Island Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
7+ cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
4

4 out of 5

Panama Canal on Island Princess

Sail Date: October 02, 2016

Reviewed: 1 month ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Island Princess.  We have sailed Princess at least 4-5 times in the past and while they are a good middle of the road cruise line, I think they have dropped somewhat in overall quality the past few years, perhaps since "joining up" (acquired) by Carnival Cruises.  Food quality, especially room service, is far less than it was several years ago. Dining room food also lower in quality and choices from our perspective.  Can't speak to the buffet as we almost never go there.  Overall service and staff still quite good.  Evening entertainment was very enjoyable (productions, etc).  Would have like a few more ports on the itinerary and a few less days at sea (this was a 15 night cruise).  Port Chiapas in Mexico a huge disappointment, quite primitive and the "ruins" they touted in one of the excursions was a total waste of time and $ as the "ruins" are nearly totally under ground and not even visible!  Port stop in Costa Rica was great.  We booked our own excursion privately and loved it, just 4 of us and we used Odyssey Tours for a "walk in the clouds" over suspension bridges, a zip line which was different and more extnsive than the one offered through Princess and included a "Tarzan" swing which was exhilarating!   Panama Canal transit was very good, informative presentation going on throughout on the TV in cabins.

Cabin / Stateroom
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Onboard Activities
Entertainment
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
General quality seems to have dropped over past few years with Princess, especially their room service and dining room dinners. Can't speak to buffet as we rarely ever went there.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
Cartagena, Colombia
Fort Amador
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Puerto Chiapas, Mexico
Don't wast time or $ going on excursion to the "ruins" because there is almost nothing to see. They are mostly under ground because the $ needed by the government to excavate and preserve them has never been allocated.

Tip

If you choose any time dining, either plan to go very early or after 7:45 , or you will encounter very long lines. In hindsight, we would just have selected late dining. That would still allow you time for a pre-dinner cocktail and the early evening production show/entertainment.



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