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Sail Date: January 2019
Choose cruise because Panama Canal was a bucket list. The ship getting on and off was rather easy, The evening shows was not the quality we are used to with Royal Caribbean. The afternoon filler entertainment was boring and we had other ... Read More
Choose cruise because Panama Canal was a bucket list. The ship getting on and off was rather easy, The evening shows was not the quality we are used to with Royal Caribbean. The afternoon filler entertainment was boring and we had other couples tell us the same thing. The anytime dining was a mess. We had signed up for the 7pm dining and ended up with the any time room. First night after we boarded and got to the any time room, we ate with rather poor service and after we got done, there was a line to get in that stretched all the way to the bar. Heard from another couple it took them an hour to get a table. Had to constantly get up to refill our drinks. The Hamburgers on level 15 was awesome and ate there several times since we didnt want to deal with the crap at anytime dinning One thing we did like was that they had 1st run movies running all the time either on Room TV and the huge TV out by the pool. Good thing due to the rest of the entertainment for us was boring. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Wanted to see the Panama Canal for a second time and was hoping to see the new canal. Unfortunately we went through the old locks. However had a great time with 3 other couples in all of the cruise stops. The ship is showing its age ... Read More
Wanted to see the Panama Canal for a second time and was hoping to see the new canal. Unfortunately we went through the old locks. However had a great time with 3 other couples in all of the cruise stops. The ship is showing its age (built in 2003, I think) and prefer the newer, larger ships. The staff and service were terrific. The cabin was clean but dated. The food in the dining room was very good. The Crab Shack was not that great. Sabatini's, the Italian restaurant was mediocre. The Bayou Steak House was very good. The internet was horrible. The nightly entertainment with the production shows and guest entertainers were pretty good. The daily music entertainers were good with the exception of the steel drums performance - gave me a headache after a while. However there could be more variety in the music venues to change it up a bit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband and I chose Princess because they had come so highly rated. In the past, we had cruised using other cruise lines and had wonderful experiences. We were really excited about going on a Princess ship through the Panama Canal. ... Read More
My husband and I chose Princess because they had come so highly rated. In the past, we had cruised using other cruise lines and had wonderful experiences. We were really excited about going on a Princess ship through the Panama Canal. The ship itself is outdated. Windows were not cleaned regularly if all on board. The dining rooms and buffet had a 60's decor. We especially found our room (a balcony plus) to be lacking. The bathroom was TINY and the shower even TINIER! We are both average size people and could hardly fit in. I can't even imagine how heavier people manage. The shower did not slide down so being small, I just got bombarded with spray whether I wanted to wash my hair or not. The balcony in our room needed painting in spots as rust was showing through. It also had big globs of paint splattered on the tile. I had requested a queen and we had 2 twins when we arrived, so I had to call and had them remake the bed when we arrived. The steward was pleasant enough, but did not impress us with his friendliness or service. Then, there were the terrible meals. We originally started in the regular dining room, but after tasting the dried up red snapper and overdone steak we ended up in the buffet every night. The quality was somewhat better, but not top quality. When they included a carved meat, the chef would prepare the gravy in same manner with the same beef broth and whatever. Desserts were simply not good except for the occasional cookie. We did not attend any entertainment, so I cannot comment on that. The shore excursions were good, but we did not like some of the ports we went to. Limon and Colon were terrible. Hope they change those destinations in the future. Grand Cayman Island was so crowded, that port could be eliminated. And when we boarded , they had changed our port in Jamaica to Falmouth instead of Ocho Rios due to crowding. Falmouth was okay. This trip had been on our bucket list, so we were happy to see the Panama Canal, but honestly, I wish we had gone on another cruise line. Very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I spent nearly $3000 on a cruise for 2 and my cabin was on the lowest floor in the back of the boat above the engine. The Vibration from the engine at times was unbearable, as was the noise. We were offered ear plugs to block out the noise ... Read More
I spent nearly $3000 on a cruise for 2 and my cabin was on the lowest floor in the back of the boat above the engine. The Vibration from the engine at times was unbearable, as was the noise. We were offered ear plugs to block out the noise which I felt was an insult. Make sure you are on one of the upper decks!!!! Numerous times throughout the cruise there was a significant stench, similar to that of a sewer. Fellow passengers also reported this foul smell to guest services. My partner and I felt the stench was so palatable that it may contain toxic fumes that were harmful to our health. I asked on three separate occasions to contact us for a face to face visit through guest services, we were not contacted. The excursions were so so and one of our excursions was canceled due to a broken down boat (very upsetting). The term ANYTIME DINING should be abolished, throughout our cruise, we were unable to dine ANYTIME and were forced to dine in the Horizon Court. A few different times we were unable to be seated at the Princess theater even though we were 30 minutes early, unacceptable. The entertainment was wonderful, most of the staff as well, excluding the front desk. I highly recommend they get at least one English speaking person at the front desk. Excursions were overhyped and I found you could actually buy them significantly cheaper once you hit you got off the boat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
There were 12 of us in this cruise ages ranging from 55-72. So we all may have different opinions of the cruise. My husband and I are 55 and we are platinum members of Princess. We wanted a longer cruise, with a taste of the Panama Canal, ... Read More
There were 12 of us in this cruise ages ranging from 55-72. So we all may have different opinions of the cruise. My husband and I are 55 and we are platinum members of Princess. We wanted a longer cruise, with a taste of the Panama Canal, along with other ports of call we have never been to. The ship itself was so clean and they were very strict about cleanliness, and sanitizing areas, and making sure passengers washed their hands with sinks in the public areas. Food was great. We didn't eat in any of the speciality restaurants which we were fine with. We did the anytime dining, and to be honest our service was not the best each night. Shows were good. We sat out by the pool quite a few days, we hardly ever saw anyone taking drink orders which to us seemed unusual. It was the same when we were at the shows as well. Our room, we had an inside room on the Lido deck which we chose on purpose because of the location, we only had to go up one floor to the Horizon Court, and the pool areas.we were happy with the room, but the bathroom shower was the smallest shower we ever have been in on a Princess ship. Other people in our group had outside rooms and said the same thing. We missed Grand Cayman because of rough seas which was disappointing, this also gave us 5 days at sea. Our first stop was Cartenga, Columbia. We went on a tour with the tour company thru Dora. We did the city tour and saw both the new and old parts of the city. Josie was our tour guide and did an excellent job. We also saw monkies, and parrots. Next we went thru part of the Panama Canal where we did get off and did a tour with the cruise ship which took us to the visitors center on the new part of the Canal, a Gutan Canal tour, and a " walk in the rainforest" which was a walk in a gravel road (disappointing) we could have skipped that walk and spend more time at the Canal. Next stop was Costa Rica, where we did a tour with My Lucky Tour which was awesome! Part of the tour was in the Tortunga Canal where we saw so much wildlife! Highly recommend this tour! Last stop Falmouth, Jamaica. Newer port, and we did a day at the beach at Royal White Sands resort which was all inclusive, and so much fun. We wish we could have had another stop since we didn't get to the Caymans, but all in all it was a very relaxing trip. Older people type of cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
chose cruise for Panama canal Columbia is a waste of time ship should find alternate port,same with Colon Panama canal crossing was nice Buffet breakfast was poor prepared eggs ,pancakes and french toast cold Diner selection ... Read More
chose cruise for Panama canal Columbia is a waste of time ship should find alternate port,same with Colon Panama canal crossing was nice Buffet breakfast was poor prepared eggs ,pancakes and french toast cold Diner selection questionable Mongolian night Spanish night desserts tasted like frozen desserts you get at a supermarket. some furniture in wheelhouse pub was torn also found lounge chairs by pool torn went to dinner in anytime setting rest. and twice was told we would have to wait at least 20 to 30 minutes and both times when we walked in saw at least 12 empty tables Showers in cabin very small however cabin steward was terrific Entertainment was very good. For the price I would have expected more Upgrade seems to be there key word I would think that in day and age Internet would be included without an up charge If at the end of the cruise you have a balance coming to you why would you not credit your credit card they are quick enough to bill it Would look at other cruise lines in the future Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose this for the Panama Canal. It was fine. The two shore excursions were good. We especially like the Discovery, Meet the sloths tour. The room steward was great, best part of the cruise. The trivia was good. The Embarking and ... Read More
We choose this for the Panama Canal. It was fine. The two shore excursions were good. We especially like the Discovery, Meet the sloths tour. The room steward was great, best part of the cruise. The trivia was good. The Embarking and Disembarking was good. The rest of the experience left something to be desired. The food tasted like it should be served in a nursing home. No flavor. The best food was the burger place on deck. The pizza was good. The soft serve ice cream became the best dessert. The ship was dated. The shower was tiny. The front desk was less than helpful. Activities on board were limited. The theater was too small, another show should have been added. The lack of access from the 9th floor to the main dining rooms was annoying. We have completed 27 cruises. This was one of the worse if not the worst. Will not travel with Princess again. We like Celebrity must better. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Itinerary was great! food in mdr was average at best. any time dining was a big waste and princess needs to correct because the wait was always over anhour. sabatini's and bayou cafe were excellent. beware the crab shack was ... Read More
Itinerary was great! food in mdr was average at best. any time dining was a big waste and princess needs to correct because the wait was always over anhour. sabatini's and bayou cafe were excellent. beware the crab shack was only held one evening and we had already booked dining on balcony for two which was awesome and we recommend for any princess cruise! the entertainment consisted of comedians. there was only one production show and it was one song after another and no big deal. staff was excellent but the cruise director hid for most of the ten night cruise. the ports were really outstanding. did a tour with dora the explorer in cartagena, columbia, and would love to visit again. the rain forest in limon costa rica as also worth doing. stayed on the ship during the panama canal transit and enjoyed the whole day watching the ship go through the locks! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first time cruising with Princess and I must say we were disappointed. We chose the Island Princess because of the itinerary it offered with the Panama Canal Crossing (09Jan19 sailing). Embarkation was easy and luggage ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Princess and I must say we were disappointed. We chose the Island Princess because of the itinerary it offered with the Panama Canal Crossing (09Jan19 sailing). Embarkation was easy and luggage delivered promptly. Lunch was very good at the Horizon Court Buffet but was disappointed no music playing on the pool deck to get you in the rhythm of the Caribbean. The ship is well maintained and very clean but for a ship that was refurbished a few years ago to add 100 rooms they forgot to make the ship handicap friendly. This cruise caters to seniors (we saw a total of 3 children & 2 teens) and doors to the outside are heavy (no automated doors or handicap buttons or doors without a lip) making it impossible for guests with walkers or wheelchairs to manage the doors by themselves. As I said the cruise caters to the 70 + crowd but the movies shown at the pool deck were for families with children: Coco, Princess Bride, Jurassic World, Ant man & the Wasp, Hotel Transylvania 3, House with a Clock in its Walls. This was not a cruise during school break, so I am dumbfounded by the selection. When we asked about where the football playoff games would be shown we were told at the "Sports Bar" in the Casino. Not on the Big Screens at the pool. We went to check out the "Sports Bar"....it is a small bar maybe 10 seats and two 35 inch TV's. Not like any sports bar I have seen on any other cruise ship. We asked the bartender about the games, his response I have ESPN 1 & ESPN 2, I know nothing about football games! OMG....we were not alone complaining about this. Saturdays games were at the Sports Bar and also in your cabin but the Sunday games did make it to the Big Screen at the Pool. I hope Princess remembers to do this for the Superbowl. Activities are inside, nothing going on poolside except for an occasional band playing, an exercise class & 1 ice carving demonstration.....no fun & games. When we take a cruise to a warm destination in the winter months, the last thing we want to do is be inside. The only indoor smoking room-The Churchill Cigar Room--old furniture and in desperate need of a ventilation system. The smoke alarm went off a number of times. The ship makes a suggestion for tipping your room steward. Also for every drink you order they add a 15% gratuity. Your room steward does not receive 100% of this tip, they split it 3 ways with 2 other areas not seen by guests. Same with the 15% added to drinks, it does not go to just the wait staff, it is shared by kitchen staff & others. The waiters say they only receive about 5% of what the ship collects. A number of guests went to the front desk and had all the gratuities removed from their account and tipped who they felt deserved tipping. Sabatini's Restaurant was excellent--the Maitre D and Wait staff exceptional. The Bayou, the other speciality restaurant, was good but if I could only choose one it would be Sabatini's. The dining rooms offered Princess favorites that could be ordered every night plus a choice of 5 appetizers and 5 entrees every night. But they also offered UP PRICING on the menu...lobster, filet mignon among other dishes could be ordered for an extra charge. The Horizon Court Buffet breakfast cereals, fruit, hot buffet plus an omelet station, lunch always an array of salads, soups plus hot dishes & at dinner had a different theme each evening, Brazilian, Sushi, German and food was good. Poolside pizza very good & so were the burgers and hotdogs. We took the Princess Tour: Highlights of Cartagena, what the description doesn't say is that this is basically a walking tour. You are in the Old City for at least 2 hours walking, then the tour guide leaves you for 30 minutes at an emerald store, no other shops around. Cartagena is hot & humid and if this tour was described for what it was we would have chose another tour. In Panama we did the Rain Forest boat trip, it is about an hour drive to the boats, tour guide was great and enjoyed the boat trip. Glimpsed a sloth and a gator. Monkey's came down to the boat, jumping on and around it. Nice trip. We had the soda package but when I asked for cans to bring back to the cabin, I was charged $2 a can plus 15% gratuity. Cans are not included in the package only fountain drinks. Seems like another up charge. On the liquor package you are limited to 15 drinks per day but if you ask for a drink with a double shot, they charge you for the 2nd shot, you can only have 1 drink at a time and the 2nd shot is a 2nd drink! Upcharge again. I must say the shows in the Princess Theatre were excellent. Magicians, Guitarists, Comedians, Singing and Dancing very entertaining. The only problem is that the theatre could not accommodate everyone for the 2nd show. I think the problem stems from the Anytime Dining. There are 2 shows 6pm and 8pm. The 6pm show is for guests who have the late dining at 730pm. The 8pm show for the early seating 530pm. From what I saw at the late dining it was relatively empty meaning many Anytime Diners were doing earlier seatings causing guests being turned away for the 8pm shows. Princess has an app for your phone Princess@Sea. It lists your tours, restaurant reservations and the days events. You can add an event to your own schedule listing the time and location. It also has a messenger, you and your party create an account and you can send each other messages.The problem with this is that the receiver does not know they have a message (unless they're looking at their phone) , it doesn't ding or light up, it doesn't have a notification system. Would be great if it did. Disembarkation went smoothly, it was color coded and scheduled around your departing flight times. Luckily, US Custom Agents (who weren't getting paid govt shutdown) moved the lines quickly. The FLL airport is only about 15 minutes away but I wouldn't schedule a return flight before 11am. Would we go on Princess again, not in the foreseeable future. My husband & I are both in our 60's and felt we were the youngest old people on this cruise, so maybe when we are 70 +. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Fantastic experience! Stateroom was beautiful but I can confirm the vibration is excessive, even for an aft stateroom. However, the overall quality of the room and that balcony during the transit far outweighed the vibration being a ... Read More
Fantastic experience! Stateroom was beautiful but I can confirm the vibration is excessive, even for an aft stateroom. However, the overall quality of the room and that balcony during the transit far outweighed the vibration being a problem. Would book it again in a heartbeat. Balcony dinner was FANTASTIC. Club Class dining was wonderful and we were able to have the same server every night and never a wait. They accommodated my no dairy / no gluten needs without a problem. I found the food to be exceptional. Canal transit was the highlight for sure. We opted to stay on board instead of doing an excursion and watched the transit from our aft balcony going into Gatun and then from deck 11 forward leaving Gatun so we got both perspectives. Great choice in my opinion. We embarked from terminal 2 but were bumped to a different terminal upon return but they handled it wonderfully with minimal inconvenience. We stayed at the Hilton Marina the night prior to sailing. Great location, not impressed with the grounds at all. Not a good representation of a Hilton property. 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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