night so they could be sure no milk products in it. The chef made special desserts for him that were great. Our cabin was comfortable and service great. Loved our bed. We have always gotten inside cabins and very pleased with them. Gone from the cabin most of the time so we don’t need the balcony. Entertainment was excellent. Enjoyed it each night. The regulars on ship were outstanding. Great voices. One complaint would be people who put their towels on lounge chair and leaving them there all day so many people don’t get a turn. Have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise. I would never choose the Island Princess again. The hallways to the rooms were very narrow & the bathrooms & showers were very, very small. Much smaller than any other cruise ship I've ... Read More
I wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise. I would never choose the Island Princess again. The hallways to the rooms were very narrow & the bathrooms & showers were very, very small. Much smaller than any other cruise ship I've been on. The shower head in the tiny shower was fixed to the wall. All other shower heads I've ever had could be removed to spray hard to reach areas. I'll never step foot on this ship again because of the bathrooms! I had an inside room. The room had very comfortable beds & large comfy pillows. There was plenty of room to hang our clothes & large shelves to store folded clothes or other items. It had a refrigerator, a large tv, & a safe. We had My Time Dining but we changed it to early dining when I found out I had to call after 8 o'clock each morning to reserve a time for My Time & we wouldn't have the same waiters. We had good waiters & 2 lovely couples at our table. The food was just average. The cuts of meat they served were poor quality. Breakfast was good in the Horizon Buffet. The entertainment was very good for the most part. We had 1 great shore excursion & a couple of hiccups on 2 of our excursions. The shore excursion team gave us a 30% refund on 1& a 20% refund on another one. Embarkation was delayed because of sanitizing the ship due to the Norivirus. We got on & off of the ship easily because my friend had to have wheelchair assistance. Finding a place to park was very confusing! The ramp we were supposed to go up had lots of red cones & the stations were unmanned & had bars across them. We found out after circling around several times that we had to approach the bars, get a ticket from a ticket dispenser to make the bars go up, & then go up the ramp to the parking deck. We had to keep up with the ticket so we could pay for parking after the cruise. I've always paid to park before the cruise & had attendants at the stations as we entered. There were not very many shops on this ship & the photos were pricey. Read Less

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