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Island Princess Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,190 Reviews

Just right Caribbean cruise before the holidays

Island Princess Cruise Review by lcage50

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony

Wanted to fit in a cruise to a warm place before the holidays, the itinerary and length fit the bill. Island Princess is showing its wear in some places (furniture in public places a bit worn) but is still a nice ship with most of the amenities. The Broadway style shows were flashy and stunning, enjoyed the premier of "Secret Silk". Only got to a couple of get togethers -- Learn Spanish, Crafting, Trivia. Good way to meet people. I went to all of the Destination Specialist lectures about the upcoming ports of call. These were chock full of history and information, Kerry James is knowledgeable and has interesting pictures. I would recommend the "Behind the Scenes" ship tour although it's pricey ($150) and long (3-4 hours). Sign up ASAP after you embark.

In general I did not find the ship so crowded that I could not find a lounge chair to sit on, but this was not high season. A lot of senior citizen types -- not the family or millennial crowd as it was the wrong time of year (right before Christmas). Medallion internet was pretty slow and liked to kick me off regularly, had to log back on constantly. I hate to see what it's like if there's more younger people who are going to be using their phones constantly.

Disclaimer -- I only ate at the Horizon buffet. I was disappointed in the food, not enough options for vegetarians. Even the prepared cold salads had chunks of meat in them (potato salad with meat, green beans with salmon). Sometimes you just want a simple vegetable salad. I think they were using the leftovers from the night before. There was very little chicken, mostly pork and beef options. Nor was it labeled very well. Pork, beef, and chicken skewers were all mixed together at one station. Quality of beef was not very good so ended up eating a lot of fish and the dal with pappadam. Compliments to the Indian food chef. Can't say the same about the Chinese food. I liked the desserts although they did not taste "real". They cut back on the butter and sugar, cheesecakes and other desserts use gelatin or cornstarch to give it body. However, I appreciated that they were lower calorie so you had an excuse to eat more. They always have a no- sugar option which were mostly pretty good.

Excursions were well organized as far as getting on and off the boat, outside tour operators were very good. You do have to tip a lot of guides so carry small bills. Princess was very good about specifying when/where to meet to go on the excursions, and on the one trip after leaving Panama late the night before they put a note at our door telling us of the delayed departure for the next day.

Very satisfied with embarkation and debarkation procedures, well organized and I did not wait excessively long. Bought the transfer to the airport package and that worked out perfectly. Overall an enjoyable cruise that ran just as advertised.

lcage50's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony

Cabin was bigger than many hotel rooms I have been in. Had a sitting area next to the queen size bed. Lots of storage area to put away your belongings. Had 2 TVs though I didn't see the point as they're right next to each other. My only issue was the bathroom had a musty smell like it needed an open window for it to be aired out. Bring bedroom slippers, they don't provide any and I wish I hadn't forgotten mine.

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