We had a great experience, excellent service and good overall port experiences!

Island Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 53

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5
Verified Review
Island Princess

15 Night Panama Canal - Ocean To Ocean (Ft. Lauderdale To Los Angeles)

Sail date: October 27, 2017

Ship: Island Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: D205

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

This was our first Princess cruise, we really liked the service and attention to detail of the crew and service personnel. The excursions we took were good, the excursion staff on board were very helpful and honest!


4 out of 5
It was very smooth, and once the line started to move it went quickly, we did not have much of a wait, maybe 45 min. one of the smoothest we have encountered with a cruise!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The service in the buffet was excellent. The staff were spot on with asking what we would like and cleaning up the dishes. the food was mostly good. We had chosen "anytime dining" we found the service although good, was quite slow, several people we dined with also said they had slow service on other nights. We only had one meal that we did not like due to tough meat. The pizza take out was great. the service at the hamburger stand good, but the burgers in the buffet were better. We did not utilize any specialty restaurants.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
We played a toss game, did not use the fitness center. Since it was a smaller ship it was limited. We did enjoy the movies shown on deck, and all the entertainment.


5 out of 5
The entertainers, singers,dancers, comedian were excellent. The entertainment director was one of the best we have had on a cruise. He was the "heart" of the ship.

Children's Programs

we did not bring children

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Excellent service from all staff. Our room steward, Carolina, was top notch, always friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, always asking if we needed anything. The entertainment director, Carrie was so dedicated to making sure everything went well. He was entertaining and funny and everyone loved the Halloween outfit he wore. He really got into his role and enjoyed his job! The servers and waiters were always right there to serve up drinks and clear off the tables. We ate at the buffet most of the time. Only had 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners in the dining room. The hours didn't always work for us, and we found the service slow. Staff at the excursion counter were exceptional!

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
We like to walk the decks, and found we could not walk completely around the ship. They had taken away part of the deck to add staterooms, and the design was not good. Common areas were clean, except for rust and paint peeling and wear, were kept clean.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
The ship had a lot of rust, and in our stateroom the carpet was coming away from the wall, where it curved up. The shower was too small, and the design of the shower head made it impossible to shower without getting hair wet, I could not adjust the shower head, and my husband could only make it move a little. The hairdryer was at the desk, in area where we ate and drank, and watched tv, not a good place for this, and brushing hair, it should be in the bathroom. The right side of our bed was somewhat collapsed, as if a very heavy person had slept on it, my husband could not sleep on that side. We were assigned a stateroom with a "obstructed" balcony, however, the way it worked out it gave us a corner to sit in when it was windy and still be able to see out. So that did not bother us. Only a lot of rust and paint chipping on the balcony. Overall the ship needs an overhaul. Also 3-4 staterooms starting next to us had a flooding, and the occupants were moved so carpet could be replaced and room dried out. The occupants were upset, they had to pack up their things, (which took several hours) and were only given a $25. credit each for the time and effort and inconvenience of moving, I know they voiced this and so possibly they were offered more!The ship had a lot of movement, at times we could hardly walk ,holding on. Possibly needing more stabilizers to make it stable.

Ship tip

Look up previous guests comments, and when it was last overhauled. (we were told 2015, but the ship must have only had a touch up then).

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

4 out of 5
this is where the ship left from

Oranjestad, Aruba

4 out of 5
We only walked the streets and shoreline, the person who gave out information about the port, indicated that it was only good for shopping, and so we didn't arrange anything there. However we did enjoy our walk and the shoreline.

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
We did a bus ride and horse and carriage tour of the city. Tour lady was very informational. We enjoyed this tour.

Panama Canal Transit

4 out of 5
great experience overall. It poured, and we got soaked, got our picture taken which made it memorable. We bought the videos which explained the crossing and are glad we did. The narrator did a good job both while we crossed and on the video! We would recommend this itinerary to anyone!

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
Did croc river adventure. We saw many crocs of different sizes and birds and other small animals. Good bus ride and tour, plus some time for shopping.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

4 out of 5
My husband did the Zip line and loved it. We walked the town, had lunch at a restaurant on the beach, then I took the tender back to ship while he did Zip line. Would have been nice if I could have gone just to see him do it and take pictures. But would have had to pay full price. Taking the tenders to shore was well organized.

Huatulco, Mexico

4 out of 5
We walked into town and shopped, then went back again later for a catamaran and beach excursion. We swam from the catamaran to the shore and then back. Mariachi's came on board to play while we were at the beach. It was a good tour. Tip, take a life preserver if you swim to shore, it is further than it looks, got a workout!

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

4 out of 5
Did a tour of the Cathedral, town, tile factory, and tequila tasting. The tour was good, however, the guide seemed more interested in us buying things. We were taken to a gold and silver store, (and other stores nearby) and left for 45 min. not mentioned in tour. We had already been to the tile factory and a leather store. Lot of pressure from people and tour guide to buy.

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California

5 out of 5
This is where our cruise ended. Well organized departure!


4 out of 5
Except for pushy guests who pushed their way (out of turn) in front of us. We were in the first group who walked off with luggage, the hallway was packed with people and as soon as we were given the go ahead it was crazy, we had been there for 30 min. and people who just then showed up were pushing ahead. Once we were off the ship it went very smoothly and well organized. Customs was a breeze!
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