January 2016 - Island Princess to Panama Canal, Central America
What we had been looking forward to as an exciting exploration of the Panama Canal turned out to be a frustrating and unpleasant experience. The Island Princess was a tired ship in need of an overhaul and update. Conditions on board were crowded and frustrating. It was difficult to make a reasonable dinner reservation for our "anytime" dining preference. There were not enough seats in the theater; several evenings my husband became separated from our party and was so annoyed by the shoving, jostling and pushing that he returned to the cabin without seeing the show. Disembarkation was unorganized with unclear instructions, few signs and a man who nearly collapsed. We learned that Princess had closed off part of the Promenade deck and added cabins for about 250-260 extra people onboard...a bad move which made every activity difficult. In addition, we signed up for an excursion to take us through to the other side of the canal. It was 13 hours long, much of the time spent sitting on a bus and I mean PARKED, not moving. We never did learn the cause. A promised "lunch" on this tour was served at 5:00 and we returned so late to the ship that it had to delay its departure to the next destination thus making all the rest of the cruise a rush. I would have rated this cruise with negative stars if it had not been for the service provided by the wait staff and the room steward. I will not book with Princess again.