January 2016 - Island Princess to Panama Canal, Central America
While the vessel itself and the staff was above average in almost every aspect, the quality of the food (especially in the Speciality dining rooms) left a lot to be desired. The tours were located too far from the port which resulted in much too much time going to and from the tour site. The only tour worth taking was the Panama Canal tour itself (done beautifully and well). All the other tours were not worth the money. We missed the first tour (swimming with the stingrays) because I immeidately got the "runs" the first night of the cruise and was isolated to my cabin for 24 hours. It may have been a coincidence, but the ship had to be totally sanitized in mid-cruise even though a total santizing effort had been made before we boarded because the previous cruise had suffered a norobirus problem.
The llive production shows varied from very bad to very good -- even within one show! The opening musical number was almost always "CRAP RAP" - nothing but screaming and hollering - especially the female singers who all think they are Mariah Cary reincarnate (trust me, they are NOT!). One of the shows in particular was absolutely WONDERFUL - the best we have ever seen in over a half a century of cruising. Then there was one show that we just walked out of after listening to just 1-2 minutes of pure CRAP RAP.
But the worst part of the cruise was the disembarkation process. First, no one EVER told us how to get, or where to get, the luggage tags for our bags.They truly didn't know what they were doing. Then after visiting the Customer Service Customer Service they printed us our tags.
The next morning our tag number was included with some other groups that were sent to a theater location to await their call. .Apparently the air conditioning was turned off in the theater immediately after the second show held on the previous night and it was HOT in the theater. The Princess employees officiating did not have the common sense to advise the appropriate department, so I, along with a few others, had to just about order them to have the a/c turned on. It was done, but too little too late. One person became ill from the heat and was led away for (hopefully) treatment. We were held in the theater from around 9:30am to around 11:30 ambefore being led away to Customs.