Overall unimpressed

Island Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 14

Overall rating:

3.2 out of 5
Island Princess

10 Night Panama Canal With Costa Rica & Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 20, 2018

Ship: Island Princess

Cabin type: Suite

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

This was our first cruise with Princess. My wife and I had a suite and the kids had their balcony stateroom. We thought that was good arrangement, not having to have all four of us in the suite, but it turned out to be a bad decision (read below). Previously we sailed on NCL, Oceana, and many times on Royal Caribbean. Here's what we thought was good: 1. Destinations (Columbia and Costa Rica in particular) were interesting 2. Embarkation/Disembarkation were run efficiently and quickly. Port stops and excursions were well organized 3. Service at the coffee shop and bar was good. Here's what we didn't like: 1. The biggest complaint was that we could not enjoy priviledges of the suite such as a separate Main Dining Room area, or having breakfast in a restaurant because our kids had their own cabin, not a suite. So they would let us in but not our children because our suite only had two people in it. Had I crammed them into my suite or paid for their own, all would be fine. From the getgo, this situation soured our cruise. I probably should have complained. Princess really needs reconsider this policy. Until then, we will not be sailing with them (or the kids would need to afford own suite!) 2. The service in the Main Dining room was subpar, considerably worse than we've experienced on all of our past cruises. 3. Food variety at the buffet was not as good as on other cruise lines. 4. Meals at the main dining room were just ok. Some menu items were at additional cost and we didn't try those. Food at the Bayou was also average to below average. We ended up eating at Sabatini's several times, the one place with relatively good food and service (at a low low price of $29 per person) So, overall, just ok for this cruise. Not a good first impression with Princess.


5 out of 5
Embarkation in Port Everglades was quick and seemed to be well run.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
Fruit was primarily Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon. There were no berries. Lox was available for only a couple days and was replaced by smoked mystery fish. In the main dining room, food was ordinary and worse than we experienced on other ships. Coffee was not good. We opted to pay to get semi-decent coffee.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5


3 out of 5

Service and Staff

2 out of 5
The service in the main dining room was subpar. The Bayou could also use improvement. Service at the Italian restaurant, Sabatini's, was good. Compared to other ships, and cruise lines such as NCL and Royal Caribbean, service was subpar in the main dining room and at the buffet. The bars, lounges, and the coffee shop had good service. Our steward kept the suite clean and supplied us with water and canapes.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Our suite and the kids balcony cabin were in the aft. The suite was spacious and everything was in working order. However, while cruising the cabin's ceiling and metal cabinets rattled, making a lot of noise. Also worth noting is the tiny shower in the kids balcony cabin.

Ship tip

Its older and in need of a refresher.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

4 out of 5

Falmouth, Jamaica

3 out of 5

Cartagena, Colombia

5 out of 5

Panama Canal (Cruise Into Canal)

4 out of 5

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

3 out of 5

George Town, Grand Cayman

4 out of 5


5 out of 5
Was this review helpful? 14


Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other reviews of this sailing