February 2015 - 15 Night Panama Canal - Ocean To Ocean (Los Angeles To Ft. Lauderdale) Cruise on Island Princess
Wife and I are pretty experienced cruisers and this cruise was parade of highs of lows. First the highs:
Excellent staff, friendly, helpful, courteous. From cabin attendant to bartenders all were very professional.
Excellent food. We were never disappointed in the dining room or Horizon Court. Sabatini's was exceptional. The pizza for lunch was the best we've had on a cruise. The Crab Shack was a nice surprise.
Panama canal was awesome experience
Due to a booking problem we had to choose Guaranteed mini sweet. No problem we were "Gold" members with princess having spent more than $30K with them over the years... our stateroom... D725 the LAST room at the rear of the ship, directly above the engines. The rattles, shakes, vibrations, and noise required ear plugs at night. Several complaints later we were offered $50 a night as compensation, hardly enough to get our loyalty.
Internet: In suite internet is not available. We logged on once, got kicked off and our timer kept going! At 79¢/minute! We complained and they restored our minutes. I asked what to do in the future and was told, and I'm not making this up, to sit outside our stateroom, in the hall, were we'd have better reception.
Anytime dining. Kind of... from 5:30-7:30 its walk-in only no reservations, 7:30-10:00 reservations. Now here's the kicker, the reservations telephone number is ONLY available till 5:00pm. We had reservation at the Crab Shack (great by the way) for 7:00. At 6:00 wife noticed NO HOT WATER for a shower and would not be able to make our 7:00pm reservation. We called guest service to be informed, and I'm not making this up, that the Crab Shack had no telephone and we'd have to go their personally to change our reservation. I had a FitBit and its a .1 miles from our stateroom on deck 7 to the Horizon Court on deck 14. I said this was ridiculous as we had no hot water and was informed sorry that's the best she could do! Ugh.
Ports: Cabo and Costa Rica were wonderful. Half days in Cartegena and Aruba a waste. Nicaragua was a bust, a very primitive country with some real problems.
All in all a very crazy cruise experience.