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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had experienced a partial panama canal transit and decided we had to do a full transit. The workings of the locks is just fascinating if you've never been through it. It was just a relaxing day watching our ship travel through the ... Read More
We had experienced a partial panama canal transit and decided we had to do a full transit. The workings of the locks is just fascinating if you've never been through it. It was just a relaxing day watching our ship travel through the locks and the gentleman who escorted us on the trip with his facts regarding the canal was very interesting. It's hard to believe in this day and time when something starts deteriorating it is torn down and built anew and these locks are over 100 years old and are still operating in their original fashion with the same wooden gates! Staff on board was very courteous and our room steward, Nyoman and Muss were fantastic. They usually had our room cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast in the morning and were always smiling and making sure that everything was satisfactory. Dining room staff was a little slow the first week, however, they soon learned our beverage of choice and had it waiting for us when we sat down. Menu choices were varied and could have had a little more regular items to choose from, but for the most part, the food was tasty and temperature appropriate. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband has always wanted to do the Panama Canal adventure so upon his retirement, we chose the Panama Canal Cruise. We were told by friends, Princess Cruise Line does this cruise. So, we visited our travel club and booked the 15 day ... Read More
My husband has always wanted to do the Panama Canal adventure so upon his retirement, we chose the Panama Canal Cruise. We were told by friends, Princess Cruise Line does this cruise. So, we visited our travel club and booked the 15 day cruise aboard the Pacific Princess. Little did we know what lay ahead!! Everyday was a neat adventure; never a dull moment even on sea days. So much entertainment it’s hard to choose which one to attend. Our favorite port stop was Huatulco! Mexico! Such a quaint secret on the coast line. This town is what it’s all about. Just big enough to taste the real flavor of Mexican life. The people were so nice even when you didn’t purchase their wares. The food was excellent and the setting at the restaurant we ate at was just breathtaking!! We truly think we will revisit Huatulco!! The cruise even had a choir that practiced on sea days and we performed the last day aboard. Such a fun experience. The food choices were excellent and “ If you couldn’t find enough there, something is wrong with you.” Anything you wanted. All our on shore tours were first class. We are already talking and planning our next cruise!! So until next time; “Happy Sailing”. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Destination: Panama Canal and it did not disappoint! Very impressed with this cruise. The Coral Princess was our first ship to sail on with Princess a few years ago and it still is one of our favorites. Small enough to enjoy everything, ... Read More
Destination: Panama Canal and it did not disappoint! Very impressed with this cruise. The Coral Princess was our first ship to sail on with Princess a few years ago and it still is one of our favorites. Small enough to enjoy everything, yet large enough to not feel cramped. Love this line! Service is superb in every venue. I don't know how they do it, but everyone remembers your name on these ships. I can't say enough about Club Class dining. Truly a great experience and so worth a few extra dollars. We also enjoy specialty dining once each trip, but really don't need it as the menu in the dining rooms are extensive and varied. From Embarkation to Disembarking the ship, everything about this repositioning cruise was great. Only wish our travel agent with Princess had told us we could continue on to other ports of call. We would have gone on to Vancouver as the ship headed for Alaska. Thanks Princess for making everyone feel so special on your line! Looking forward to our next adventure with Princess! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a cruise I have been wanting to do for a while. This was a Retirement cruise for me and to celebrate my 20th Wedding Anniversary (close to our wedding date). I was very impressed with the Captain and his crew in sailing of the ... Read More
This was a cruise I have been wanting to do for a while. This was a Retirement cruise for me and to celebrate my 20th Wedding Anniversary (close to our wedding date). I was very impressed with the Captain and his crew in sailing of the Ship through the Panama Canal. You never knew when we were in port due to the expertise handling of the Captain and Crew. Impressed and thrilled with receiving a certificate for sailing through the Panama Canal. Also I want to Thank Princess Cruise for televising the Easter Mass for people who were not able to attend Church Service due to being on the Sea and did not realize that we would be spending Easter on the Cruise. Easter Service meant a lot to me as a practicing Christian. Thank you for that special event to be aired. Loved the Zumba classed to start off our days when we were at sea. Activities were plenty. Dining was superb. Thanks to all who prepared those heavenly meals and exquisite desserts. Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly. Staff was very present and helpful. Would like to do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Always wanted to see the Panama Canai, and do the full cruise through to Vancouver from Ft Lauderdale. A truly amazing experience! GOING THOUGH THE LOCKS-wow-not sure what i was expecting-but it was a very unique experience. This was one ... Read More
Always wanted to see the Panama Canai, and do the full cruise through to Vancouver from Ft Lauderdale. A truly amazing experience! GOING THOUGH THE LOCKS-wow-not sure what i was expecting-but it was a very unique experience. This was one of a few still on bucket list. The staff on this cruise were very friendly and accommodating as needed. Our dining room staff were fantastic, and the food fresh and delicious. This was a cruise to remember-love meeting new people as well. I think Princess did an awesome job of looking after what we required. The excursions we had,were educational, and again all staff informative and helpful.Cartagenha was a little overwhelming with people putting their wears in your face. Overall people very friendly and helpful-trying to meet everyone's expectations. The entertainers on this cruise were awesome-and the cruise directors dealing with everything else going on-they kept everyone very busy. It was an awesome memorable cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a destination we’ve wanted to do for awhile. Being from Alberta, Canada we liked that we started in Ft. Lauderdale and sailed through the canal and finishing in Vancouver, BC. From there it was a very short flight home. We ... Read More
This was a destination we’ve wanted to do for awhile. Being from Alberta, Canada we liked that we started in Ft. Lauderdale and sailed through the canal and finishing in Vancouver, BC. From there it was a very short flight home. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a mini suite in which our room steward, Winston, kept very clean. Although we chose anytime dining, we chose not to do it. Instead, we ate breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet where the food was great (sometimes a little too good), but one thing that bothered me was that various passengers refused to wash their hands even when prompted by a crew member. We had huge, delicious meals at both Sabitinis and Bayou restaurants. I would definitely recommend going to either one. You won’t be disappointed. We booked excursions at all our ports of call but would’ve rather done our own thing on a majority of them. We didn’t find them up to Princess standards like others we’ve done on other ships. A special shoutout to the amazing staff in Crooners. Putu, Parban, and Bo became very good friends and I hope that we will cross paths with them again soon. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Panama Canal was on the bucket list, so we pulled the trigger. The price on the Volendam from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco was to good to pass up. This was a 17 day cruise in April so there were kids on board at all, and the average ... Read More
Panama Canal was on the bucket list, so we pulled the trigger. The price on the Volendam from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco was to good to pass up. This was a 17 day cruise in April so there were kids on board at all, and the average age of the cruisers was probably about 75. My wife and I are in our early 50’s so we were some of the youngest on board. We are very active so this review, especially the port stops is geared to the more active types. Volendam is now 20 years old and she shows her age a little bit but it is well taken care of and still very luxurious. It was below capacity (about 1200 passengers) so there were rarely lines anywhere and it is a very spacious considering it’s a small ship compared to most of the big beasts out on the Caribbean. There were plenty of activities on board to keep us busy on the sea days. America’s Test Kitchen was very cool and the EXC port talks and historical talks were fantastic. Pools and hot tubs were never crowded. Our room was an Outside View right on the promenade deck. We were right next to a door leading out to the wrap around promenade, so it was almost like having a balcony…. We loved the accessibility of the room to the walking deck. The had plenty of storage space even with all the clothes we brought for the 17 days. We used the $20 laundry bag service 1 time in the middle of the cruise. The bathroom had been remodeled and the new glass door shower was the largest we’ve ever had on a cruise ship and the temp and water pressure were always consistent. Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale took only about 20 minutes once we got to the terminal which was only a couple miles from the airport. Debarkation took about 30 minutes in SF. Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning was also quite spectacular. All in all, with ship, the canal, calm seas, and 9 port stops, it couldn’t have been better. Every part of the cruise exceeded our expectations. The food and service in main dining room was fantastic and even the buffet was quite good. Room service was also excellent, with a different towel animal every night! That’s 17 different animals…. Cartagena: We took a taxi to the old walled city and walked around for several hours. Beautiful architecture and very Caribbean looking. The port had a shop and a nice aviary for no charge with many parrots and other exotic birds and animals. Leave a half hour to explore this area. Panama Canal: Awesome piece of engineering and history. Very cool to see the lock systems and the many other big ships transiting the canal. Costa Rica: Did a HAL zipline excursion. The place was near the coastal town of Jaco and we rode an aerial tram to the top then zip lined our way down the mountain. There were reptile and butterfly displays at the base that were very interesting. Sadly, we didn’t see any wildlife other than iguanas. Very fun tour though. Nicaragua: Took a peddle taxi tour of the little port town. The place was very poor, but our driver was very cool and spoke good English, so we learned a lot about the country and the politics. Not much to see, but made us appreciate what we have here at home. Guatemala: Took a HAL bus for a “on your own” tour of Antigua. It was about an hour bus ride through the countryside with guides giving some history of the area. Antigua itself was very pretty with many fabulous churches. We walked all over town and it was very nice. Puerto Chiapas: Took a HAL excursion to some Mayan ruins and then to a demonstration of how cocoa beans are grown and processed into chocolate. Nice tour but we thought a little over priced at $100 per person. Huatulco: Our favorite stop. Excellent swim beach right by the pier. We took a $5 taxi to Playa La Entrega a couple mile away and it was great. Excellent snorkeling and many restaurants right on the beach. We were there on a Sunday so many locals were there with us which actually made it more fun. The vendors pester the locals too….. Manzanillo: Ship docks right downtown. Lots of shops right there. We took a grueling hike up to the cross on the mountain to the right of town. We were hot and sweaty but the view was amazing. Puerto Vallarta: Did another zipline tour through HAL. This was a great excursion but only for the very physically fit. Right of the ship we boarded a little speed boat that whisked us about 30 minutes south to a bay where we switch to Unimogs to drive to the Zipline. Basically like an Army truck. Perfect for the crazy dirt road. Then after getting geared up, we rode mules up to the top of the mountain. And then it was more than just ziplines. We also repelled down a waterfall, did 2 giant waterslides, and then a new roller coaster zipline to end the tour. Very awesome!! This was our favorite zipline ever. Cabo San Lucas: Went parasailing then walked all over town. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we live in the Seattle area and love not having to deal with air travel at the conclusion, also because my husband can only walk with a walker. We were familiar with all the ports (only one tender port), and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live in the Seattle area and love not having to deal with air travel at the conclusion, also because my husband can only walk with a walker. We were familiar with all the ports (only one tender port), and we like longer cruises. We booked the Signature Suite. We needed extra room for the walker and no accessible rooms were available. The first glitch we encountered was that there were only 3 people available to get the wheelchair passengers to their rooms so we waited an extra hour to board. Upon eventually arriving at our suite, we were distressed to find that they have scaled down their bathroom doors below standard size, so it isn't possible to get a standard sized walker through the door. He had to grasp the counter and walk the length of the room holding on to reach the toilet. There was a full sized bathtub--useless to us--and the shower was so small with only one grab bar that he could barely use it. It was just about impossible to shower without flooding the bathroom. After having paid a couple of thousand dollars extra for a suite, this was a disappointment. The balcony door is very heavy and the thresh-hold very high. The good: the showroom, The Main Stage, is great for the disabled; one could put another row of seats between the row of seats on the lower floor and access is great. They have UHD huge televisions in the staterooms and a fair assortment of late movies to choose from. However, we couldn't get enough volume to be able to understand the dialog in the movies, while on all other channels you could have blasted it high enough to hear for a half block in either direction. The Main Stage did blast all their shows that loud. We had to go through immigration twice and had a serious issue with getting wheelchair assistance to get on and off the ship. We were misinformed both times by Guest Services. Phone contact, and even personal contact with Guest Services was poor due to lack of fluent English on the part of staff and difficulty hearing them on the phone. We had a dinner in Canaletto's which wasn't any better than in the main dining room. We had lunch in the Pinnacle which was very good, except that they served instant coffee with our dessert. The "worker bees", as always on HAL are wonderful. Food was acceptable, if not great. Over all, I think many cruise lines are subtlety (sometimes not so subtlety) trying to discourage disabled passengers, while trying to appear welcoming for good public relations. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it started in Ft. Lauderdale and ended 21 days later in Seattle plus we got a very large stateroom #8140 w a wrap-around deck on the stern. The first day for embarkation we felt the cruise line was not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it started in Ft. Lauderdale and ended 21 days later in Seattle plus we got a very large stateroom #8140 w a wrap-around deck on the stern. The first day for embarkation we felt the cruise line was not organized and although our luggage was labeled "priority" it was the very last on - not that it mattered but what did is we kept wondering if it would show up at all. But note that the disembarkation was very well organized and fast. Holland America has figured out how to make money - we paid $150 for water, $300 for internet (it is just $150 if you stick to social media only) and they must have saved a lot by purchasing low quality food. The Gala Dinner with filet mignon and crab béarnaise was the worst with crab nearly too spoiled to serve a piece of meat that was not filet mignon but some grass-fed animal's "surprise." Some meals were good but spaced well apart and the Lido food began to taste the same no matter what you took. The crew was very well-trained and friendly. Our Neptune suite was ok but I do not believe this ship was updated in 2017 or 2018 as it was worn pretty well including our suite. The ports of call were good and although many were shipping ports, I understand it is hard to find dock space for a ship sized like Oosterdam. The people we encountered onshore were very friendly. We will use another cruise line for our next cruise maybe we just expected better like we got on the Ruby Princess last year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, ... Read More
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, took 15 hours, due to malfunction of a A/C button, Embarkation was a breeze, best ever from 17 cruises with 6 different cruise lines. Arrived at 11am, checked in, on board and lunch with-in 1/2 hour. Cabin, A627, balcony, (we usually have inside, but choose the balcony to celebrate our anniversary). Very nice, large and spacious, lots of closet space and hangers. Bathroom the usual ship board bathroom, shower small, we’re 135 and 150 pounds, and we had problems, The cabin steward very nice, can’t remember his name and I’ve lost the paper with it on. We found the comforter too hot for us, he found a light blanket for us to use instead. Dining:- We had “any time dining “ as we east early at home, the MDR opened at 5.15pm every evening, we chose not to eat every evening meal in the MDR, we alternated with the buffet. We also had two B/F’s in the MDR. Lunch and the rest of the breakfast were in the buffet. The food in both areas were excellent and hot, and very tasty. I have a “blue cheese” allergy and the chef at the buffet come and talked with me to assure if there was any blue cheese in anything, it would be noted. Entertainment and Activities :- The evening theatre was excellent, by far the best we’ve seen on a cruise line. The singers and dancers out did them selves, as did the ships orchestra. Through out the ship, there were other performers who were just as good too. During the day I attended all the trivia, and as many games as I could. The cruise director and his 5 crew staff were just a riot, lots of fun. Service:- Service from all the crew, whether the desk, dining, bar, photography etc., were great, always smiling. Ports and excursions:- Ports from F. L to the Panama Canal, we have done them all before, so unless I was looking to send off emails, didn’t get off the ship, used it as another Sea Day. Panama Canal:- didn’t take any tours, relaxed on the balcony and watched the world go by, Puerto Amador, Puntarenas and San Juan Del Sur, just walked around the port. Huatulco Sur:- just walked around town. Puerto Vallarta:- Took a taxi to the “New Beach”, don’t now how new, but it is a quaint beach area, has some interesting statues along the boardwalk. Los Angeles:- Took a four hour ship tour “ Easy City Tour” not what we expected, we thought we would see some “ stars homes”. but no. It was a waste of time and money. Santa Barbara:- A very nice town, just took the shuttle up the Main Street, and saw the Mission museum, San Francisco:- I booked a Alcatraz tour on line, for the first ferry 8.45, you have to book at least a month in advance. It’s an easy 5 minute walk from the cruise port. A very interesting place, and well worth a visit. We took a “bicycle tutu”, along the boardwalk to catch the “ cable car” there was at least an hour wait, and after an hour in the cold wind, we gave up. Took a taxi back to the ship with a small detour to see some sights. Astoria:- a quaint sea side town, there’s a shuttled around town, you pick up at the dock. We visited the “Marina Museum “ Victoria:- Had a taxi tour around town, have visited Victoria before. Vancouver:- Disembarkation time. Very easy, One thing that did puzzle us we didn’t go through any customs either in Victoria or Vancouver, not even at the airport. We did see 12 police embark at Victoria, so may be they check our customs cards there, as we had to fill them out two days before hand. We didn’t travel with children and there was only a hand full on board, Would I travel with Princess again, yes, it was our first time with them, (have sailed 17 times all told) and really enjoyed the ship and line. I liked the way all the entertainment, from trivia, games and musicians and theatre were on two decks, 6 and 7, making it very easy to get from one to another. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on ... Read More
Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on right hand side of old locks. Tip: booking the Sanctuary which on this ship is aft gave us great views of both sides and back. For the front view we had to leave for forward of ship but this was quite crowded. We went down to our port side balcony a few times for a different perspective. Loved being in Sanctuary though as they opened for our reservation at 6am and we stayed all day. Costs extra but worth it. The PC expert gave several talks prior to and after locks. He was interesting and informative. Thought the food was very good. Like the changes in MDR which now offers a select Timon of “starters” then entrees. The Curtis Stone pot pie is excellent! The daily burger offered in MDR is changed up daily and quite good too for a change of pace and likely popular with kids. Drink prices continue to be very reasonable ranging from $8.50 - $10 on average. Ship is in pretty good shape but may be getting close to needing some refurbishment. Definitely smaller ship in comparison of Grand Class which requires some planning. For instance we generally went to Princess Theater or other venues 15-20 min before show times to get a good seat. Not an issue but for those who arrive a minute before it may be hard to find multiple seats together. The chef Gaetano and maitre d’hotel Sylvio are an awesome team. We did Chef’s table which was one of the best culinary experiences of my foodie life! Highly recommend!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a ... Read More
The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a wait of about 30 minutes. when we got to our cabin we found it spotless and our luggage was outside our door. We had a wonderful lunch in the main dining room. Muster was at 3:30 and I love that we no longer have to lug life vests. One thing I did't like was a lot of deck space was removed as was a show lounge so they could add more cabins to the ship. However, despite the higher number of passengers, the ship rarely felt crowded except during show times and many trivia games. Club class dining had impeccable service. Many of the meals were very good but sometimes they weren't. the quality of meat has gone down. We had the best cabin steward. He was like a ghost but had our cabin refreshed twice a day and happily fulfilled any requests. You have to be careful with the ratings on tours. One "Easy" tour had more walking than I could do and I ended up spending most of it on the bus. The tour desk wasn't very considerate of physically challenged people. Favorite ports included the Panama Canal and Fuerte Amador, Punta Arenas Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, and Victoria BC. in Huatulco, there was a horrendous walk from the ship and two three wheel scooters that you could squeeze three people in to get to the shops and tour buses. I think after four times through the canal, it will be a long time before i do this again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Cabin with Balcony Dolphin 235. Had been planning this trip for about a year and a half. Was a bit concerned after reading so many negative reviews about the ships adding 150 cabins in 2015 without increasing the public space. Our fears ... Read More
Cabin with Balcony Dolphin 235. Had been planning this trip for about a year and a half. Was a bit concerned after reading so many negative reviews about the ships adding 150 cabins in 2015 without increasing the public space. Our fears were unfounded as we found the ship to be no more crowded than any of our past cruises with Princess. The ship was in clean and in good repair. Our cabin was in good condition and the flat screen TVs that have been installed since our last cruise were a nice addition. Note- we had some service people in our room one afternoon that were installing hardware on the TV that will be allowing on-demand viewing of movies and shows. We always opt for any-time dining as we don't do Formal nights, and enjoy the buffet as much as the main dining room. Food, as always was excellent in both venues. Entertainment was what we have come to expect with Princess. I did not care for the 3 productions shows, but my partner did. The magician was great, though a bit raunchy for the crowd lol. Sonia, one of the guest female vocalist was amazing. As stated by others, you need to get to the theater a little early as it does fill up, but we never had an issue and almost always sat in the same spot. Service started off a bit "surly", but once they realized that we said please and thank you and actually engaged in conversation with crew members they warmed up. We heard so many rude and demanding older passengers, it is no wonder the wait staff starts off that way. We booked all of our excursions with Princess, and had one at each port. Very well organized! Overall Princess once again provided us with a memorable and relaxing vacation! Thank you to Chris, Duval, Nelly, Sammy, Tania, Giri, Manuel, Emil and Marius for your great service, it is crew like them that make this cruises pleasurable. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise last minute after our transatlantic cruise was cancelled last minute. The cruise was wonderful; the cruise director and staff fantastic, and there were so many activities available each day and night. Both the ... Read More
We chose this cruise last minute after our transatlantic cruise was cancelled last minute. The cruise was wonderful; the cruise director and staff fantastic, and there were so many activities available each day and night. Both the production shows and the music entertainment around the ship were good. Food in the main dining room and buffet was excellent, on par (and sometimes better) than Celebrity. The only drawback was the tours offered. They were pricey and one in particular a "Cooking and Discovery" tour while we were in Nicaragua was very misleading. We arrived at the meeting time for the tour, but had to wait 45 minutes to leave. We then had to wait until a tender filled up to make it to shore. We were put on a tiny bus with uncomfortable seats for a 2 1/2 hour drive. When we got to the city, there were no restrooms available and by now it had been almost 4 hours. At the restaurant we neither cooked nor discovered. Friends at our dinner table took a tour in Panama that was terrible as well. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 ... Read More
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 other cruises on various cruise line ships. The musicians were good but there weren't any magic shows or acrobatics on this cruise. The back of the boat view was taken over by the Lotus Spa area that you had to pay extra to be in. The fitness center was in a lower deck with no windows. The shower stalls were so small you couldn't bend over in them. Our waiter was the best thing on the ship. He was friendly and brought out the food fast. Most of the tours were good, but one of the tours on Grand Cayman had so many waiting to touch the Stingray that we only got to touch it once for the hour we were waiting in the water. We liked the chocolates left on the pillow each night. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise because I had heard they were a notch over Royal Carribbean. The Island Princess is an older ship. No wow factor. A lot of elderly people some in wheelchairs and walkers. Activities were few. Music was very good. I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had heard they were a notch over Royal Carribbean. The Island Princess is an older ship. No wow factor. A lot of elderly people some in wheelchairs and walkers. Activities were few. Music was very good. I loved the cleanliness of the ship and the stateroom. BUT hated the very small shower stall. However the water was hot and strong. The food was good. but a lot of repetition. Great deserts. Great lattes on fifth deck, but not included,. The first evening I felt like I had boarded a shopping mall . They pushed selling everything from jewelry to pictures and wine. The pictures that were taken were over priced and we were not allowed to take our own pictures when disembarking everything had a price.That was really sad. I took one Princess tour to see the Indians that was very nice. However the trip to the area was gross. Lots of garbage everywhere. On the return to the ship we passed Colon city.What a horrible place. looked war torn and garbage dumped everywhere; knocked down buildings everywhere. Panama is not taking care of the people. And I would never return.. I was totally bored by the pool it was too deep for me, 7.5 feet. and they seemed to show movies half the morning.. and I did not go on this vacation to watch movies. No rules were applied as passengers bogarted the best lounge chairs with towels for hours at a time,even in the theatre people held chairs. The grill by the pool served decent hamburgers but their hot dogs and knockwurst and pizza were not of good quality .We had to stand on line to get grill food. The shows were good. we chose anytime dining but the lines were long and they actually let people ahead of others who had made reservations which I felt was kind of unfair. The people who served the food were very nice, but seemed stressed and tired at times. Same with the activity staff. Not enough activities. In summary it was nice. but I would not go on princess again. Unless its a new ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Princess really does it right - effortless embarkation and disembarkation, comfortable cabin, great ports. The cruise was a round trip from Ft. Lauderdale - a really easy port in terms of getting from the airport to the ship. Stops were ... Read More
Princess really does it right - effortless embarkation and disembarkation, comfortable cabin, great ports. The cruise was a round trip from Ft. Lauderdale - a really easy port in terms of getting from the airport to the ship. Stops were Grand Cayman (visited the turtle farm and Stingray City), Columbia, Panama (tendered excursion on Lake Gatun); Limon, Costa Rica; Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Food was good and the staff was excellent. We enjoyed dining at Sabatini's and in the main dining room. They had a really fascinating lecturer on board - he had grown up in the Canal Zone so he had a lot of insight on the area. If you don't like the noise in the main pool area, there's another adults-only pool nearby. We got to see some great recent movies with their Movies Under the Stars. We paid extra to have our bags sent directly to our destination airport at the end of the trip - best $25 I've ever spent! Because we didn't have to stop to get our luggage, time from the ship to the curb was about 5 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same ... Read More
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same birds and monkeys at the boat dock in their sales area up closer. Did swim with stingrays and the Hell tour, always loved the Cayman Islands. Limon we did the Rain forest walk,I do not recommend this for anyone with walking problems. You go up a steep hill and it's loaded with rocks to see a couple of frogs,it had a great view of the Caribbean sea .Saw a lot of poor and trashy cities that you should not go into un-escorted in Colon and Limon. The ship's crew was efficient and treated us well. The food was above par. Wife liked the lobster but not the rice it was served on. Maybe its just me but I feel that now that they have all these specialty restaurants on the ships the great food is served there at a cost. Here is a thought for Cruise lines . Offer menu items to be served off the specialty menu in the regular dining room. One partner may want a great steak and is willing to pay the price while others in same party are not willing. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Experiencing the Panama Canal was on my "Bucket List" especially since my Grandfather was one of the many electricians that helped build the original one. The partial-transit worked well for my time restraints. I will say my ... Read More
Experiencing the Panama Canal was on my "Bucket List" especially since my Grandfather was one of the many electricians that helped build the original one. The partial-transit worked well for my time restraints. I will say my friend and myself were some of the youngest cruisers at 61! The majority of the fellow passengers seemed to be well over that and limited mobility abound by many - scooters and walkers! Some younger families with only a handful of kids onboard. Don't know if was off-season or just before spring break. Boarding was a breeze and the cabins were ready before 2 p.m. Our mini-suite was standard but a bit smaller than some of the larger ships I've ben on The beds were comfy and the room décor is basic and the colors are dull. Our Cabin Steward/Housekeeper was outstanding. Liezal was always friendly and warm. She did a great job on keeping our room clean and comfortable. She always inquired how our day was and how we were doing. We had the "anytime" dining which was o.k. My recommendation is to arrive before any of the evening production shows get out or you will wait for 45 minutes in a very long line to be seated. I found the service to be professional but slow at times. The food was good. We mainly ate at the buffet. The selection changed every night and enjoyed the specialties. Indian dishes seemed to be offered as a regularly featured evening optional fare Lemonade is on the drink menu but you have to ask for it. Sabatint's Italian Restaurant was good and the service was excellent. The selections were somewhat limited but the meal was tasty. Reservations were readily available and we had no problem getting in I thought the ship's entertainment productions were just o.k. The song and dance routines were boring along with the magic show. They did have a pianist that was exceptional. We didn't get the opportunity to go to Grand Caymans since the seas were too rough and tenders could not operate safely. It was a disappointment for many of my fellow travelers. The ship went ahead to Cartegena early. This particular port was my least favorite due to the pushy street vendors who will follow you and knock on the tour bus window! I will say once we were on the actual horse carriage tour ti was a beautiful ride through the old city. Going through the Panama Canal was fascinating. You can watch it from your room balcony and live stream on your cabin t.v. You don't have go to the bow of the ship. Limon, Costa Rica is beautiful. We took a tour of La Hacienda. The bus ride was 2 hours each way! It is long and windy, so take care if you get motion sickness. The Hacienda was interesting but felt the drive was too long for the short time we were in port. Jamaica is always one of my favorites. Took the tour of the Raft Ride on the Martha Brea. Again the bus ride was over an hour each way. The gentle bamboo raft ride was relaxing with view of the lush vegetation. The "captain" will try and sell you some carvings that he did and there are vendors along the river that will try an sell you trinkets. My complaint is on the way back te bus stopped at a funky trinket mall for a half hour. There are several sea days during this cruise which were enjoyable. Time to catch up on much needed rest and relaxation. I took line dancing lessons that were fun, and watched several of the "Movies Under the Stars". If you want to do a Arts & Crafts project plan on showing up at least a half hour early because the class filled up fast and people were turned away, Finally, disembarkation was a breeze since we took a excursion at the Everglades Airboat and Airport Transfer. I think we were some of the first people off the ship. The tour was short but fun and got us to the airport by noon or so. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise....I found it very acceptable for an older ship....We stayed in an outside cabin...of course, smaller cabin but was sufficient...room stewards were very good as were our dining room ... Read More
Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise....I found it very acceptable for an older ship....We stayed in an outside cabin...of course, smaller cabin but was sufficient...room stewards were very good as were our dining room waiters...Food was very good..the entertainment in BB Kings lounge and Billboard Lounge was absolutely wonderful...Now the negative .....we took a shore excursion in Panama..Aqua Clara locks and area tour....it was terrible...They drove around old housing of former base(about 20 mins) then they took us to Aqua Clara locks and left us there 2-21/2 hours....it was interesting to see ships go through these locks...it is about a 1 hr tops stop....the food at the concession stand was out of food only chips, ice cream and drinks were available....then we were driven to port in Colon to sit until ship arrived.....Definitely not worth the money......In Cartegena, we took the gem stone making tour..it was an acceptable tour until you had to go through the jewelry store to exit...Pretty high pressure to buy emeralds...Maybe they should have paid for the tour so they could get the chance to sell us their emeralds? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal. I had taken this cruise 5 years ago with a friend and I knew my husband would enjoy the itinerary and seeing the Canal. And I knew Princess was a reliable ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal. I had taken this cruise 5 years ago with a friend and I knew my husband would enjoy the itinerary and seeing the Canal. And I knew Princess was a reliable company. We did not explore Ft. Lauderdale since we are Florida residents and have been there many times. My husband prefers cruises that we can drive to and from, so this itinerary was suitable. The ship was nice and not overdone and gaudy. It was a bit shop worn in places, but it did not affect our enjoyment. All the staff we encountered throughout the cruise were friendly and helpful. We upgraded to a Club Class mini suite with a balcony and we are now totally spoiled. The Club Class dining was great. We never had to wait in line to get a great seat in the restaurant and the waiters were excellent, remembering our names and preferences. The extra menu choices for the Club Class were always great. The extra room in the mini suite was perfect for a 10 day cruise. There was LOTS of storage available and the cabin location was very convenient. The only disappointment in the Club Class Mini Suite was the promised daily afternoon hors d'oeuvres. They were mostly tasteless and dry. After 2 days we didn't order them anymore. We enjoyed the "movies under the stars", seeing many Oscar nominated movies we had missed last year. It was nice to also be able to see the movies in our room the next day if we missed in on deck in the evening. Because we saw a lot of the movies, we missed the shows in the Princess Theater, except the last night. It was an excellent show and we were sorry we missed the others. The orchestra was fabulous and the singers were sensational. We were disappointed that we could not stop in Grand Cayman. The seas were too rough for the tenders to get us to the island. But some extra activities were added for the additional day at sea. The passage through the Panama Canal was awesome. We had our breakfast on the balcony as we watched the intricate process unfold before us. We bought jewelry in the EFFY store on board. Unfortunately, when we disembarked, it triggered an alert and we had to be escorted to a "special" customs agent to see if we needed to pay any duty. This seemed totally unnecessary since EFFY emphasized that their jewelry was made in the USA and was duty free and duty exempt. Our "special" customs agent was not at her station when we got there. We were delayed about 45 minutes by this process and much annoyed. (This wasn't the fault of the cruise line, though) Another annoyance was that we sailed from Terminal 2 and returned to terminal 19. Shuttles were provided, but the drivers and vans were not efficient. We got on and off 3 shuttles before we were on our way to our car. (again not the fault of Princess) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was great in itself, so you could say the objective was met. I do have to say though that the excursions were not always as good as the write up, a lot of money for not a great ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was great in itself, so you could say the objective was met. I do have to say though that the excursions were not always as good as the write up, a lot of money for not a great experience. We complained about one excursion in particular and received a refund, by doing a little bit of research beforehand we could have booked excursions for ourselves at half the price. There is a lot of waiting about, you are told to meet at set time but could still be there for another hour waiting on others or just for staff to get organised with so many people going off on different excursions. The dining experience onboard was also not good standard, you never received a hot meal, it is always served lukewarm, in the dining room the main meals came out with food covers, however if someone had two starters or took a long time to eat the main meals sat by the waiters desk until everybody was done, one night our meals sat for ten minutes before being served. If you have dietary requirements then you struggle, no food labels to advise of ingredients if you are intolerant to anything, when you ask they are unable to inform you without going to find out. Very limited choice if vegetarian (no fish and eggs), ends up being repetitive. They need to bring this area of service more up to date, it is crucial to some people if they are intolerant to particular ingredients, could ruin their cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of destinations. Unfortunately we did not go to Cayman Isl. Because of rough seas.the entertainment on this ship was exceptional! My wife and I have done 39 cruises and I have never seen this quality of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of destinations. Unfortunately we did not go to Cayman Isl. Because of rough seas.the entertainment on this ship was exceptional! My wife and I have done 39 cruises and I have never seen this quality of entertainment. The food is good the average age of passengers around 60. The ship is in great shape considering its age. We sailed on this ship many years ago and would do it again. The weather was great and we did not have a hard time finding a deck chair. The casino is small and has only 1 roulette table. The only complaint on food was the ice cream bar. The ice cream was very grainy and not enjoyable. We had a balcony which was very nice sitting outside enjoying the views. Our fridge was stocked with drinks and booze.we enjoyed the chocolate covered strawberries brought to us and the dry cleaning . If you like cruising I would definitely suggest the Island princess. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
In 2015, Princess refit this boat and added space for about 300 more people by shrinking the cabins. Staff was leaned. Restaurants were not expanded. Cabins were shrunk. The results we experienced were as follows: - Poor food ... Read More
In 2015, Princess refit this boat and added space for about 300 more people by shrinking the cabins. Staff was leaned. Restaurants were not expanded. Cabins were shrunk. The results we experienced were as follows: - Poor food service in all venues. ( Time of service, Replenishment, Quality, Ambiance,Noise). One waiter and an assistant handled 22 people in our area. We missed shows due to long wait times as a table close to us gorged on 4 lobster tails each at one dinner and staff was run crazy trying to keep up as our table waited to get served at all. - Meat came out overcooked. I sent my lamb back 3 times until the Head Waiter intervened and brought me a properly cooked piece. - The buffet restaurant became a better option than fine dining. Food was properly cooked with ample seasoning. However, it was crowded and loud. - 2 couples in our group tried the Crab Pot. It was waterlogged and inedible. Fortunately they were given their money back. - Anytime dining resulted in us almost sitting on top of other couples with no option for privacy. I have eaten in MacDonald's with more space between tables. - No cabin seating other than the bed. Our room did not match the picture online. Carpet and furniture were worn and resembled a 2 star interstate hotel. - Slow inconsistent room cleaning due to 1 room attendant handling 17 rooms. Do not expect a towel animal on this cruise. You are lucky to get a towel. - Staff unable or unwilling to resolve issues. Need to find a Senior Officer in order to get any resolution. Promised refunds then are never processed. They will say anything to avoid actually dealing with the issue. They would not allow me to escalate my issues. I had to find out who was in charge of an area and track them down myself. Seemed as if staff was either untrained or burned out. - No answer on room service and dining reservation lines. Waited over 15 minutes in one case and gave up. - Internet is time based and a ripoff. Of 300 purchased minutes, was only able to actually use 100. Do not buy this option unless you constantly want to be scolded by the Internet Manager for not logging off. Found out later that even if you log out, the slow service will keep you logged in wasting your time. I was promised a refund after submitting a complaint. it never appeared on my final bill. - Ports are on the yet undeveloped sides of islands. Tours then take 65% of the allotted time for travel leaving little time to enjoy sites. Colon is a slum. Falmouth has no amenities. Porto Limon has about 8 streets and is mostly undeveloped as of yet. Used to be a Banana Port. Only options for the independent traveler if you do not book a tour are the fake tourist shops in the port buildings. Only Cartagena and Georgetown presented opportunities other than tours for exploring the island. -Ship itself is in need of another update (Carpets worn, Furniture worn, Elevators break frequently.) - Fitness area is cramped with no windows. - The My Princess app is not aligned with the paper Princess Patter. It is not user friendly. - Announcements cannot be heard in the rooms. You have to open the doors to hear and often cannot hear most of the content. This is a safety issue. Only positives we hit on the cruise were the service staff themselves. Most of the Waiters, Bartenders, and Room Stewards were warm and friendly often more helpful than management. We are young active Seniors. Ship activities seemed to be focused on an older , less mobile demographic. Napkin Folding was not high on our agenda. The Cruise Director while flamboyant was not a good fit. It did not seem that this ship was designed for those with mobility issues. Long elevator waits, crowded elevators, and malfunctioning elevators forced those with mobility issues to use steps. We have cruised throughout the world on three other lines. This was by far the worst cruise we have ever taken. We left more stressed than we arrived. We will never cruise Princess again! It seemed to us that Princess was stuck in the past and no longer innovative. Ship and systems were designed to put profit over quality. Our gift for being a past customer was an invitation only presentation on new cruises. On other ships we would have had a Captain's reception not a sales speech. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was the highlight and a great experience, for the family. Boat seemed aged, every thing costs an arm and a leg, and bathrooms are very small. This was a family cruise with kids, but ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was the highlight and a great experience, for the family. Boat seemed aged, every thing costs an arm and a leg, and bathrooms are very small. This was a family cruise with kids, but there were very few kids on the ship. The demographic is very old, so lines are slow and the entertainment is suited for that generation. Disappointed with Princess, will not take a cruise with them again. Some of the staff were a rude on disembarkation day. Food was okay, but got a little tiring after awhile. I do want to not that generally the staff was pleasant and amenable. The ports of call were just okay. Jamaica was probably our least favorite would avoid it. Our favorite being Grand Cayman with very little hassle and great port experience. Would suggest that if you plan on taking this cruise expect not to be overwhelmed, but under whelmed. Read Less

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