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Sail Date: December 2018
A cruise to the Panama Canal had been something my husband & I had planned for some time. When friends asked us to join them on this December cruise, it was the perfect opportunity to go. We had a lovely cruise. However, most of the ... Read More
A cruise to the Panama Canal had been something my husband & I had planned for some time. When friends asked us to join them on this December cruise, it was the perfect opportunity to go. We had a lovely cruise. However, most of the ship’s recent changes (the removal of the International Café, some specialty restaurants & the awkward relocation of other public areas) during its refurbishment were not well-planned. The small, windowless fitness center is crowded, & not at all inviting. The addition of 121 cabins reduces many public areas, & cuts off walking a full circuit of the Promenade deck. All of the staff on Island Princess are hard-working, courteous, & did their best to please us. How they can accomplish it all, in their limited time, is amazing. Our cabin steward, Benedik, was the best! He addressed all of our cabin concerns (a shower door didn’t close properly, causing water to leak into the bedroom, a loose shower shelf, & broken hair dryer housing) quickly, & efficiently. Our cabin was comfort-able, but needs to be updated. Storage space in our suite was very generous, w/ lots of hangers. Embarkation: This went smoothly, & we boarded about 11:30. Lunch in the Bordeaux Dining Room (12-1:30) was a relaxing way to begin our cruise, instead of the busy Horizon Ct. On embarkation night, only, passengers in suites & elite guests can dine at the specialty restaurants without paying the $29. Anytime Dining does NOT accept dinner reservations on embarkation day, but does after that. Princess Theater: The 50 min. shows were at 6 p.m. & 8 p.m. Anytime Dining allowed us to dine before or afterward, depending on whether or not we planned to attend a show, or how late our excursion lasted. The larger shows (“The Secret Silk”, “On the Bayou”, “Encore”, & one other) were excellent, & alternated nights w/a comedian or singer. As mentioned, by others, get there at least 30 min. early to get a seat. It can also be very chilly during the evening performances, so bring a sweater or jacket. Sabatini’s: Serves wonderful dinners & breakfasts, only, to suite & elite guests. Our best meal was the Ultimate Balcony Dinner prepared by Room Service. It’s an exceptional experience & value. The lobster & filet were cooked to perfection. Served by the hard-working Room Service staff, Alwynn & Namadan, both of whom were outstanding servers: courteous, & efficient. We dined indoors, because of windy weather. Bordeaux Dining Room: Meals were just average. Ordering steak & lobster were an additional charge, (an unwelcome upcharge from their main menu), & not always the best choice. My lobster was overcooked, & some of the entrees were not hot when they arrived at the table. On past Princess cruises, there were more upscale menu items offered without this extra charge. Head waiter, Adrian, was helpful w/ seating the four of us, in the Bordeaux, when we were not using the Club Dining section of the room. Waiters continually circulated the room trying to sell “extra” drink offerings. Club Dining: a lovely, no-wait section of the dining room, for those in suites or certain mini-suites. Menu choices appeared to be about the same as in the regular section. We dined there only once, but not having to wait in line for seating is a definite plus. Horizon Court: Well-designed for improved flow. Improvements include hand washing stations, a glove-wearing staff member to hand you a plate upon entering, & nightly “theme” food, which was quite good. After a past experience w/ norovirus (on a different cruise line), I was hesitant to use the buffet. However, using the My Shield hand sanitizer I purchased from Amazon made us feel more secure. (http://www.stopthestomachflu.com/Home/what-do-hand-washing-and-hand-sanitizers-really-do/my-shield-hand-sanitizer ) Internet service is slow & expensive. Early mornings or late nights were often the only time we could connect to their satellite service. The Internet Café staff is not as competent as on other cruises, & several questions went unanswered, that had to do w/ phone settings to make calls while on board, using our phone plans, set up in advance. The free Princess@Sea app. for communicating w/ other passengers was handy (when it worked), but was a bit more complicated to set up than advertised on the website. Tips: The best view of the Panama Canal transit is from Deck 11, (just below the bridge) ALL the way to the front of the ship, & thru the normally closed doors to the outer deck. The doors are open to passengers on this day, only, & offered the best views of all of the action. Coffee Card: The card is not separate, but loaded onto your cruise card. As that was not explained, we had to ask several staff members before we understood how it worked. We purchased two, but really only needed one for both of us. As it was, we didn’t even finish half of what was offered, & are unable to have it carry over to a future cruise. Bottled water: We purchased 2 cases from Princess before sailing, & they were delivered to our cabin. It was less expensive than purchasing it individually, on board, & came in handy for shore excursions. Elite Lounge: (for suite & elite passengers) – Held each evening in the Explorer’s Lounge, deck 6, at the very back of the lounge, nightly between 5-7. Lovely complimentary appetizers & discounted drinks are offered. After our initial visit, we brought our traveling companions w/ us. Sanitation: I also purchased Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Wipes (odorless & more effective than the ones at a market) from Amazon, to wipe down our cabin’s touchable surfaces. We also carried a small My Shield foam hand sanitizers w/ us, & used it a lot. Once you’ve experienced norovirus, you never want a reoccurrence. Bar gratuities: 15% is automatically added to your cruise account, so you don’t need to add tips during individual purchases. Lotus Spa: There are many services available. I had a facial. And while it was good, it was not as thorough as others I’ve had. Products advertised on the Princess website are not the same as what the spa offers. Princess needs to update its website. Formal Nights: Both were on sea days. The first was on the 1st sea day. The last was held on the 3rd sea day, as most passengers were packing on the 4th. The Captain’s Champagne Reception was fun, as wasbeing one of the several passengers who got to pour additional champagne, over the tower of glasses. There was a line to do it, but it was worth it! Photos are taken, & it’s videotaped. Photos: All photos & “packages” are expensive, but fun to have. The photographers who take photos, when passengers disembark at ports, only stay there for 3 hrs., after docking. So if you get off later than that, you may miss them. Mai was the photo manager on board, & corrected a few charges for us that were incorrectly calculated. Lectures: Bill Fall’s port lectures were fabulous. He’s very experienced & used to live in Panama. His commentaries, as we entered the canal, were also wonderful. Don’t miss him. Cruising: Gale force winds between Jamaica & Cartagena & Limon & Grand Cayman resulted in the closing of the Promenade deck, two rocky crossings, & the cancelation of one of the shows: for the safety of the performers & the passengers. Otherwise, it was fairly smooth sailing. Medical Center: very good. In spite of our attempt to stay healthy, my husband contracted a chest cold, (not flu), & the Center treated him quickly & efficiently. Do pack as many OTC meds as you think you’ll need. We stored all of our toiletries in an inexpensive over-the-door shoe organizer, in the bathroom. It saved counter space, & no one touched our things while cleaning. Also, if you need to cancel (or miss) a Princess sponsored tour, because of medical reasons, ask the Med. Center to stamp your tour voucher, before you leave them. Then take it to the shore excursions desk & ask them to void the tour charge. Pre-Cruise Inoculations: We chose to get Hepatitis A & Typhoid Fever shots. We also used Sunsect, a combo sunscreen/insect repellant used by our U.S. troops. We had no issues w/mosquitoes, but it pays to be safe. Excursions: Except for Cartagena, ours were sponsored by Princess. Bathroom breaks were conveniently spaced on all tours. Complimentary Princess totes were handy for onshore purchases or to carry water. DO check excursion vouchers for tour time changes, (from the guides) from what you may have booked. Jamaica: We took the excursion to Good Hope Great House, which included a lovely Jamaican lunch. If not taking a tour, it’s safer to stay within the gated area of the cruise port. Cartagena: Daniel Grey, from Tours by Locals was a fabulous guide. We customized our tour, saw all we requested, & skipped the visits to the emerald shops. Our stop for lunch at La Mulata, in the Walled City (a local & reasonably priced restaurant), was perfect. They served great food & used filtered water. Finally, a quick stop at the port’s free mini zoo, on the pier, completed our perfect day. Panama: “Rainforest, Gatun Lakes & Locks Tour”: Only Princess tours could disembark & be tendered to the tour pick up. Panama Port Authority determines when passengers can disembark. Our tour didn’t leave until 11:30. Our stop at the Agua Clara Visitors’ Center would have been more appealing IF their restaurant had been opened, (Christmas Day) & we were not relegated to a long line where chips & sodas were all that was left. The hike near the resort was short & uneventful. The boat ride on Gatun Lake was pleasant, but we saw only one sloth. Limon: the 7.5 hr. Veragua Rainforest & Research Center, & Tortuguera Canal excursion was excellent! Our weather was perfect, & we saw sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, & egrets along the way. We descended the rainforest in a gondola, hiked to a waterfall, & enjoyed a local buffet lunch at the Center. On the Tortuguera Canal, we saw crocodiles, monkeys & sloths. It was well-organized, & one of our best tours. Grand Cayman: We were tendered to Royal Watler pier. Our tour, Highlights, “Hell”, & the Seven Fathoms Rum Distillery was great. The Seven Fathoms Rum Distillery is actually processed 42 ft. below the ocean, (7 fathoms) & 11 miles from shore. A stop to buy Tortuga rum cakes was also included. Check tour times. Afterward, we had a great lunch at the Cayman Cabana, located near the pier & the tenders. Currency: We took foreign currency for all port stops except Panama, whose currency’s value is the same as the U.S. Store prices were in U.S. $. We paid using their own currency, which seemed to confuse & surprise a few shop owners, who were anxious for U.S. $. We didn’t use credit cards, as we felt it risky. Weather: Check the temperatures of the ports, before you leave. It can be very hot & humid. Bring a hat to wear if you’re out on the deck during the Canal transit, or for the shore excursions. Disembarkation: This went very smoothly, & IF you have a Global Entry card, you’ll be able to use the short line exclusively for those who have it. Three months ago, I requested that Princess distribute copies of the Embarkation Day Princess Patter, to passengers waiting in the lounge to board. They didn’t. But hopefully, they’ll begin to do that as a service to their passengers, in the future. It would be helpful in planning that first day’s activities. It would also be nice if Princess reinstated their embarkation day “treasure hunt”. It gave passengers a chance to become acquainted w/all of the public areas. While a lovely ship, I would not cruise on the Island Princess again. If given a choice I’d take the Coral Princess, which has not been refitted w/ 121 additional cabins, & has more restaurants & public spaces. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
To call it "Bucket-List: cruise would elevate it to something it never was really intended to be. We were looking for a Christmas getaway that was warm and yet included sights never scene. So we chose the 10-day Panama Canal cruise. ... Read More
To call it "Bucket-List: cruise would elevate it to something it never was really intended to be. We were looking for a Christmas getaway that was warm and yet included sights never scene. So we chose the 10-day Panama Canal cruise. We chose the Island Princess ship because there's no gimmicks, no flashy anything. It is stately and has order to it. No one will accuse it of being a party ship or rave about the late-night entertainment or all the kids' activities. It's a mid-sized "Love Boat" filled with mostly boomers—some rich that popped for all their kids and grands to join them for Christmas break. The staterooms are plain and adequate with ample storage. There's a choice of restaurants but not such a vast selection as to cause confusion. You can count the choices on one hand. Ports of call included Jamaica, Columbia (ask for Pepsi products and not "Coke"), Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, and the highlighted Panama Canal. It's a partial transit, that is, the ship goes through three locks into the huge Lake Gatum. Then it eventually turns around and goes back through the same set of locks. Sound boring? It's not. It's really fascinating and it takes nearly all day to accomplish this turnabout. Typical excursions are offered at each port of call. Those staying on-board have an okay (not great) choice of activities on board from Trivia to gingerbread house making. The food quality is fair and the buffet has a different theme every evening. I didn't hear anyone saying they just had to get the recipe for this or that anything. The nightly entertainment need not be booked in advance as is the case on some ships (I dislike that). The theater is spacious enough. The musical/dance productions got better as the cruise progressed and never a repeat. A magician or comedian would alternate shows on nights when the dancers needed a break. The theater would also host an occasional movie, but most movies were "under the stars" on the Lido deck which seems to be the norm these days. A couple of the sailing-only days were rough. The trade winds on the Caribbean can be a little testy during late December but, for the most part, the rainy season of central American and hurricane season is over. No worries there, but still pack the Dramamine. The best surprise is no surprise. Princess Line's consistency in delivering a quality product at a decent value with no surprises is commendable.. In my humble opinion, Princess Line's Panama Canal locks cruise on Christmas Day with the ship all decorated and Christmas carols (carols...and not just songs) playing is a good route to go for those seeking a different kind of Christmas vacay. . Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
1. Food - Poor selection and sometimes cold in the main dining room. Throughout the ship, the food was mostly standard fare. We ate one night at the Sabatini and we were not impressed. The food selection was limited in the main dining ... Read More
1. Food - Poor selection and sometimes cold in the main dining room. Throughout the ship, the food was mostly standard fare. We ate one night at the Sabatini and we were not impressed. The food selection was limited in the main dining room but it did improve towards the end of the cruise. Their coffee is wonderful and I wish I knew what they used! On the other hand, the Horizon Court Bar charges to warm up milk with their Espresso Machine Steamer and that is ridiculous!!! I also thought there was a bit of penny pinching and charging for standard items like water. I understand charging for alcohol and specialty items but not for water! The Chocolate ice cream cones weren’t very good. The Piña Coladas were great. 2. Service - In general, it was very good but dinner service was slow at times during the first few days. It greatly improved as the days progressed and our waiters really tried their best to speed up the serving of our food. In my opinion, the waiters in the main dining are understaffed. We did complain one time to the Supervisor about the food arriving late and cold. He came back the next day to see how things were going but that was it. Overall, the waiters on our table (#161) were very attentive. There was a table next to us that knew one of the Supervisors and they were extremely demanding of the waiter’s attention so that may have played a part in that table getting quicker service. Crew was friendly and attentive. One of our breakfast waiters, Nelson, was wonderful. 3. Room - Was clean and pretty standard (A324 - Deck 12). The pillows are very soft and although they provided us with 4 pillows, I think they should have two that are a bit firmer. There was only one chair in the cabin so one of us had to either sit on the bed or lay down. I would have liked an extra chair. Next time, we’ll book a stateroom with a sofa! Dennis, our cabin steward was ok. He kept the room clean, provided us with extra towels. He didn’t clean the balcony glass doors until we were in the last port (Grand Cayman) and we couldn’t really look out unless we opened the door since there was so much salt water on the glass. The room was a bit hot at times. There were some tiny holes in the blackout curtain liner. Being on the 12th floor, there was some noise coming from upstairs with equipment or stuff rolling around during the day. 4. Ship - In general, a ship this size was ok. There were few, if any, lines or waiting. Sitting for meals was quick and tables were always available. Embarkation for us was a breeze since we didn’t show up until about 1:30-2:00 p.m. so zero lines. Disembarking was well organized and fairly quick. The ship did not feel overcrowded. Wish they had BIGGER stabilizers! Princess has an onboard website that you can log on to see your bill, check out the daily events and send messages to other passengers. There is no charge for this. I would love for them to add a “ding” or a “red dot” or some indication when a message has been received!!! Every time either of us sent a message (I’m in the Library; I’m back in the Cabin; etc), we wouldn’t see it until much later when it was irrelevant! We’re even thinking of taking walkie-talkies with us on our next cruise!!! The Sanctuary was too expensive at $40 per person per day. I refuse to pay this much money for a lounge chair and some quiet. The staff at Guest Services were terrific. The Future Cruise Director was a bit offputting. It seemed everyone was holding a bottle of Purell and hand washing was greatly encouraged. This was great and Princess is really trying to keep their passengers healthy. Casino is small, the Boutiques limited but that was ok for us. We did not use the Spa, nor Room Service. 5. Entertainment - The Production Shows were TERRIFIC!!! Mr. John Loney, Cruise Director is a ball of energy and extremely efficient at what he does. He was everywhere!!! We weren’t able to catch other shows since they conflicted with our dinner and/or other events we wanted to attend. This was probably one of the best parts of this cruise. 6. Shore Excursions - Falmouth, Jamaica was uneventful. Cartagena, Colombia was too short and would have loved to explore it more, especially overnight. The street vendors just ruined the experience since they’re so “in your face”. They just don’t go away even when told “NO” repeatedly. We speak Spanish so language was no problem. We were planning to stay longer onshore since there was time but decided to just go back to the ship. Also, the tour guide was ok but just took us to a few sights and then to the jewelry stores that he was obviously getting a commission. The Panama Canal crossing was great and we also took an excursion to the Pacific Ocean. At Limon, Costa Rica we just went ashore to walk around and although there isn’t much to see, it was nice to not get bombarded with street vendors. We were pretty much left alone to wander around, have some coffee and be in an area that hasn’t been totally affected by tourism. Grand Cayman - we just stayed onboard since we’ve been there before. Overall, this was a very good cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I enjoy cruising during holidays, when we can -- Christmas, New Years, Easter. This was a Christmas cruise. We chose it mostly for Cartagena and Panama Canal. Cartagena was a vision as Island Princess entered the harbor. The ... Read More
My husband and I enjoy cruising during holidays, when we can -- Christmas, New Years, Easter. This was a Christmas cruise. We chose it mostly for Cartagena and Panama Canal. Cartagena was a vision as Island Princess entered the harbor. The city is designed so that the sun lights up the white skyscrapers like torches at sunrise. It's breathtaking! This was our second cruise to go through the Panama Canal but there are plenty of excursions and this time we took a tour of the old city and Miraflores locks. The tour was great, mostly because of Rosablanca, ("White Rose") our tour guide. We only took three excursions on this 10-day cruise. Cartagena Old City (a UNESCO World Heritage site), Trolly Tour in Grand Cayman and Panama mentioned above. Cartagena has some over-assertive street vendors. With plenty of sea days and a couple of great lecturers -- Bill Fall and Marina Oborotova -- this turned out to be a relaxing cruise. Played trivia and Bingo with Robbie (best Bingo caller in the fleet, I think!). We didn't win. We were always in the dining room at 5 sharp so we could make the 6 pm show. Robert and Jelana always competent in the dining room and brought smiles with their conversations. (Table 75 anytime dining). Horizon Court offered up a great variety of chow and desserts. They also had gingerbread houses and decorations and they baked four humongous cakes (enough for 1,000 perhaps?) strawberry, blueberry, chocolate decorated like a christmas tree, and German chocolate -- spectacular effort! Dining room food was a medley that could be graded A (NY strip steak, lamb roast, prime rib), A- (lobster tails with no butter, but on a pile of sticky rice/arugula) and one F (bad red snapper). Balcony cabin was good with a full length closet. On the last morning, the room steward wanted to come in and strip the beds when we went to breakfast. This was ten minutes before six a.m. -- my suitcase was on the bed, open, waiting for a few last minute additions to be thrown in. That thing weighs 40 pounds. That was inconvenient! We had some heavy seas and the captain and crew handled the steering as well as possible to alleviate pitching and yawing. They had the stabilizers out when called for. I slept like the dead, but you might want to pack your dramamine, just in case. One of the best production shows ever, on any cruise ship -- their new New Orleans show. I've seen Encore three times, it never gets old. The Secret Silk show is magical. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I choose this cruise because if the itineray ie full transit of the Panama Canal Overall the cruise was good although st night time it was dead definetly an older age group on this type of cruise Embarkation was quick and smooth. ... Read More
I choose this cruise because if the itineray ie full transit of the Panama Canal Overall the cruise was good although st night time it was dead definetly an older age group on this type of cruise Embarkation was quick and smooth. the ship itself is okay but dated. the cabin okay smaller than I am used to and the shower far too small - bathroom floor ended up soaking every night Entertainment - was mediocre the cruise director poor although not a bad singer Dining staff and bar staff fab Food in dining room was good but not keen on Horizon tended to use The Grill and Pizza place We did go for afternoon tea a couple of times which was great but the staff come round and try to put everything on your small plate at once ie sandwiches scones jam cream cake and cookie instead they should serve sandwiches and when you are ready the could fo the scones etc but it was good and staff are only being told to do by management. Ports and excursions were good Would I go again yeah but not sure on princess as I found drinks package expensive and the internet really expensive think princess need to look at the costs of these and come in line with other cruise companies Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and Princess is our go to cruise line. Our cabin was standard Princess, small and efficient with a tiny bathroom and shower. The crew was great and helpful. They seemed like a happy crew. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and Princess is our go to cruise line. Our cabin was standard Princess, small and efficient with a tiny bathroom and shower. The crew was great and helpful. They seemed like a happy crew. We think the entertainment was very good compared to our past cruises on Princess. There were some very talented singers and dancers. The food was uneven; sometimes very good, other times small portions and way too much salt. A note to the Chef, taste it before you send it out. Embarkation and departure was smooth and efficient. The Princess sponsored port activities were fine but overpriced. We did private excursions in Costa Rica and Cartagena and were happier with those. Now for my big complaint. Effy the ship jewelry store. It is almost impossible to walk by the store without being accosted by pushy salesmen. It is as bad as time share sales in some ports. It is like they invited the Diamond International people on board and gave them free reign. This is really offensive to me and I’m sure many other guests. If I want to buy some jewelry, I’ll come into the store and check it out, otherwise get out of my face. I am hoping this is just an anomaly but if it is like this on other Princess cruises I may have to re-evaluate my go to cruise line. If anybody from Princess reads this, have them back off. Most people don’t appreciate high pressure sales tactics on a captive audience. There, I’ve said my piece. Aside from Effy we had a really good time on this cruise and would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Exceptional Princess entertainment. We also enjoyed Crooners most every night with David Moore. The Princess orchestra did an amazing job with all of the entertainers. Our mini-suite was a plus-loved the larger balcony and bathroom. ... Read More
Exceptional Princess entertainment. We also enjoyed Crooners most every night with David Moore. The Princess orchestra did an amazing job with all of the entertainers. Our mini-suite was a plus-loved the larger balcony and bathroom. Steward service by Khus was efficient and friendly on the 10th deck. The guitarist-Danny- provided great music in the Wheelhouse. The lectures were outstanding—-especially the day-long dialog going through the Panama Canal with Bill. Boarding in San Francisco was quick as well as our Deboard in Ft Lauderdale. The best part for us was going through the Panama Canal since this was reason we opted for this particular cruise. In December the canal traffic was light but it still takes all day to go thru the locks. Remember to inform those at home to check out the island princess.com web camera so they can view you going thru the locks. The weather in Dec 2018 was perfect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Chose itinerary for Panama Canal but too many other ports require tenders. No international cafe. New meal schedule of 7:30 dining hard to get adjusted to. All suites have tubs but grout not maintained and required extensive cleaning ... Read More
Chose itinerary for Panama Canal but too many other ports require tenders. No international cafe. New meal schedule of 7:30 dining hard to get adjusted to. All suites have tubs but grout not maintained and required extensive cleaning during cruise. Many crew do not have good command of English. Excellent port itinerary presentation. Most excursions require long (1hour) rides from port. Poor safety standards for monkey island tour in panama ( resulted in fall exiting slippers boat and $1000 med bill on ship). Food service in traditional dining room very good. Coffee in dining rooms and horizon still terrible. Pastries good but variety for breakfast and lunch in horizon got boorish on fifteen day cruise. Entertainment pretty good in theater and piano bar. Medical staff excellent but have general problem when accident on their excursion clearly resulting from their poor safety condition still required charge to my account and then requires me to seek reimbursement back from Princess insurance. Passengers with limited mobility may not seek getting off ship on most ports bout resign themselves in enjoying passage through canal day. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I had sailed the Panama Cruise before and this is the first time I was able to go to Panama City. Also wanted to see the new canal and the itinerary included other ports that have not visited in many years. Loved the destination port San ... Read More
I had sailed the Panama Cruise before and this is the first time I was able to go to Panama City. Also wanted to see the new canal and the itinerary included other ports that have not visited in many years. Loved the destination port San Francisco. I am not a fan of the mega ships and love the size of the Island Princess. It is starting to show it’s age a little bit but would sail on it again. I booked the mini-suite and always enjoy the extra space on longer cruises. The Princess sleep system beds are wonderful and had the most restful night sleeping during the cruise. The entertainment was very good and really enjoyed their new production, “Silk”. Selected first seating for dining and did not like the change in time with dinner starting at 5:15. The meals were very good in the dining room and the waiters were more than willing to get additional items on the menu. Have sailed on the Island two other times and visited the Bayou Cafe. Was disappointed this time in the attempt to deliver Cajun food. I am sure it didn’t help that I visited New Orleans in June. The service is stellar and usually make great friends with the servers. I stuck with the ship sponsored tours and was glad of that. There was a parade and blocked the streets and a tour was thirty minutes late from sail time. The ship was held until they arrived. Princess has the embarkation / disembarkation down to a science. It is so smooth getting on and off in record time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The ship is nice, as it's one of the smaller Princess ships. However, the ship does not have an International Cafe, which limits your dining choices to the dining room, the buffet (Horizon Court), or the specialty restaurants. The ... Read More
The ship is nice, as it's one of the smaller Princess ships. However, the ship does not have an International Cafe, which limits your dining choices to the dining room, the buffet (Horizon Court), or the specialty restaurants. The specialty restaurants have increased their pricing to $29.00 per person. Further, the dining room has removed several items from its offering menu; instead, including an "up charge " menus for many steaks. The Mattress in our stateroom had a severe sagging in its middle, and despite the ship not being full, and requesting the steward change the mattress - they didn't! Additionally, if you're a smoker, this ship is show a good deal of disdain for your business. There are only two available locations on the ship where you can smoke - The Churchill lounge (deck 7), and on the port side of deck 15 in an uncovered area that's open to the elements, with uncomfortable chairs and wobbly tables. The ship seems overdue for a refurbishing, as many of the public areas are showing their age. We were also put off by several staff memeber attitudes that were "I do the minimum." However, I will also say that several of the bar staff members were terrific. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for dining. The service in the dining room was slow, and somewhat inefficient. And the chef's primary response to special requests was NO. Not what I've come to expect as an Elite member with this line. The company still provides good value for the money. But they have definite deficiencies in staff and service aboard this ship. I also felt the port choices could have been better. When traveling in Nicaragua, we had police escorts, and the excursion we took (cooking in Granada), is one you can easily pass up. Unless you have a desire to spend $80.00 to make your own tortillas and guacamole for lunch. Read Less
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 4.3
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 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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