1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Panama Canal & Central America Cruises
  4. Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

333 Panama Canal & Central America Romantic Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have multiple things to celebrate (35th anniversary, both healthy after medical scares, etc...) and decided that a two week cruise through the Panama Canal was just the ticket. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. Both ... Read More
My wife and I have multiple things to celebrate (35th anniversary, both healthy after medical scares, etc...) and decided that a two week cruise through the Panama Canal was just the ticket. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Our last 2 cruises were on RCL and the staff on those ships treated us like we were annoying if we asked for anything. On this trip on the Emerald, the staff treated us wonderfully, from the front desk to our steward, the dining room, and bar staff. We spent a lot of time at the back of the ship by Terrace Pool. The bartender and staff learned our names and called them out whenever we walked out onto the deck! We splurged more than normal on this cruise and had a mini-suite. We loved the extra room and spent quite a bit of time on the balcony. The only minor complaint would be that the couch in our room seemed quite old and uncomfortable. It should be replaced. The food was pretty good. I found it to be more of a variety than other cruises I've been on, but still got to be repeated too much on a 15 day cruise. But, we did not go hungry! We had some wonderful excursions, and the trip through the canal was awesome! The commentary offered was really great. We also met some really nice people from all over the world. All-in-all, we had a great 15 days! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great route through the Panama Canal, very friendly staff and good service. On and off boarding went hours, even in the haven class. Beware of medical center. Good treatment, my wife was treated for a cold. 15 minutes consultation ... Read More
Great route through the Panama Canal, very friendly staff and good service. On and off boarding went hours, even in the haven class. Beware of medical center. Good treatment, my wife was treated for a cold. 15 minutes consultation and 3 medicines cost $1000, one medication costing 50$ in the US was sold for $200 on board. we weren‘t informed about charge until on our bill, then nothing could be changed and nobody was able to look in to this. Ship had many people ill and had to take additional precaution against viruses, ship seems to be too big to handle flow of people and contamination under passengers and crew. Crew is well trained and does its outmost to give a good experience. Food was very good, especially in the speciality restaurants that cost extra. All department laid a big effort on up selling and cross selling, it is all about additional revenues Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting ... Read More
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting thing for that day is going to a lecture about arthritis, something is wrong with that cruise line! I would not recommend Princess for our age group. We were so ready to get off this cruise and get home to our kids. The ship is showing her age, the staff is just there... nothing outstanding, and the choices for entertainment were not well thought out. There were not enough seats for the activities that were worth going to and you literally had to get there an hour before it started to even get a seat. We don't go for the food, but it was decent. The ship is clean, the staff is there to do their job - and that was about it, and the food was edible. Nothing fancy and not worth the money that we paid. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great Panama Canal experience! The Caribbean Princess is an older ship with great upgrades and a fantastic crew! The Cruise Director was unbelievable and was a huge asset to the fun on the cruise. The waitstaff in the dining rooms were ... Read More
Great Panama Canal experience! The Caribbean Princess is an older ship with great upgrades and a fantastic crew! The Cruise Director was unbelievable and was a huge asset to the fun on the cruise. The waitstaff in the dining rooms were great and worked together to make your ding experience a great one! The ships decor was terrific and the flow of the activity decks seemed you were on a much smaller ship. I loved the International Cafe for there fresh Lattes and service. A great friendly smile to start your day. The Guest Services Desk was always full of employees to help with you issues, not like other cruise lines that have a skeleton crew (NCL) to service your needs.Overall, the Princess cruise line is trying and staying way in front of their competition with there Medallian program which is helping non techy's like me to feel GOOD! I hope they continue to be way in front and accommodating! Thanks Princess Cruise Line! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have never been on a cruise before and I came in with little to no expectations and a positive attitude. At first I was overwhelmed with amount of action going on and the small rooms, food etc. But after the initial first day, which was ... Read More
I have never been on a cruise before and I came in with little to no expectations and a positive attitude. At first I was overwhelmed with amount of action going on and the small rooms, food etc. But after the initial first day, which was stressful because of flying and nothing with the Princess cruise line, everything worked out. Sure, we did not go on one of our port stops due to weather, but safety was the priorty and I understood that. Also, the staff was INCREDIBLE!! Everyone was so personal, kind and nice! Spoiled me rotten from such great service. Entertainment was great and the whole time I was enjoying, having a blast and was always satisfied with everything. And if at any point I had any issues, they were quickly resolved. The game shows and entertainment was too notch, they have things for kids, teens and in betweens. And obviously adults and older adults as well. We watched a movie outside and ate ice cream, I mean what could be better? So all in all, the best vacation of my life. I would totally reccomend. For a lot of people who complain on these forums, these people are natural complainers so I would take it with a grain of salt. I had an awesome time and would 100000 percent reccommend. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
After cruising Alaska on Princess Cruise with friends many years ago, we (myself&Hubby)decide to take another opportunity and cruise again in December 2019 over the new year to cross the Panama Canal and start the new year and decade ... Read More
After cruising Alaska on Princess Cruise with friends many years ago, we (myself&Hubby)decide to take another opportunity and cruise again in December 2019 over the new year to cross the Panama Canal and start the new year and decade celebrating life onboard Island Princess. And glad am I, we did!!! Our experience was a 5star journey from the beginning ‘til the end. I will start with the embarkation in FortLauderdale where everything was well organized and we didn’t have to wait a minute(even if the cruise was fully booked).A tip to my fellow travelers:if you can, get to the port early to avoid crowds and long lines.We felt like VIP’s since we board the ship in less than 5minutes.Once we got to our room, everything is history because 10days have been filled with happy moments and great memories we will remember and share for a lifetime. For new year eve, all guests were spoiled with fine dining experience and later on the captain come down to greet and wish everyone onboard a Happy new year! and the champagne was flowing like a river.The party moved from inside to the deck outside where we did the countdown into the new decade together.Happy new year!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The service in the dining room was excellent with good menu choices. Try the Curtis Stone pork belly, it’s wonderful! The food and service in the buffet were very sub par. The food was not up tp Princess’s usual standards and the ... Read More
The service in the dining room was excellent with good menu choices. Try the Curtis Stone pork belly, it’s wonderful! The food and service in the buffet were very sub par. The food was not up tp Princess’s usual standards and the service was extremely lacking. Most meals we had to get our own beverages. Very disappointing. The entertainment was very good. There were two dance bands, a Latin based band BA Quartet and a Jamaican band Project 5. Both were very talented but Project 5 tended to talk way too much especially with black patrons. It really just used up time others could have been dancing. The guest Entertainers were very good, especially comedian Bengt Washburn and singer Claude-Eric. This was our second time on the Caribbean Princess and will probably not cruise on it again. We prefer the Regal Princess but will try the Royal, Sky, or Majestic. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Pros: *Excellent service *Lots of fantastic entertainment *Deep swimming pools with chairs kept back. *Real professionally made pizza. *Lido often had quality 5 star food and a good selection. *MDR service and staff was ... Read More
Pros: *Excellent service *Lots of fantastic entertainment *Deep swimming pools with chairs kept back. *Real professionally made pizza. *Lido often had quality 5 star food and a good selection. *MDR service and staff was impeccable. Food was creative and served hot. Cons: *The ships layout is confusing. Even the staff got turned around. *Food in the MDR usually lacked quality cuts of meat. *'Unhappy Hour' still persists. No two for one drinks plus a dollar. *Good tables for two should be standard. The MDR's are poor and 'too crowded'. *Coffee is tepid, insipid coloured water! Who would serve that in Central America? *There are 4 pools. Only a smaller spa one is designated just for adults? *Shore excursion to the Masaya Volcano is a mistake; don't go. Closing Comments: Formal night is something to behold. There were people showing up wearing sweat pants and other apparel equally repulsive. It's amazing someone who wanted to experience fine dinning with table cloths, cutlery and service etc., would be that disrespectful. Putting the staff in a position to ask them to leave is awkward although, walking the plank should be justifiable. Special thanks to Pianist, Kory Simon. This artist is better than any super star. Special thanks to the Violinists; fabulous performances. Special thanks to Head Waiter, Valentine N. and the Professional MDR Staff. I've submitted this post in conjunction with listening to other experienced cruisers on the voyage who informed me that elegance is slipping on too many cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had good experiences with Princes before, not this time. What can I say, fire alarm in the cabin going off every time we took a shower, the phone ringing 20 times afterwards telling us, then people at our door. We finally got moved ... Read More
We had good experiences with Princes before, not this time. What can I say, fire alarm in the cabin going off every time we took a shower, the phone ringing 20 times afterwards telling us, then people at our door. We finally got moved after 5 days of this, but it took the fun out of our cruise already. The food was mediocre at best, but it seems all cruise lines are just not getting it food wise anymore. We really didn't't get very good info on some of our excursions and one got part of it cancelled, the best part and only a 50% refund The shows were really good, the best part of the cruise Dancing was non existent. One needs to really check out what you are buying excursion wise before you pay, some are really worthless, Hop on Hop off in Cartengena - don't do it, another took us up a dirty, smelly river for an hour. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We joined this cruise with friends that had already booked. A surprising 1st time adventure in a cruise ship. We were concerned about sea-sickness, turned out to be not an issue at all. The cruise was 11 days and it was hardly enough ... Read More
We joined this cruise with friends that had already booked. A surprising 1st time adventure in a cruise ship. We were concerned about sea-sickness, turned out to be not an issue at all. The cruise was 11 days and it was hardly enough time to experience all that the ship has to offer. Getting on and off the ship was sometimes a challenging experience, I think there must be something they could do to expedite the process. The food was excellent. We ate in ALL the restaurants. I would recommend the inclusive drink package - makes things so much easier. The NCL casual dress policy is a real incentive for us, who wants to put a jacket and tie on vacation every day? I would recommend NCL to everyone. We found the initial booking a negative experience, rushed by the NCL agent, felt pressured to complete "Right now", without clear details. Followup calls to the agent had to be placed multiple times and had no additional info. Their goal is clear: " Make The Sale! " I would not book directly with NCL again. Rather use a travel agent I think. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
16 day Panama Canal Cruise from Florida to Calif. Iincredibly beautiful ship, and our 1st experience w/ Haven. Embark/Disembark was a DISASTER w/ no communication re WHY we were standing 1.5 hrs. IN the Haven 'room'. Thousands ... Read More
16 day Panama Canal Cruise from Florida to Calif. Iincredibly beautiful ship, and our 1st experience w/ Haven. Embark/Disembark was a DISASTER w/ no communication re WHY we were standing 1.5 hrs. IN the Haven 'room'. Thousands of prior passengers clogging up entry curb area trying to get OFF the ship. Apparently NCL's Luggage and Passport scanners were broken, no updates given. Very confused port staff in Long Beach telling us contradictory directions. Paramedics took 2 passengers away that we saw standing in line foe almost 2 HOURS to get off. Only 2 (yes TWO) Customs officicals clearing US citizens, 4 for International, with empty desks next to them. Yes, Noroviurs was on the ship the last 4-5 days, NCL shared this w/ us, gave us phone #'s to call if exhibiting any symtoms, and they immediatly cleaned EVERYthing...pillows, ketchup bottles, all buffet lines became longer e/t staff (wearing gloves) had to HAND plates, napkins, and serve each dish. Kudos to NCL, they really tried, but it's a nasty bug ('m an RN), and they didn't share how MANY passengers had it, but we saw the Fire Trucks/Medics and TV Stations at the Long Beach Port, so it must have been bad. Our room in Haven on 17th floor w/ LARGE balcony (room for 2 chase lounges, plush blue pads, 2 brown wicker chairs & small table w/ room to spare. DIVINE! We were under the Haven Rest. so quiet 90% of the time, and kind of loud footsteps and furniture moving from 6 am ish-8 am? Great food there except the menu is the SAME every meal except for 1 'special'-(Beef Strogonoff was awesome!) Room Steward "Tito" was stellar, and courteous as is ALL staff. They dress very professionally, are ALWAYS kind, yet I didn't feel the Butler was really needed...he simply brought canapes each afternoon (too many, we finally said stop:), and did bring breakfast (w/ white table cloth) into our room which was great. Garden Buffet was wonderful; espec. Asian food, Pasta & Noodle 'Bar's, Indian food, and 8 different flavors of ice cream. It's hard to find a place to sit tho... The Navigation crew did GREAT...always great sailing, arriving in ports early or on time, updates on weather, and stellar job thru the Panama Canal. UNfortunatly the 'Narrator' spoke VERY little during our 8-9 hr. travels thru the enitre canal, and his accent made it hard to understand. What happened to the older gentleman who gave our 45 min. info. class in the Theatre the day prior? He said he's sailed 33 times, yet the next day HE didn't give the info. while going thru, but a Spanish gentleman who spoke RARELY. NCL did give us a very helpful guide (shiny, fold-up to put in pocket), but we had lots of ??'s. WE've never seen so many elderly folks (it is an expen$ive cruise tho),w/ walkers, canes, wheelchairs and scooters everywhere. NCL should have seperate lines as these special folks clogged up lines at EVERY port necessitating a crew member to help w/ their assistive device, and them trying to go up/down steep ramps/ladders. The rest of us w a i t t e d ...A LOT. We've crusied A lot w/ other lines, and hope NCL can work w/ the ports (espec. embark/disembark) as the ship/trip were wonderful; yet bookended w/ VERY poor communication/lines/delays. (We know several missed their flights.) We'll try NCL in the future and wish them the best as they did have a tough run w/ the Noro virus. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
ports of call were very a good variety and accommodating - food service was great and well presented. Rusty was a great server in the Explorers Lounge for daily beverages. there should always be transportation from ship to shore ... Read More
ports of call were very a good variety and accommodating - food service was great and well presented. Rusty was a great server in the Explorers Lounge for daily beverages. there should always be transportation from ship to shore installations for handicapped and elderly embarkation and disembarkation was very efficient and smooth. the anytime dinning was easily adjustable and worked well. the casino is very dated and very poor in winning, we only spent about one third our usual casino time on the ship as we say in our gaming circle the casino was very very tight and not worth playing or paying. other activies were well and readily available - my major concern is that there were no church services offered on this cruise we have taken 44 cruises and this is a 1st for us LGBT seeemed to prevail for services, and the bererage package was outrageous in price you should offer a 10 drink daily limit for $800.00 a cabin not $1415.00 Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge ... Read More
From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge account. Mini Suite Room Design and Cleaning: we paid pricey for this MA class room 9 months before cruising, the design of room layout is not easy to move around and storage space is not enough. The shelf was broken and missing, the staff said, they can NOT repair it. entertainment: every show we went, we watched a lot guests left in the middle of program. most of the E-staff talk English in all kind of strange accent. food and restaurants: food is terrible in quality for freshness and the ways of prepared. The India Chief Chef maybe cook the way we are not used to it. Future Cruise: Again, bad English and worse Debarkation: at the Manhattan Term. all guests have to stand in line outside for 2 hours to get off the ship, this break the record not only for NCL, but for all the Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this cruise for the experience of sailing through the Panama Canal. We actually had 2 days in the Canal with the first day experiencing going through the locks and the second day a nature sightseeing excursion that gave us the ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the experience of sailing through the Panama Canal. We actually had 2 days in the Canal with the first day experiencing going through the locks and the second day a nature sightseeing excursion that gave us the chance to see the canal on the water while also finding several varieties of monkeys, birds and a croc. Having white faced monkeys in the wild taking banana pieces from our hand while in the boat was a can't miss activity. Also seeing container ships at water level in the canal was amazing. This cruise also gave us a chance to explore San Francisco for 3 days at the end of the cruise which was very well time spent. The Coral Princess is an older ship which needs some TLC. It also has an older passenger list with an average age above 60. Our balcony cabin was very small and the shower was so small it was a challenge to use. We only got warm water from the faucet in the cabin and the sink did not drain well. Entertainment was a disappointment and did not happen often. Food was marginal at best with a limited selection in the main dining room. Service overall was good but 3 of the 5 ports were tender ports which created an extra layer of difficulty in leaving the ship especially if you did not have a ships excursion. We did take some good excursions, but a Cartagena city tour billed as "easy" was not with extensive walking through uneven city streets on a hot and humid afternoon. This was our first Princess cruise and honestly we were disappointed in the accommodations, food and entertainment. We were very surprised when the Casino did not have a bar as my wife likes to play slots and I will usually sit at the bar, have a drink and watch sports. This did not happen on this cruise. We are avid cruisers this being or 3rd cruise this year. There are too many cruise options and destinations to have only an average shipboard experience like this with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal, but didn't want to go through the ENTIRE lock system. We've been through 68 locks in Europe on our Viking Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise in June of 2016. That was our BEST ... Read More
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal, but didn't want to go through the ENTIRE lock system. We've been through 68 locks in Europe on our Viking Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise in June of 2016. That was our BEST VACATION EVER also! This cruise was for our 54th Anniversary and my wife's 74th Birthday and we wanted to just relax and enjoy life. As usual all of the excursions were OVERPRICED and the photographs are in that SAME opinion. Not sure why they charge so much as so so many of the pictures are never bought! Seems like such a wast of money!~ Also WISH the drink prices would be a little lower in price and this applies to ALL Cruise lines too and not just Princess! I REALLY CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY they have to charge so much for a drink! We have cruised on many different Cruise lines and this applies to ALL of them too! If you have any walking difficulties, as I walk with a cane because of my bad back, I would suggest a cabin MUSH closer than where we were at in the extreme AFT of the ship as the buffet is in the EXTREME FRONT of the ship! Getting there without getting WIND BLOWN or Wet was a challenge at first. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our 13th with NCL and the very best to date. The reasons are by catagory... PRICE: NCL still gives IMO the best value all drinks included, speciality restaurants, Internet and room credits at an average of $150 per day is great value. ... Read More
Our 13th with NCL and the very best to date. The reasons are by catagory... PRICE: NCL still gives IMO the best value all drinks included, speciality restaurants, Internet and room credits at an average of $150 per day is great value. ITINERY: The ports of call were all to places we had not visited, didn't like all of them but thats life. Really impressed with Costa Maya, the port was obviously man made for the cruise industry but great quality outlets,bars and entertainement. Cartagena had by far the best port I have been too, a small animal enclosure with varid birds, Iguanas, monkeys etc plus shops, restaurant and tour options. SHIP: One word...(no not Awsome)...just WOW..loved the layout, loved the ease of location on decs 6,7 & 8. Loved the quality of furnishings and decoration, loved the service from every bar tender (especially Waves and the A List bar) and waiters in all restaurants. Happy, chatting to everyone and worked so very hard to make sure everything was as good as it could be. Loved our MS stateroom 10208, very well looked after by our cabin steward and the location was perfect. Loved the onboard entertainement with the exception of the Cavern Club, a club with no room to dance and the worst Beatles tribute I have ever seen. Footloose was great as was the live bands. One special mention to who ever organized the daily music played by the pool, it was a superb mix of old and new and not one day passed when we didn"t enjoy laying on dec listening to the great tunes. Loved the outstanding speciality restaurants.. Cagney's as always was great, Le Bistro was our favorite a quality of food and service rarely equalled. Food republic was a great choice also as was Q the Texas bbq. Also really enjoyed the buffet. The Indian section was great and always found seating very easily, not something that can be said on other ships. FELLOW PASSENGERS: I personally think that Cruise Critic should be called Cruise Passenger Critic. My only complaint on this and many other cruises is the way people behave. Rude, ignorant and totally lacking in public behaviour. When will people realize that the nicer you are when speaking to bar staff or waiters, the better they will treat you. Sorry to say but American customers were the worst. Please cost nothing, I never heard people ask for a drink with the word please at the end of it. The behaviour at embarcation was appalling, people pushing to be onboard 1st was pathetic. Peoples behaviour at the buffet was shamefull. Obscene greed and waste levels that were outrageous. Even in elevators, no consideration for other people just pushing and shouting move or I need to get out, shame on you. OVERALL: A great cruise and can't wait to sail on Joy again. Unfortunately I probably would think twice about sailing on the older, smaller ships as the level of quality is higher on the newer ships IE food and entertainement. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have cruised many times and this time on NCL to Panama Canal was absolutely fantastic. The ship is immaculate, the staff (from management to bartenders to cabin attendants to restaurant staff...EVERYONE.)..were kind and willing to ... Read More
We have cruised many times and this time on NCL to Panama Canal was absolutely fantastic. The ship is immaculate, the staff (from management to bartenders to cabin attendants to restaurant staff...EVERYONE.)..were kind and willing to assist when help was needed. We had zero complaints the entire two weeks onboard. There are plenty of restaurant options that are included in the price so you don’t tire of the food choices. The a la carte restaurants are reasonably priced if you choose to try one of them. The entertainment was very enjoyable every nights. The excursions were all excellent and the boarding/I boarding at each port was basically flawless. If we were detained for a bit past posted times to embark or disembark, it wasn’t at the fault of NCL. The ports just weren’t ready to give clearance. There were plenty of pool chairs but you should plan on claiming your choice seats early on at sea days bc everyone will want one for the day. Thank you for a wonderful vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 27th anniversary and my wife wanted to see the Panama Canal. One of the ports took us to Cartagena and it was a beautiful experience. This was our first trip to Columbia and to South America. We also ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 27th anniversary and my wife wanted to see the Panama Canal. One of the ports took us to Cartagena and it was a beautiful experience. This was our first trip to Columbia and to South America. We also got a round trip ticket to the place called Hell in the Cayman Islands. LOL. No one-way ticket there for me. This was our 9th cruise and I can tell you that the embarkation (and our luggage getting to our room) was the fastest and smoothest we've ever experienced. Great job Princess. The cabin was in great shape and our steward, Arthur, was impeccable in his duties. He always had a smile on his face. Our dining room staff was awesome, as well. Arvi and Roland (if you're lucky enough to get them as your servers), were very attentive and pleasant. Again, the best we've ever experienced on a cruise ship. Finally, I was a finalist in and wound up winning the Voice of the Ocean singing competition and the mentors (David and Jennifer) were incredible. It was an awesome experience singing with a live orchestra too. If you try this, go for Lola's team!! She was the "best judge." LOL. We love sailing with Princess and can't for the chance to go again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went to witness the Panama Canal again for the second time to see more of it and understand the sacrifices that it took to build the canal. The Island Princess is smaller and was able to travel through the older canal locks, On our ... Read More
We went to witness the Panama Canal again for the second time to see more of it and understand the sacrifices that it took to build the canal. The Island Princess is smaller and was able to travel through the older canal locks, On our previous Princess cruise to the Panama canal our ship was larger and we got to travel through the newer locks. It was exciting both times. The Island Princess ship was very nice but needs a few new updates. It is showing a little wear in a few places on the ship. The ship's entertainment was very good and Benny the cruise director was very entertaining. The selections of food were also very good and there were always new foods to try. If you like a rich Cajun flavor in your dining experiance the Bayou Cafe is the place to try. Service was excellent and there was plenty to eat. The only disappointment was during a walking tour in Cartagena, Columbia. Street vendors were constantly in your face even after you would tell them no thank you, and made me feel uncomfortable Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Celebrating my husbands retirement. Got a great deal through a travel company. Because we got such a great deal it’s easy to focus on the positives for sure. We definitely got off to a rough start though. NCL shuttle from LAX was a ... Read More
Celebrating my husbands retirement. Got a great deal through a travel company. Because we got such a great deal it’s easy to focus on the positives for sure. We definitely got off to a rough start though. NCL shuttle from LAX was a nightmare & I felt horrible seeing elderly suffer standing in the heat for so long with enormous herds of people with poor leadership NCL staff. Since the ship is So large this = thousands of people to care for & get on & off ship. NCL fails in customer care & organization in this. Our cabin was filthy when we finally got to it. I felt dirty just being in the room. Management came straight away & gave our cabin steward a ear full & we had to leave for the cabin to be cleaned. I was sprayed 2x’s with dirty cleaning water from above deck while sitting on our balcony. Food quality in main dining rooms poorest quality & variety I’ve ever experienced. NCL keeps the quality food for the specialty restaurants for sure. Was stressful trying to get bookings for shows & specialty restaurants. I feel as though they shouldn’t sell dining packages if getting a table for 2 is nearly impossible. Book these as early as possible prior to cruise for sure! I pre booked shows from NCL AP & The didn’t have record of my reservations at the entry doors so I had to show my printable copy I brought with. On vacation there should not be so much hassle & stress. I prefer smaller ships for sure after this experience, Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
After being on the Regal and the Royal, this was a much smaller ship. It is also a much older ship and is in relatively good shape. We had a mini suite on Caribe and it was a great location and everything in the mini suite was fine. ... Read More
After being on the Regal and the Royal, this was a much smaller ship. It is also a much older ship and is in relatively good shape. We had a mini suite on Caribe and it was a great location and everything in the mini suite was fine. I did miss the International cafe but we did adjust to just having the coffee bar. Breakfast buffet was fine, but the lunch buffet has no imagination. I love a salad at lunch, but the same boring items were offered every day. No glaucamole, no diced eggs, no chicken, but lots,of pork done any way you can imagine. If you eat pork, you are fine for a meat selection but for those of us who like a little chicken on a salad, we were out of luck. They need someone to redo the entire salad bar and make it interesting, not the same dull and not many items to choose from. How about a taco bar once in a while. Dinner in the Provence dining room was very good. Lots of items to choose from and it was always different. My only complaint was the coldness in this dining room. People complained every night and nothing was ever done about the temperature. Take a coat with you as most,of us wore one at dinner. Sad, when you can’t enjoy a meal without your coat on. This really needs to be addressed. The indoor pool was a nice option on the rainy day we had at sea. You have your usual chair hogs at the main pool, but the deck attendant was very good checking chairs and removing items if left for an hour. Limon was a horrible place to walk around. Trash and graffiti everywhere. We will stay on the ship next,time. Amber Cove was fine and we enjoyed our day there. Falmouth, Jamaica has an enclosed area that was wonderful to walk around in. In Cartagena, Columbia the vendors totally ruined the day. They were in your face and way too aggressive. That is another port we will avoid and we were on a tour, which made it worse. The Panama Canal was amazing and so glad we stayed on ship to go through the locks. Such history and it was fun to see all the ships,going the other way. All in all a good,cruise but do,wish they would go to some other,ports that are more pleasant to visit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Panama Canal was on our "Bucket List". Aftrr a lot of health challenges, we knew we wanted to do this. We liked the smaller size of the Island Princess. Fewer passengers, not so busy and crowded. We had a balcony cabin ... Read More
The Panama Canal was on our "Bucket List". Aftrr a lot of health challenges, we knew we wanted to do this. We liked the smaller size of the Island Princess. Fewer passengers, not so busy and crowded. We had a balcony cabin starboard and midships. It was more spacious than we anticipated with lots of storage space and a generous balcony. The cabin steward, Zaldy, was a Godsend.He handled all our special requests, including extra pillows to help make hubby more comfortable. He even found a lost hearing aid after we had searched diligently and couldn't find it. We selected early dining, but I don't think we would do that again. Oir table mates were delightful and we enjoyed getting to know them. Restaurant staff (Bernie and Roy) were great. However, there were entertainments that we missed because we were at dinner. Next time we will chose anytime dining so we can enjoy the piano guy or get to the Princess Theater earlier for seating. We also liked the food choices at the buffet as much as we did the dining room menu but felt locked into the dining schedule we had picked. Not Princess' fault, just didnt want to leave our seats at the table empty when we were expected. Amenities on board were amazing. With 3 pools, we rarely lacked for z deck chair when we wanted one, the pools were used but not crowded. Of course, kids were in school so most passengers were adult, we saw very few kids. We particularly liked the big screen movies (3 Cirque shows, Greatest Showman, Dumbo, Spiderman and a couple of others). Entertainment was excellent--awesome comedian, great stage performances, intimate crooners and instrumentalists in the bars and pubs. We.didnt have enough time to see them all, but really enjoyed what we did. Shore excursions were ... disappointing. Our favorite by far was the train/canal/bus tour in Limon. Our guide,Ivan, was remarkable--by far the best guide we've ever had anywhere. Puerto Plata was a lot of bus time without time to really explore any sites. We got off to see a church (be careful: our guides 'helpers' will grab your camera, take a few shots and expect tips when they hand your camera back). Shopping was limited to one store and I'm guessing the guide gets a 'gratuity' for bringing the bus there. Jamaica was also a lot of bus time. We took the Konoko Falls tour, but the tour itself was very rushed, no time to wander the grounds at leisure. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Panama Canal always piqued our interest. My husband and I were definitely in need of a vacation and were on the Princess website one day. This cruise 'jumped out' at us and so we booked it that day, without much thought. We had ... Read More
Panama Canal always piqued our interest. My husband and I were definitely in need of a vacation and were on the Princess website one day. This cruise 'jumped out' at us and so we booked it that day, without much thought. We had planned to go alone as we were trying to catch up on celebrating our 25th anniversary from last year [we had to cancel our vacation in 2018 because we live in Leilani Estates where the lava erupted in May]. We flew the night before disembarkation from Hawaii Island to board the ship. Airport transfer from LAX was a little glitchy as the Princess folks did not put us on the airport transfer check-list for some reason after we checked in with them, so we had a bit of a wait. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. They are definitely very well-organized on handling these two events. We did not spend any time in our departure city, really had no desire to explore LA. We had cruised to Alaska with Princess in 2017 on the Coral Princess so we were familiar with the ship layout already as the Island Princess is basically the same ship. The cabin was small, but cozy and very neat and tidy. We knew what to expect so no surprises here. We utilized Anytime dining so that we were not locked in to any sort of schedule every day. We ate most of our meals in the Horizon Court, due to the availability of choices to eat different foods each day. Breakfast, however, felt very monotonous as it was the same offerings every single day. We had a few meals in the Bordeaux dining room, all of which were great dining experiences. We took advantage of both specialty dining restaurants [The Bayou Steakhouse and Sabatini's] and neither one disappointed. We took advantage of the variety shows most every night. Some were better than others, but all were entertaining in their own way. The production show on the final evening was amazing. The game shows held in the Explorer's Lounge were definitely entertaining. We spent a lot of time on the Lido deck at the pool. Some of the movies they played were too loud and hard to comprehend because they sounded distorted. There was one day when the speakers malfunctioned and it was static as loud as you could imagine that literally cleared out the pool area. It was painful to your ears even if you put your hands over your ears. I'm not sure how long it took them to correct it, but we left after 5-10 minutes. The Voice of the Ocean talent was really lacking and the karaoke was pretty bad. The service staff on the ship were amazing. Our room steward was so very attentive and the bar / wait staff are extremely good at what they do and were all very friendly. We visited 5 ports while on this cruise and went on 4 excursions. We were unable to port at one of the tender stops due to inclement weather, but did not have any excursions booked anyhow. The Copalita Archaeological excursion in Huatulco, Mexico was very interesting and the grounds were well-kept and very beautiful. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. We visited the animal rescue 'sloth sanctuary' while in Puntarenas, Costa Rica and this was amazing. They are doing good work here. While in Panama we went on an excursion to the new locks, which was interesting as well. The time spent was a little short, but our guide was very knowledgeable and the bus ride to and from was interesting and filled with facts. The wait to get back onto the tender at this port was RIDICULOUS. We literally stood in line for well over an hour in the blistering heat. It was not pleasant. Transiting the Canal was AMAZING! To watch the process is enlightening and to think about the work that went in to making that possible is incredible. While in Cartagena, Colombia, our last port stop, we chose to simply do the 'Hop on, Hop off' bus tour of the city. We chose to get off at the Walled City and do the walking / audio tour. The street vendors were absolutely relentless. They made it very difficult to actually enjoy the tour. They were literally in your face the entire time trying to get you to buy whatever it is they were selling. I would not recommend this tour to anyone. The website does provide a warning about this excursion city / port, but the warning needs to be a little stronger. The only other true disappointment was that this ship evidently was experiencing some sort of sewage venting issue as there were certain areas of the ship that literally smelled of raw sewage every time you passed those areas. It was not pleasant. If given the chance I would most definitely make the Panama Canal Transit a future cruise on my list! I would choose different port of call, so that I could see more areas, but it was definitely an incredible experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We truly enjoyed our cruise. That being said, Island Princess is OLD and tired. We do enjoy the smaller ships, but in the future because how Princess manages these smaller ships and offers lesser quality food, music, activities and we ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our cruise. That being said, Island Princess is OLD and tired. We do enjoy the smaller ships, but in the future because how Princess manages these smaller ships and offers lesser quality food, music, activities and we feel lower quality staff, we will not be returning to the Island. My primary observations: No electrical by bed. Had to request extension cord and run across cabin. Trip hazard. Daily activity flyer, print too small. Cruise director & staff superficially friendly. If asked for a more in depth answer, they get surly. Beds are very nice. Towels are the quality of a cheap hotel. Toilet paper and facial tissues are bargain basement quality. Why did the balcony rail and deck need to be stained and sealed during my passage? Received notice after several days into cruise that our balcony would not be accessible during the canal crossing. Why did we pay the premium for a balcony or when booking New Princess Net is pretty good. But, expect to have spotty service during rain and/or fog. In cabin TV. The presentation of the channels and guide is very hard to figure out and know what is on and how to select. Bridge cam is out of focus and has been since we've been monitoring in preparation for our cruise. 3 months. Horizon buffet. Restaurant management not engaging with customers. At every meal on the horizon, 50% of tables had no salt shakers. Weird. Maritime crew not friendly. Large wall posters advertising light snacks at the Patisserie and coffee bar. Yet, no food available at the patisserie coffee bar. Apparently, a coffee bar has been added to the casino where the food has been moved to with no mention to the passengers. Just sweet buns. Front desk/passenger customer service – these ladies are life savers answering questions and solving problems that better management would have prevented from ever happening. Eve & Belen helped me many times and had a delightful attitude. Cruise director & staff – bubbly, but if asked for some help, or to resolve an issue, not so interested. When met outside of an activity, quite distant and unfriendly. Morning coffee and afternoon wine at La Patisserie – Fabian and Ana will always be remembered. Ship's climate control - The ship appears to be 5 separate compartments, connected into 1 master vessel. The temperature and humidity can vary quite noticeably between these sections of the ship. There are no clocks in the rooms. Things Princess does not mention, but passengers should know. The shops, casino, spa, etc. are not Princess operated. They are leased operations. Besides being considerably more expensive than similar State-side businesses, if you have any issues with products needing warranty service, you must go to the vendor, not Princess. $5 for a tube of Pringles? Insulting. Gambling. There is no gaming commission overseeing operations as you find on land casinos. Payouts for slot machines and table games are at the discretion of the casino and yes, not as favorable as popular casinos such as Las Vegas. Some have noticed that the slot payouts are favorable on day 1 or 2 on the cruise to excite the passengers and then lowered for the remainder of the cruise. ADA - The doors to many places on the Island Princess ship, unlike the newer Princess ships I've been on are not only not auto-open, and are very hard to open, even for non-wheelchair use passengers. One of the greatest benefits of Princess vs. other Lines are the self-service laundries. Unfortunately, there is a 3" transition into them so this service is totally inaccessible to a wheelchair. Food - I do not know if it is the age of the ship, the itinerary, the Chef or what, but as compared to the Regal & Emerald, the menu is far less exciting, the meat quality is lesser and the wait time for food delivery diminishes the dining experience. Wine – we expect to pay 2x retail as in most restaurants. 4 times retail is insulting. Princess tries to convince us that they are concerned about the environment by suggesting we should use our bath towels for many days, yet the amount of single use beverage containers and paper products at buffet wash stations is far more wasteful. Does Princess ever mention the $40 million dollar fine for Illegal Ocean dumping and 9 probation violations? Future Cruise Dept. - I do not understand the benefit to the passenger for this onboard department. I was interested in an Alaska cruise for 2021. Princess had not published the itineraries yet or which ships will be in use. The staff person could not or would not put me an email list to let me know when they were known. Her suggestion was to check with a travel agent. Pretty sad. We have found that the daily activities on the Island are sparse during the day as compared to our other Princess cruises. Activities such as trivia and marriage match game are not scheduled until later in the day. The live music in the various lounges and Plaza are noticeably poorer quality than previous cruises on other Princess ships. Shows - The band is pretty good. Princess advertises 'Las Vegas" style shows. Makes me think that they have never seen Vegas or NYC shows. They are nice, but more like high school talent show quality. There is nothing wrong with them, but be more honest as to the offerings. The musicians in different lounges and plaza were not the quality I’ve come to expect from Princess. Our other Princess ships had a dedicated pizza restaurant. Very nicely prepared. Santorini's offers pizza a few times per cruise. No better than the pizza on the pool deck and no servers with a 'tude' to deal with. The Ocean App. Why can't the lunch and dinner menus be post there? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We decided on the Carnival Fantasy because of the Panama Canal Transit. We had never wanted to cruise Carnival because of the reputation of "Party Ship" but the cost was great and the timing was perfect so we took a chance on ... Read More
We decided on the Carnival Fantasy because of the Panama Canal Transit. We had never wanted to cruise Carnival because of the reputation of "Party Ship" but the cost was great and the timing was perfect so we took a chance on the September 16th, 11 day cruise out of Mobile, AL. This ship was so far above my and my husbands expectations. It had just received very bad news coverage from a disgruntled inspector (after we purchased the cruise), and we were already risking the party atmosphere. We were so shocked to find not one of the things we had read or heard about the ship to be true. The staff was amazing and went above and beyond to know who we were and how to make each moment more enjoyable. This was a Journey cruise (over 10 days) so we were with this staff longer than most. We found relationships built that were genuine and positive. The captain was great at keeping us in touch and informed which made it a positive interaction as we sailed. The meet and greet with the staff was elegant and professional – as well as very entertaining with the professional ballroom dancers and Shipmonk’s performing the perfect mood setting music. Drinks were flowing and appetizers and staff met with the elegant ambiance they had set for the evening. The dinning staff was attentive to our every need - greeting us by name and having the things we enjoyed on the ready. Seon, Lady Ann, Pratama, Kataporn and Ola (short version of Ola's name) were dining room stars! Singing, smiling and ensuring our water was always topped off, our sides were always ready and available and any extra’s or additions were cared for. The cleaning staff was amazing! They were constantly wiping windows/handrails/glass as well as vacuuming and cleaning floors. Seti cared for our stateroom in way that made it a place to look forward to coming back to so we could see the surprises he had laid out for us! Selva was one who constantly worked! From the day we got on board and he was getting the luggage out … to meeting him all over the ship as he cleaned, vacuumed, mopped, dusted and always smiling and wishing us a good day. It was a pleasure to have Seti and Selva on the cruise! There was nothing about our Carnival ship that lived up to any negative reputation which had proceeded it. It was clean, run well, fun, relaxing and enjoyable. Marty was the Cruise Director for the first part of the trip and Rico the Cruise Director for the last. They were amazing! Why different Cruise Directors on one cruise? There was a special event we never know about held where Carnival and St. Jude’s are in a partnership, Carnival does various little events on ships to raise money they give to St. Jude’s. This was so touching to learn about. We had our fund-raiser onboard and our ship raised over $15,000 for St. Jude! It was incredible to be a part of. But, back to the reason Marty left the ship mid-way. Marty was selected as one of a very few Cruise Director’s to go and present St. Jude with the monies raised, as well as getting the opportunity to meet with some current families at St. Jude and talk with staff to see exactly how the monies are used to help each family personally. It was a blessing to learn of Carnivals involvement with such a wonderful purpose. Once Marty left and Rico took over – it was just as amazing and Rico’s heart and joy were evident in his calling as Cruise Director. The promotion mid-trip allowed us all to see how much each person values their various roles onboard. The majority of the staff was just as much as professional and fun while being available to complete whatever task was on hand for them. Even in the photo department the ship was not pushy in any way and we found Fresca was so kind and yet fun and willing to capture a great shot, or let us move on by when she saw it would be an interruption. That alone was amazing. The ports of call were different on Carnival than other cruise lines. They ensure you have a wonderful experience if you are even just visiting the port. It was cleaner and easier to get off and back on the ship than others we have sailed. The excursions were well explained and when we did take them (we did not at each port) the staff was highly educated in the experience we were about to embark on. The transportation was in new buses with air conditioning and bathrooms, locations were clean and organized and it was safe and so fun and entertaining! Overall we had so many positive experiences and interactions on our Panama Canal cruise we were amazed. It wasn't all perfect, as with anything when you are with people in the same place for 11 days there will be a snafu to two, but the good was actually great and we are looking forward to taking future cruises with Carnival - hoping to run into some of the same staff again to catch up and see how they are doing – as well as meeting up with people we met on the cruise for creating new memories to last a lifetime. Thank you Carnival for completely changing our impression and view of Carnival cruise line. We are glad we took a chance and grateful for the amazing Panama Canal crossing experience! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click