All in All, A Wonderful Cruise

Island Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 12

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Island Princess

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

Sail date: January 09, 2019

Ship: Island Princess

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

All in all, a wonderful cruise. My biggest frustration lay with the timing of dining in conjunction with evening activities. Great one time activities were scheduled during the 7:30 dining times (which were sluggish) and the activities weren’t repeated so all could participate. Reportedly “Anytime Dining” was a disaster for guests. Calling to reserve a table at 8:00 each morning for dinner was allowed for “Anytime Dining” but at 8:05 slots were filled, leaving guests with the only option of going to the buffet. Yuck! Definitely pick a dining time. Accept that you’ll miss some things and then kick back and enjoy the experience.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Pretty much walked right on board.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Great meals, but a little slow ar 7:30 dinner. On “At Sea Days” we are lunch in the dining room. On the last day, we went to breakfast in the dining room. The food in the Horizon buffet was good, but you can’t beat the dining room for the experience, relaxation, and healthier, delicious meals. No extra charge, so why not!

Horizon Court

4 out of 5

Great made to order omelets. If possible, though, go to the dining room instead. It doesn’t cost more. It’s much more relaxing and better food.

Bayou Cafe & Steakhouse

5 out of 5

Enthusiastic, kind staff.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Fun trivia and games. Disappointed that the fitness room is in the back of the ship and you can’t see out Also disappointed that the plaza walking no longer goes completely around the ship. Otherwise, plenty of activities for everyone. If you’re bored, that’s your fault. 😉

Sanctuary

5 out of 5

Lovely! Enough said....

Entertainment

4 out of 5
Quality shows. See below. Scheduling dining and shows needs tweaking.

The Library

5 out of 5

If you can’t find a book, you must not like to read. Lots of newly released books.

Princess Theater

4 out of 5

Crowded! Get there early. Arms for drinks don’t all work. Masking tape remnants on some. Watch out for those arms when walking in or out. Some don’t retract properly and will give you a nice bruised leg.

Children's Programs

No children

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The most polite and kind people.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Ship feels cramped. Could use more room in the theater. Don’t like that fitness room is in an enclosed room at the back of the ship. You can’t walk around the entire ship on the plaza.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5

Ship tip

Book a dining time. My biggest frustration lay with the timing of dining in conjunction with evening activities. Great one time activities were scheduled during the 7:30 dining times (which were sluggish) and the activities weren’t repeated so all could participate. Reportedly “Anytime Dining” was a disaster for guests. Calling to reserve a table at 8:00 each morning for dinner was allowed for “Anytime Dining” but at 8:05 slots were filled, leaving guests with the only option of going to the buffet. Yuck! Definitely pick a dining time. Accept that you’ll miss some things and then kick back and enjoy the experience.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

1 out of 5
Everglades Airboat kind of a tourist trap. Extremely loud and we weren’t given earplugs. We went, we saw it, and that’s enough for us.

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5
Great snorkeling at ship wreck, a Princess excursion. Professional staff.

Cartagena, Colombia

5 out of 5
FABULOUS excursion, “Cartagena City Tour” booked through Ship Mate. (Often see Benny’s name as a guide) Also available through Trip Advisor. Saw lots of things. Guide very knowledgeable, and we felt very safe in her company. Only 6 of us on the tour. Great price for that kind of service.

Panama Canal (Cruise Into Canal)

5 out of 5
A picture is worth a thousand words. Going through all the locks is a must see!

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

5 out of 5
Took an excursion through Ship Mate, “Jungle Cruise and Zip Line Adventure Combo.” Also had time for a quick stop at a beach and to grab a drink. 59 years old, I’m sold on zip lining!

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

5 out of 5
Cloudy and overcast, can’t fault Ocho Rios. Did dampen the day a bit, though! Did Resort Day Pass at Jewels Dunn River Beach. Booked through Ship Mate, as Princess was much more expensive. I fell in love with the floating platform in the water.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
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