Island Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Panama Canal cruise

Sail Date: December 01, 2009

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Public spaces were attractive and the balcony cabin had ample storage space and a comfortable bed. Music for dancing had excellent variety and was available all evening unlike other cruises we have taken. I was impressed by the way Princess handled the smoking issue as it never really bothered me. They were also very low key about promoting products and selling things. Food was good but not outstanding. Service in the dining room was up to my expectations--pulling out my chair, placing my napkin in my lap, remembering my wine, and taking my order promptly. Plus, our Italian waiter had a great sense of humor! The cabin steward was much less efficient and only adequate. Excursions were good but not enough information was provided before we booked nor about each port of call. At times getting to our tours was disorganized, resulting in long lines. After this, my 17th cruise, I have decided the ship is larger than I like (about 2300 guests).

Pros: Variety of music for ballroom dancing nightly

Cons: Lack of information provided by Princess

Recommends Island Princess? Yes!

Food and Dining
Quality of food was good but not outstanding. I dislike paying extra to eat in speciality restaurants and have not found the food to be worth the extra money. I preferred eating in the dining room rather than the buffet because it was quieter and less stressful. Hamburgers from the grill were tasty but the pizza was mediocre; there was an ice cream bar that provided free soft-serve ice cream daily.
Cabin / Stateroom
Staterooms were spacious enough for me with more than adequate storage space. The beds were very comfortable and towels were the softest of any ship I've sailed on. The bath was standard. There was a very good variety of movies on the TV but minimal port information provided.
Service and Staff
Except for our waiter in the Provence dining room for the traditional seating, service aboard this ship was only adequate. At least the cocktail waiters and waitresses did not pressure you to order if you were not inclined to drink.
I am not a big fan of the production shows on cruises but did enjoy the music. There was some type of music for dancing as early as 5pm until midnight. Only one of the groups did not play the kind of music we dance to (more Big Band/ballroom) but presumably they provided something for the younger passengers to enjoy. We also enjoyed a female classical trio(flute, piano, and violin) from Ukraine that played nightly in the atrium and gave a concert. The variety of nightly musical venues was one of the best features of this cruise.
Ship Quality
Generally good condition of the ship but it was not always clean: bugs on bread in the buffet, floors of the buffet not clean first thing in the morning, dust on furniture in the cabin, and occasional trash dropped on the carpet in public areas. It is a large ship with many passengers and many activities but not always ones in which I am interested. I liked the dancing and music but not the shows.

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