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