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Cruise Ratings
1,783
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163
Sail Date: February 2019
Outstanding value for the cuisine that is included and onboard entertainment. I would not recommend the premium restaurants as many have complained about the food quality for the extra price. Long wait times for Anytime Dining. You need to ... Read More
Outstanding value for the cuisine that is included and onboard entertainment. I would not recommend the premium restaurants as many have complained about the food quality for the extra price. Long wait times for Anytime Dining. You need to reserve your dining times to avoid. Ports of call on this itinerary are below average and the excursions are not worth the money. This cruise is clearly targeted for senior citizens. It is not recommended for ages 55 and below. Very laid back vibe. The staff on this ship are very well trained and accommodating. Countries represented are mainly from the Philippines, India and China. They have the most pleasant demeanor and disposition unlike some cruise lines that represent Eastern European cultures. Princess has an amazing reputation for providing excellent quality food and highly skilled chefs that prepare a variety of international dishes. Our new preference for cruise companies is clearly Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - full traverse of the Panama Canal and lots of stops in countries other cruise lines don't stop in. We have travelled with other companies, Celebrity, RCI, Cunard, P&O and now NCL. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - full traverse of the Panama Canal and lots of stops in countries other cruise lines don't stop in. We have travelled with other companies, Celebrity, RCI, Cunard, P&O and now NCL. The reason for the low score for NCL is that there were lots of little things which were not as good as other cruise companies and they added up to make a big difference. Firstly the good: The organisation of the Freedom dining is fantastic. We only had to wait (briefly) for a table on a couple of occasions - the rest of the time it worked like clockwork. This is down mainly to the ladies who work at the front desk. They do an exceptional job. The staff in the dining rooms were all fantastic. Hardworking and always cheerful. No mean feat! The chinese restaurant is included rather than the usual cover charge and we thought the food was superb. The presentation of the food in the main dining rooms was the best we have seen There were proper showers in all of the rooms (not just shower curtains) The bad: The menus in the Chinese and O'Sheehans never changes nor does it in Grand Pacific at lunch time. Not too bad if you are on a 7 day cruise but this was 19 days of the same choice. The drinks are very expensive The ship was late in to nearly every port. Sometimes just by 15-20 mins but it messed up our plans (and on two of the occassions this was when the ship was only travelling a short distance between ports) Disembarkation was a shambles with poor communication. They put on too few tenders when needed so that it took us until after 1pm to get off the ship when we had to be back on board by 4pm. We paid for an upgrade to an ocean view room and yet all we could see was a lifeboat. There was no warnings about it being a partial view. There was insufficient shade on the ship so there was always a battle to be up early enough to grab some. They have a great lounge at the front of the boat where you can sit in the shade and cool and look at the view but insisted on running bingo and other talks in there all through the day despite having other areas that would accomodate these things. They even had to draw the blinds in the room to make it dark enough to see the projector. The talks about the ports and countries we were visiting were awful. The entertainment in the bars was not to our taste and hardly varied. No gala type dinners so no lobster or other special food. Food was the worst we have had on a ship (not bad like other reviews have said - just not as good as other ships) The food in the buffet was not great and was very repetitive. All of the entertainment was geared towards Americans (even though they were in the minority on the ship). I understand that they are usually the majority so I guess it would be too much trouble to change things cruise by cruise. Guest Relations were terrible. They handled a minor complaint so badly that it ended up being a big issue. They have zero authority and a terrible attitude. One thing that isn't the ships problem but is worth mentioning is that we like to share our table with others in the evening. Clearly most people who choose NCL don't like to so it was rare that we managed to get a table with other people on it. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
our stwerd was awesome. He there when we needed something. Said hi in hall and talked with us. The Buffet was okay. Lots of food from different countries. Not my kind of food so I just picked. Breakfast was the same old thing and ... Read More
our stwerd was awesome. He there when we needed something. Said hi in hall and talked with us. The Buffet was okay. Lots of food from different countries. Not my kind of food so I just picked. Breakfast was the same old thing and the bakery was the same at breakfast. Lunch and dinner bakery was great. Main room dining was good. Photographer they know their job. They do great shots. I loved all my 129 pictures. Get the photo package be you sail. Save $50. Do all shot and have fun with them. This cruise did not have very many kids on board. You only see them at food time. The shore excursions was good. Grand tuck stay away from the town tour with lighthouse. Big disappointment. Shop around ship or do water trips. Pamama canal going thought locks was awesome. tour after to see new locks pamama city and ride old train back to ship. Have to do it. Pools and hot tub very relaxing Try out spa. Got good programs. Getting on and getting off ship was very smooth from Fort Lauderdale fl. We carry-on our luggage. Bags 24 and 28 inch and two smaller one too. Long drive from lubbock tx. Two day drive. 3600 mile around trip. Nice drive if you have time. Oh yes!! Holiday Inn express off of us 84 and I 595 just 10 minutes from ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise as I thought my husband would enjoy the Panama Canal. It was great! I was a little worried about reviews complaining about the ship. Do not believe these reviews. It was just fine. I’m sure there are ships out ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I thought my husband would enjoy the Panama Canal. It was great! I was a little worried about reviews complaining about the ship. Do not believe these reviews. It was just fine. I’m sure there are ships out there that are more glamorous but Island Princess was great. Excursions are too expensive on ship. We waited and got tours off ship except in Jamaica and saved money. Following are ones we took and highly recommend all of them. In Turks & Caicos - www.islandtrams.com, Island Trams, 42 Front Street, Grand Turks & Caicos 649-432-TRAM. In Cartagena - rouscartagena09@hotmail.com. In Costa Rica - Oregon Tours with Christian Robinson - Highly recommend you request Christian. We just got off ship and got our tours with groups that will be right there as you get off ship. We were very pleased with all the tours we had. Disembarkation was great. We walked right on ship. No waiting. I think they need more signs however in regards to where to leave luggage if you’re not carrying on board. Also signs on how to get to parking and which way to go to get on ship. We were early to board but our room was ready shortly after we boarded. Disembarkation was smooth and quick. Chose to carry our luggage off ourselves and recommend this if possible. No waiting at all. The service in the dining room was great. My husband is lactose intolerant and he just mentioned it to our waiter and the head waiter was right there talking to him. They had him fill out a menu each night for the next night so they could be sure no milk products in it. The chef made special desserts for him that were great. Our cabin was comfortable and service great. Loved our bed. We have always gotten inside cabins and very pleased with them. Gone from the cabin most of the time so we don’t need the balcony. Entertainment was excellent. Enjoyed it each night. The regulars on ship were outstanding. Great voices. One complaint would be people who put their towels on lounge chair and leaving them there all day so many people don’t get a turn. Have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise. I would never choose the Island Princess again. The hallways to the rooms were very narrow & the bathrooms & showers were very, very small. Much smaller than any other cruise ship I've ... Read More
I wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise. I would never choose the Island Princess again. The hallways to the rooms were very narrow & the bathrooms & showers were very, very small. Much smaller than any other cruise ship I've been on. The shower head in the tiny shower was fixed to the wall. All other shower heads I've ever had could be removed to spray hard to reach areas. I'll never step foot on this ship again because of the bathrooms! I had an inside room. The room had very comfortable beds & large comfy pillows. There was plenty of room to hang our clothes & large shelves to store folded clothes or other items. It had a refrigerator, a large tv, & a safe. We had My Time Dining but we changed it to early dining when I found out I had to call after 8 o'clock each morning to reserve a time for My Time & we wouldn't have the same waiters. We had good waiters & 2 lovely couples at our table. The food was just average. The cuts of meat they served were poor quality. Breakfast was good in the Horizon Buffet. The entertainment was very good for the most part. We had 1 great shore excursion & a couple of hiccups on 2 of our excursions. The shore excursion team gave us a 30% refund on 1& a 20% refund on another one. Embarkation was delayed because of sanitizing the ship due to the Norivirus. We got on & off of the ship easily because my friend had to have wheelchair assistance. Finding a place to park was very confusing! The ramp we were supposed to go up had lots of red cones & the stations were unmanned & had bars across them. We found out after circling around several times that we had to approach the bars, get a ticket from a ticket dispenser to make the bars go up, & then go up the ramp to the parking deck. We had to keep up with the ticket so we could pay for parking after the cruise. I've always paid to park before the cruise & had attendants at the stations as we entered. There were not very many shops on this ship & the photos were pricey. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Wanted to see the new Panama Canal. Entertainment was good. Many options during the day and evenings. The food was good in the Resturant but service was very slow. Anytime dining was not managed well. Long lines/wait even though there were ... Read More
Wanted to see the new Panama Canal. Entertainment was good. Many options during the day and evenings. The food was good in the Resturant but service was very slow. Anytime dining was not managed well. Long lines/wait even though there were many available tables. The grill food was good but there again service was slow. Pizza was ok but not up to my standards. Crooners bar was my favorite - usually not too crowded after dinner. Easy listening music in the Atrium made it easy to enjoy a drink and conversation without having to yell to be heard. The buffet was ok for breakfast but I did not like the choices for lunch or dinner. The formal nights allowed for those who wanted to dress up to do so but also allowed those who didn’t bring a suit to enjoy the evening without any problem. (I really do not see the point of having formal nights) Excursions were a disappointment. The descriptions of the trips did not match the experiences. Our cabin steward was very efficient and more than exceeded our expectations. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First and foremost it was a great cruise. Any criticism I have here should be taken lightly as I consider it very minor. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, Princess was the only cruise line that had the dates we wanted and ports we ... Read More
First and foremost it was a great cruise. Any criticism I have here should be taken lightly as I consider it very minor. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, Princess was the only cruise line that had the dates we wanted and ports we had never been to. We are four time Carnival cruisers and had heard good things about Princess so why not. The staff was wonderful, as they have been on every cruise we have been on. The food was really good, on par with Carnival. Naturally we liked some dishes better than others (depends on your taste) but all really good quality and quantity. Good selection in the dining rooms and great selection in the Horizon buffet. I highly recommend the Bayou Cafe, my wife and I thought it was the best steak filet we have ever had. Service there was great as well. Just a warning about anytime dining, they allow reservations which defeats the purpose in my opinion because it now ties a table to a time. If you don’t get there by 5:30 or after 8 you are going to wait (they’ll give you a pager). We never had to wait a long time but it’s annoying watching people get there after you go in before you. There was lineups to get in the Horizon Court but that was due to a continuing Norovirus outbreak so you had to wash your hands before going in (and shame on the people that sneak around the line and claim they just washed their hands). Also due to this they had to serve everything to you in the buffet which slowed things down a bit but I was grateful because we didn’t catch anything. Don’t base your decision to go on this because it was not a normal situation (it had been eradicated by the end of the cruise). As another reviewer said, there was definitely an older crowd on this ship. We are also early 60’s and felt like we were part of the youngest group aboard, I suspect a lot of the negative reviews are due to the older demographic. Yes the ship is smaller than the newer ones but it has to go through the Panama Canal. It never felt overcrowded though, there are the usual people that stake out loungers first thing in the morning and then come back 2 hours later but we always managed to get a spot we liked. Getting a table in the Horizon Buffet at peak times was a challenge but that’s to be expected if everyone goes at the same time. Entertainment was good in the theatre, again catering to an older crowd. Most of it not my thing but it was very well done. Get there early though, it’s full 15 minutes before showtime. We thought there could have been more deck entertainment but again, older crowd, so they could be keeping it sparse for them and there was always something on the movie screen (we saw 4 good movies while sunbathing). To be fair, on the first sea day they tried to get people to join the Hairy Legs competition and not one person volunteered. Different story on the last sea day, they got 8 contestants, and later an impromptu beach ball game broke out in the pool. There is also another pool with a retractable roof that they don’t open, we went in there once to get out of the blazing sun and it was ok but it’s an indoor pool so I’ll leave it at that. Ports and excursions were great. You have to bear in mind that most of the stops are industrial ports so if you don’t do an excursion you’re not going to see much. Grand Turk was excellent, no excursion required. We lucked out as we were the only ship that day so it wasn’t crowded. Tropical paradise with Jimmy Buffet drinks! (By the way you can research how many ships will be in a particular port each day on line, just google “ship port calendar”) We took the bus/walking tour in Cartegena which was really good. The street vendors really pester you but you just have to be patient and keep saying no thank you (they would usually leave and then come back 2 minutes later, but hey, they’re just trying to eke out a living). Some of them were quite comical and give you a laugh during their efforts. The city is beautiful and full of history. The Panama Canal is amazing! We got to the front observation deck at 6 am and stood mesmerized for the next 3 and a half hours. We felt we didn’t need to do an excursion there as the canal transit was the attraction for us. We stopped in Colon after we came out and there wasn’t much there but it didn’t matter as the transit itself was our day’s excursion. After seeing not much in Colon we booked the Bus/boat/rainforest walk excursion in Limon. Amazing. Think Disney Jungle Cruise but for real. Saw a Toucan, Sloths, Jesus Christ Lizards, Iguanas, Howler Monkeys, Poison Dart frogs and the Coast Guard station with a confiscated drug runner boat. We did Dunn’s River falls and the Bamboo Beach VIP excursion in Ocho Rios. Again excellent. If your knees and heart can handle some exersize, go for it, it was a lot of fun. The Beach club was not what I expected, it’s a little rustic, but we walked out of there a little wobbly from the free drinks and so full we couldn’t go to the dining room that night. Two observations: we thought the rum drinks tasted like plastic from the coolers at first until I realized it was Appleton’s rum we were tasting; and the difference between the VIP and the regular excursion is that they serve you food and drinks instead of having to get them yourself. All three excursions we took had excellent guides and were well worth it. I also want to mention that the embarkation/debarkation/transfer were the smoothest we have ever experienced. So all that said, I would highly recommend this cruise and I hope this helps your decision. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Choose for Panama Canal experience. Like watching paint dry, lol. OK, it was interesting but I got bored standing around waiting to go through the locks so I went back and watched it on the cabin TV. Good - Room size, B216. Overall ... Read More
Choose for Panama Canal experience. Like watching paint dry, lol. OK, it was interesting but I got bored standing around waiting to go through the locks so I went back and watched it on the cabin TV. Good - Room size, B216. Overall entertainment. Hamburgers and Pizza. Bad - Anytime dining. Bad joke. Wait staff was only good the last night. Had to arrive to the show 15-30 minutes early to get a seat in theatre. Organization of daily activities bad. Not much music in pool area. Mostly movies all day. Ugly - Horizon Court. Food was boring, bland and repetitive. Breakfast was usually lukewarm and I threw away more than once. One waffle iron for 2000 passengers??? Staff seemed put out if they had to wait on you. Had to wait 15 minutes to get a specialty coffee because length of line. Buffet focused so much on cleanliness that other parts of ship service went l Excursions were OK not great. Worst cruise experience we've ever had. I packed at noon last day and couldn't wait to depart next morning. If I ever see Island Princess (or even another Princess cruiseship) it will be too soon!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Our cruise on the Island Princess should have been terrific. After all, we were visiting some interesting Caribbean and Central American ports, and going into the Panama Canal (a bucket list trip). But the cruise was a disappointment for ... Read More
Our cruise on the Island Princess should have been terrific. After all, we were visiting some interesting Caribbean and Central American ports, and going into the Panama Canal (a bucket list trip). But the cruise was a disappointment for many reasons. First, we were advised that there had been an outbreak of norovirus on the cruise that just ended, causing widespread diarrhea and vomiting. They advised us that they were doing an extra thorough disinfection, which we found reassuring. But when we got on board, they had done more than just disinfect. They removed all the interior shelves from the stateroom refrigerators, along with the metal racks in the fridge doors that hold drinks. They never explained this, and never returned the shelves and racks, which made the small fridges even less useful. Also in the interest of hygiene, passengers were not allowed to serve themselves at the buffet. Anything you wanted – from an orange to a dinner roll to a spoonful of scrambled eggs or a pastry – had to be pointed out to one of the crew, who would put it on your plate. This extended to salt and pepper packets, ketchup, tabasco sauce and other condiments. You couldn’t touch anything. You had to stand in line to have a crew member pull a glass of water or iced tea. You had to have them pull your cup of coffee and guess at how much cream to put in. It made the process slow, irritating and chaotic. At the pool grill, you couldn’t put ketchup on your own burger or fries. You had to wait for someone to put pepper flakes or oregano on your pizza slice. Then there were the dining rooms. The ship was recently (2017) refitted with additional staterooms, adding up to 300 guests (was the resultant overcrowding one reason for the norovirus outbreak?). But they didn’t add any dining rooms to handle the extra guests, so there was a 45 minute wait for a table every night at the ONE restaurant with ‘anytime’ seating. That jamming in of additional passengers speaks to another annoyance. They have found a way to squeeze extra money out of every single aspect of your cruise. The waiters constantly push you to buy more drinks. The photographers are constantly snapping photos and videos to sell you. The dining room menus have inserts trying to get you to ‘upgrade’ to steaks at additional cost. The chef and maître‘d put on a cooking demo and then try to sell you a cookbook. Bottles of water to take on your shore excursions are $2 each. Of course, soda pop and alcoholic drinks cost extra, and the first few days crew work hard to sell you a cruise-long ‘beverage package’ which comes out to about $689 per person including 15% bar gratuity, which means you’ll drink 6 alcoholic beverages a day to break even. On the bright side, drink anything over 6 and you’ll come out ahead (although your liver may not). In short, every day and every meal or activity seemed to bring one more little annoyance. After a while, they just started to add up and suck some of the joy out of what should have been a lovely vacation. The ports we visited were great; but unlike the old slogan, ‘getting there’ was NOT half the fun. Our last two cruises were with Regent, which cost more initially (it's all-inclusive and a bit more luxe), but which always delivered excellent service that seemed to anticipate our needs, instead of looking for ways to capitalize on them. We tried Princess to save some money. In the end, the savings simply were not worth the aggravation. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I am confined to a wheelchair and cannot stand. I was unable to find any wheelchair accessible excursions provided by the Island Princess at any port of call during the whole of this cruise. A few of the excursions were labelled as ... Read More
I am confined to a wheelchair and cannot stand. I was unable to find any wheelchair accessible excursions provided by the Island Princess at any port of call during the whole of this cruise. A few of the excursions were labelled as wheelchair accessible on the website and I had booked these prior to the cruise. Unfortunately, when on board, I was informed that while the location was wheelchair accessible, the transportation was not. Only two of the ship’s doors opened automatically. The others could only be opened with considerable effort and had a ledge that made it difficult for a wheelchair to roll over. Unlike other cruise ships such as Celebrity there were no hoists to lift me into the pool. The noise levels in the Horizon restaurant are extremely high. At one lunchtime I measured sound levels over 90 dB over a sustained period of time. This level of noise can produce permanent damage to hearing. It is especially dangerous when someone is exposed to this for a sustained period, such as your staff. We were constantly bombarded by sale offers. On exiting from dinner, we were confronted by half a dozen "paparazzi". A man dressed as a giant bear blocked our paths on the deck. Our television always started with the Princess channel offering more sales opportunities, not the channel we had just watched. Over the trip at least three dozen sheets of paper with advertising offers were left on our bed. Travelling with Princess cruises would be considered again if these problems could be corrected. Read Less

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