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8 Venice Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews

Although we'd previously visited some of these ports/countries in past independent travel, this was our first repositioning/ Transatlantc cruise. The refurbished rooms on the Island Princess were an improvement over what we remembered ... Read More
Although we'd previously visited some of these ports/countries in past independent travel, this was our first repositioning/ Transatlantc cruise. The refurbished rooms on the Island Princess were an improvement over what we remembered from our Panama Canal cruise on the same ship last year. The wall-mounted flat screen TV & slight improvements to the bathroom gave an updated look. Some changes to the ship weren't positive, such as the smaller fitness center & the elimination of both the Universe Lounge, and the bigger pastry counter usually found on Deck 6. We always enjoy the port lectures in the theater, but here, the gentleman who served as port lecturer had a more limited role. Being in port on many consecutive days, the majority of his lectures were just recorded & shown on stateroom TV. And because he disembarked in Barcelona, there was no lecture given at all for our last port, the Azores. At many of the ports, Princess charged a high fee to get into the town via shuttle or boat, such as $29.00 to get into Venice. Any available , cheaper options were neither explained by the port lecturer or described in the Patter. The one free shuttle bus that was offered, in Salerno, was little used because so many of the tours ran late. We really enjoyed our tour that day, visiting Mt. Vesuvius & Pompeii, but were dismayed by some of the inconsiderate passengers. At both locations, people did not rejoin the group at the appointed time. At Pompeii, someone disappeared so the rest of us were left mlliing around while the tour guide looked for the wayward person for over half an hour, with no communication to the rest of the group. For the premium cost of these excursions, it seems that the cruise should build in some compliance by the participants, or at least stress punctuality.The days at sea were enjoyable, although there was a lot of congestion related to the dining rooms. People lined up in the evening before the Bordeaux dining room even opened, but were still given beepers. And at 5:45, some of the "anytime" diners were taken up to the Provence dining room (fixed seating.) It seems this system needs serious revamping. Delays in dining made it difficult to get to the shows in many cases, too. On the positive side, the cruise director & staff seemed very hard-working and energetic . Many people depended on reading to get through the long days at sea, and the Library collection on Deck 8 really is in need of updating. Looking at the book titles was like a throwback to the 1990's. But all in all,we enjoyed the cruise and all of the ports. We were very lucky to have excellent weather, with daytime temperatures in the 60'S and 70's. In spite of this nice weather, many people were coughing and sneezing, and a letter on respiratory illness was issued to all by the Medical Center, which was a bit daunting. We did learn to look for the "non- coughing" area at events! For the most part, we had an enjoyable time and felt that the crew and staff were hard working and available to passeners.Disembarkation was handled smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We set sail from Venice on 14th October. We were at the rear of the ship in cabin C716, I agree with other contributors about the vibration particularly at night, more of a nuisance when it occurred, especially at night. Our steward was ... Read More
We set sail from Venice on 14th October. We were at the rear of the ship in cabin C716, I agree with other contributors about the vibration particularly at night, more of a nuisance when it occurred, especially at night. Our steward was Benedict he was superb and anxious to please. The food was 1st Class, we dined in the evening in the Bordeaux room a choice of about 12 different courses all very nicely served by professional and courteous waiters. The breakfast was taken in the Horizon room, it was so busy at times that we struggled to get a table, but we eventually always did. The breakfast menu was super, fruit, cereals porridge, pancakes, all varieties of eggs, sausages, bacon with tomatoes mushrooms waffles and much more although we could have breakfast in the Bordeaux room with waiters services, but this finished at 9am a little too early for us. Lunch was also serves in the Horizon, similar arrangements to breakfast also with a fantastic choice, It was all to tempting for me and I regret to say that I am now at home on a strict diet. Most of the staff were extremely helpful although I felt that the customer service staff at reception could have given a little more eye contact and a smile or two. I did not use the Princess theatre for the evening shows, but I was told by others that they were very good although I have to say that I did not enthuse over the entertainment in most of the bar lounges, I have received more enjoyment in my local social club. However I must say that it was always a pleasure to use the "Crooners Bar" where we were entertained by the pianist and singer Danny Oliver, he was fantastic and very pleasing to the ear. Although it was against the ships to bring on board spirits and beer, it was permitted to bring on two bottles of wines at each port of call. All in all a great trip on a fine ship albeit a little dated. ps. If you are not good on your feet get a cabin(sorry stateroom) as near to amidships and the lift as is possible Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to and no idea what to expect from Princess. Overall, we were impressed and will definitely cruise again. Majority of the passengers were Brits ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to and no idea what to expect from Princess. Overall, we were impressed and will definitely cruise again. Majority of the passengers were Brits and Americans but also lots of Australians and Canadians. Most we spoke to seemed to think Princess were one of the better cruise companies. The food and service were excellent. Great buffet choice @ breakfast / lunch although it felt a bit like one of those all you can eat diners you get in Orlando. We had the Anytime Dining in the evening and the food was generally superb. We didn't feel the need to pay extra to visit the speciality restaurants. The one big disappointment was the entertainment. I was expecting much better but what we got was a bit like Butlins. We didn't bother with any of the Princess excursions as the prices were ludicrously expensive. With a little bit of research it was easy to DIY and a huge amount cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Would do this cruise again in a heart beat. The ports for this itinerary is exactly what we were looking for and the reason for booking this cruise. Venice over night, Athens, Istanbul, Mykonos, Naples, Rome, Florence, Toulon, ... Read More
Would do this cruise again in a heart beat. The ports for this itinerary is exactly what we were looking for and the reason for booking this cruise. Venice over night, Athens, Istanbul, Mykonos, Naples, Rome, Florence, Toulon, Barcelona. Due to circumstances beyond Princess's control our itinerary was altered to have decreased time in Athens and Istanbul, as well as a port order change, putting us in Istanbul on the first day of their religious holiday. As a result the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market were closed. There was an artisan Bazaar that we visited. Athens port held us back an extra 1.5hrs which ate into our time as well. It would have been nice to have more time at these ports, but we used our time wisely and now we will just have to come back to see more! I cannot comment on the ship excursions as we planned private tours. We prefer more intimate, one on one tours for less money. Princess did cancel their Amalfi Coast tour in Naples the day before arriving due to fires in the area. We however were able to still go ahead with our private tour as "road closed" only really pertains to buses in Italy! I prefer not to comment on ports themselves as everyone has their own tastes on activities etc. We loved every port we went to except Toulon (again, personal preference). The food was amazing as always on the Princess ships. We prefer to eat in the dining room and only eat in the buffet when necessary (grab some food quickly before shore excursion). Love Sabatini's, however prefer the Crown Grill to the Bayou Cafe. Had the All Inclusive Drink package and put it to good use. The pizza on princess ships is delicious! Did not watch any of the entertainment due to be tried from the port extensive itinerary. Was disappointed that the International Cafe was not added to the Island Princess as speculated. There were long line ups for anytime dining as most people ate late on this sailing for some reason. Service we experienced was superb. In hind sight would have done the itinerary in reverse to get the 2 sea days at the end of the cruise for rest. Embarkation was a breeze. Was able to get on the ship, drop off our stuff and easily get back off to enjoy Venice. I will say do your research about each port ahead of time, do not rely on any cruise ship to give you the only option of getting off at each port. Cruise ship shuttle buses are not always the only option, and at times can be the least favoured option. Research so you are not left complaining how you didn't know about a specific port (heard that complaint a lot). We prefer a more mature crowd (no kids) so Princess is perfect for us. Like said before, would book this cruise again in a heart beat... Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The negatives first Entertainment only 1 good act Wil Martin a crossover singer from New Zealand was excellent otherwise very average a celine dion tribute Tracey Shields was decent illusionist Matthew McGurk not bad there it ends ... Read More
The negatives first Entertainment only 1 good act Wil Martin a crossover singer from New Zealand was excellent otherwise very average a celine dion tribute Tracey Shields was decent illusionist Matthew McGurk not bad there it ends Dan Riley a guitar comedian was cringe worthy Al Katz about as funny as a packet of lard and a troupe of Greek dancers wasted half hour of my life. The Ship negatives the pool space was limited basically if you didn't get a sunbed by 6am on sea days you wouldn't get one no running track and the gym moved to a small room on floor 6 to accommodate more cabins a constant smell of wet varnish in which small jobs always seemed to be going on. The positives an excellent crew cabin Steward Allan Was very efficient dining staff good and dining room food was also top drawer the buffet choices were a bit limited but adequate got to say embarkation was the quickest ever experienced ,also a mention for Italian Tenor Corrado Amici who done 2 half hour slots on the Civitavecchia stop really should have had a primetime slot in the evening cruise director take note as a first time Princess customer overall a decent value Cruise with a great Itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This is our 4th cruise on Princess and 8th cruise since the 1990. We have sailed on Celebrity, Holland America and Royal Carribean We overall had a wonderful cruise and the ports were amazing, that is why we selected this particular ... Read More
This is our 4th cruise on Princess and 8th cruise since the 1990. We have sailed on Celebrity, Holland America and Royal Carribean We overall had a wonderful cruise and the ports were amazing, that is why we selected this particular cruise. I found all the staff to be excellent, food in the dinning room (Bordeaux-anytime seating good) we avoided the Lido deck most meals, we do not enjoy 'fast' eating though the food was well presented and fresh, great for a quick salad. We did have one meal a Sabitinis which we enjoyed. We cancelled the other reservation at the Bayou, neither restaurant looked well attended. We did have room service for breakfast every day and took turns getting a special coffee from the Patisserie. Staff at the Customer Service desk great. The ship was on time in all ports, the staff very well organized and enthusiastic. The staff in charge of entertainment were lots of fun and did a great job We took advantage of excursions most ports since it was our first time, they are expensive but very well organized and the guides we exceptionally well informed. We learned so much. The entertainment was pretty good, shows a little short but they do bring a lot of talent on board. The final show was very good. Some of the very talented musicians are put in smaller areas and do not get the attention they deserve. The comedian, can't remember his name and don't need to, was ok at first but then became repetative and annoying, 2nd night he was in a lounge and people started to leave. I think he is one entertainer they can do without. The Island Princess is a very pretty ship with lots of decks but on the negative side, the Island Princess was in dry dock in April and more rooms added and the fitness area and a lounge at the front of the ship removed. I was very disappointed with the fitness room which was poorly equipped, 12 treadmills and only 9 working. It is dark and crowded. On previous cruises I really enjoyed working out with the view. Deck 7 has a mile walk which has now been interrupted by the addition of rooms added to the front of the ship so you have to walk through the hallway which is annoying (but the air conditioning was a welcome cool down). They also created a 'spa area' at the front of the ship where you can pay $40 a day and use the cabana's etc. As most cruise ships they had difficulty with the selfish people that take up all the deck chairs. On couple we met that spent every sea day in the sun, on the deck, said it was also not uncommon that a group would reserve two chairs per person, one in the sun and one in the shade. Throwing a towel or book on the chair. This is really something that all cruise ships need to adddress. In Rome, 500 new chairs were delivered to the ship, they are aware of the problem I am sure but why it persists I am not sure. Wifi is expensive and I notice lots of cruises are starting to offer free wifi. They are always trying to 'sell' on the cruise which I find the biggest difference from our very first cruise. Our room steward did the basics, the room was clean and tidy, nothing extra, never a little towel creature to greet us when going to bed which I really miss after experiencing this on many cruises. Back to the positive, it was a bucket list cruise for us and we had a great time. We used Princess for the hotel and transfers at the end in Barcelona. The service was exceptional and the hotel very accomodating. They have a Princess staff member in the hotel. It is worth the extra cost for the peace of mind. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This is our 2nd cruise with Princess and our 4th in total. We flew from Manchester to Venice on 9th July for sailing on 10th. Everything went well from start to finish. No delays! We boarded the Island Princess in great time and found ... Read More
This is our 2nd cruise with Princess and our 4th in total. We flew from Manchester to Venice on 9th July for sailing on 10th. Everything went well from start to finish. No delays! We boarded the Island Princess in great time and found our way to our Mini Suite on Baha Deck. First impressions were lovely then about half an hour in I noticed a nasty smell, which I initially blamed my husband's trainers for!!! However, after chucking the offensive footwear onto the balcony, we could still smell this whiff, then noticed a stain on the carpet and a wet patch. This was where the smell was coming from and it was getting worse. We rang the steward who unconvincingly looked surprised about the complaint but happened to look directly where the smell was coming from! However, we were off to Venice for the day so left them to it. When we got back a few hours later, the stain was replaced by a patch of new carpet and the smell was almost gone completely, so fair play to them for getting it sorted for us. The steward then gave us a complimentary glass of champagne, so alls well there. Not a massive fan of formal night but we got into the swing of things only to be told we were being diverted to go and rescue a boat in trouble. Initially, i wasnt happy as i had visions of pirates and IS attacks!! (Very overactive imagination at times!). Our balcony was on the side of the troubled boat and we had quite an interesting night as it happens. Seeing the flare go up, seeing that the people were a) not terrorists or pirates or b) all ok, was a relief. We then decided to get some sleep as it was announced we would be waiting for the coastguard. However, woke at 5am to find we were actually going to rescue these poor people. 117 Syrian refugees!! All on a 40ft boat probably only fit for half that amount. Babies, children, men and women. We then dropped them off on a Greek isle the next day which meant we would miss Istanbul and go to Santorini instead. Well that was fine with us, we would much prefer that destination than Istanbul so we were happy. Santorini was amazing. Not deep enough to dock so we anchored at sea and used the boats to get to shore. Mykonos, similar to Santorini, lovely, Athens fab. Naples great. Wish we had more time to get to see more of Rome. We got a train which took an hour and a half to get there as well as 20 mins walk to the station so literally it was only a taster of Rome. We decided to book an excursion for Florence and it was great. Not too bad priced for a trip into Florence and left to our own devices for a few hours. Barcelona was amazing and we spent 2 nights there in a lovely hotel. Back to the cruise. Entertainment....Honestly it was terrible!! One band, i wont mention the name, were absolutely awful! The singer looked as though they were singing in a shower, with regards to the performance. The other band werent bad at all. Didnt go to any shows. Dining...Amazing food, absolutely loved it all. Not as good as the first Princess or Celebrity but very good nonetheless. We would definitely cruise with the Island Princess again. In spite of the entertainment, we had the best time and met some lovely people. However, the only people we had a problem with was those rude obnoxious passengers who felt they were better than any of the staff and crew so felt the need to resist any politeness such as please and thank you and to those people, i wish to say, shame on you and think, without these, so called "lower people" to yourselves, you wouldnt have had such a lovely cruise. So thank you to the wonderful crew members and the fabulous passengers we met from all over the world, for helping us to have the best holiday ever and to those rude high and mighty fools, whatever!!! You make yourselves look ridiculous!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I booked this cruise very last minute and actually didn't do a lot of research prior as there wasn't time. I knew Princess was a nice cruise line, but hadn't sailed with them before, and found out the ship had just been ... Read More
I booked this cruise very last minute and actually didn't do a lot of research prior as there wasn't time. I knew Princess was a nice cruise line, but hadn't sailed with them before, and found out the ship had just been through a major drydock. I chose the cruise because of a very good price and a great itinerary that included Istanbul. By the time I booked, all balconies were sold out, and I was offered a great deal on an oceanview or interior. We figured we would be in port a great deal, and booked an oceanview obstructed view based on price consideration and that we would have more money for port tours. Princess upgraded me against my request, and put me in a brand new oceanview cabin that was right next to the casino. I was not happy (that was an understatement). Called my travel agent several times, called Princess, was told the ship was completely sold out and could not change my room. I was assured several times that there would be no smoke smell in my cabin from the casino and that the room was actually a nice upgrade and in a nice midship location. At that point I had to try to go with a positive attitude and knew I would be be complaining bitterly if there was any smoke smell or unreasonable noise in a cabin. After all, who wants their cabin next to the casino. Well, I have got to say that Princess was absolutely right, there was absolutely no smoke smell or noise at all in the cabin and it was a MUCH better cabin then the obstructed view cabin I booked. We were in cabin F504, and the brand new cabin was set up just like a balcony cabin, but with a floor to ceiling picture window instead of a balcony. The bed was on the wall like a balcony cabin and not in front of the window, and we had a chair in front of the window. The bathroom was small, but brand new, and we had plenty of space for the two of us for the cruise. We ended up loving the midship location as we were so close to everything. I heard a couple comment as they walked by the corridor of these new rooms that they would hate a room near the casino. I would have agreed, but honestly liked this so much better than I thought I would have. Great room if you can get it at a budget price and like to be close to everything or have walking issues. Our cabin steward there was great too, and I did not miss the balcony as I thought I would. The ship's food was good, we actually really liked the Horizon Court and liked the fact that it was open to midnight. The main dining room was decent as well, and we ate there most nights. Compared to other lines I have been on, I thought the buffet was better than most and the main dining room was about equal, perhaps a little less. Service was spotty in the main dining room and we didn't like the fact that a table for two was literally two inches away from another table for two. We enjoyed afternoon tea on several afternoons and thought that was a nice touch. Entertainment was not particularly overwhelming, but it suited this port intensive cruise in Europe and the fact it was just my husband and myself relaxing. We sampled most entertainment options, but couldn't help compare shows to other ships we have sailed on. The fitness options were a huge disappointment. Not being able to run around the promenade deck and the fitness center being moved into a small space inside was not optimal. The minimal amount of fitness classes weren't even included in the Patter and I wondered if they did that so they wouldn't have a large turnout as there was minimal space. I will say that visually, the back of the ship was quite ugly and I never went around there as I had no way to get to the aft. The ship never seemed overly crowded, but on the top deck it was sometimes difficult to get lounge chairs near the pool. We always found some somewhere though and actually spent most of our time on the Promenade deck chairs where it was shady, cool and very quiet. Ports were great, however we missed Istanbul due to picking up refugees and that was a big disappoint as Istanbul was a huge draw for the cruise for me. Santorini was substituted and I was happy about that. Loved the Greek islands and we had plenty of time on them. Rented a scooter on Mykonos and went to the beach. Did Athens on our own, took the X80 bus in and Metro back and found it easy to do, but will say that we are walkers. Did a small group tour for Pompeii and the Amalfi, would make sure that your van will drive into Positano and not just drive by it with a picture stop. Did a small group tour in Rome too, was nice, just not enough time in Rome. If the Vatican is not important to you, then see the other sites with the limited time. Kind of wish we had done this, although our tour of the Vatican was very thorough and informative. Did Florence on our own and had a great day. Rented a car in Toulon, had a great time, just really wish it wasn't such an early all aboard at 3:30. Made it difficult to do a lot. The only shore excursion we booked through the ship was the Florence on your Own transportation. That worked out well, just wish we had left as soon as the ship had docked. Could have had another half hour in Florence easily. We loved Barcelona and Venice as embarkation and debarkation ports and found clean, and inexpensive lodging in great locations for both cities. Overall, we loved the cruise, lots of pros, a few cons. I would consider Princess again for a European cruise with lots of ports, but probably not for the Caribbean or Alaska. The demographic was right in line for us, we are a couple in our mid to late fifties. There were plenty of people of all ages though, and many different nationalities. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015

Top Island Princess Itineraries

Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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