Another bucket list checkmark - Panama Canal (Part deux)

Island Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Experience: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 15
Helpful Votes: 95

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5

Sail Date: February 18, 2016
Ship: Island Princess
Cabin Type: Suite
Cabin Number: C218
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago

This cruise represents the second half of our Panama Canal adventure. I reviewed the first leg separately and we enjoyed the return just as much because of the wonderful customer-focused attitude of the crew members coupled with an interesting itinerary. My husband and I traveled together on this trip. 

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
We cannot say enough positive things for the quality and variety of food offerings in all venues. Normal Love Chocolate Journey was abulous (if you love chocolate). The Bayou is touted as a "steakhouse" but the menu was so Louisiana Cajun-focused that I had to wonder why. Not enough steak options. Recommend Sabatini's over The Bayou.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Predictable but well-done. Cruise director, Rich was so professional.


3 out of 5
Predictable comedy routines and magic acts. The Souvenir Trio (Ukrainian group) was great - a passenger favorite. Guitarist Josh Wheeler was very pleasant. Xcite dance band was fabulous.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Exceptional. Excellent professional crew. Even the behind-the-scenes crew members welcomed us if we passed by while they were working. Simply amazing.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Ship is older but it was clean as a whistle. The decor reflects an earlier time but it is relatively neutral and comfortable.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We stayed in the same cabin for both legs of our B2B cruises. Caribe 218 is a mini-suite. Ample room and a full-sized sofa. Tub required a bit of manuevering because the ceiling is a bit lower. The shower curtain tended to be short and so water dripped onto floor, making it slippery - just be careful. Overall, we loved it.

Ship Tip

The concept of Anytime Dining is great, but execution needs some fine-tuning. Make a reservation for a set dining time once you get on the ship. Yep, that flies in the face of "anytime" dining but if you dine at a popular time, not having a reserved table leaves you sitting with a beeper waiting.

3 out of 5
There is plenty to do in the LA area before or after your cruise but the immediate cruise port area is a major industrial port so plan to head to LA or Long Beach for some fun.
5 out of 5
It can be hot and humid but excursions that head into the hills are nice - breezy and cooler.
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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