Island Princess - A Good Cruise Ship With a Few Flaws

Island Princess Cruise Review

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 14

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Island Princess

4 Night Eastern Caribbean Getaway (Fort Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 16, 2019

Ship: Island Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: B443

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

The Island Princess is a very adequate cruise ship. The sacrifice of public areas for additional cabins, however, is a demerit.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
No major problems. Island Princess is not yet a Princess Medallion ship, so passengers still have to check in the "old fashion way."

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
We had Anytime Seating for dining. First night, things were jammed. But later nights the seating was quicker.  Food quality and service were consistently good in main dining and food court. Note that the Island Princess' food court is located forward; on most other Princess ships the food court is located toward the stern.  This can be confusing to passengers use to the location of the buffet dining on other ships. One major complaint: Most other princess ships have an "International Café" providing 24-hours snacks and specialty coffee; the Island Princess does not have this.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
On most days there are a variety of goings-on, such as trivia, game shows, demonstrations and lectures, bingo, and crafts. The Island Princess' cruise director and staff kept things active.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
It was a short four days cruise, but each night there were two shows per night in the Princess Theater. The comedian, singer, and two stage performances provided were of surprisingly good quality. The performers in the lounges and atrium were also very good.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The service and staff members were unfailingly courteous and helpful. No problems encountered.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
In my opinion, ship design is where the Island Princess is not optimal. Although the Coral Princess and the Island Princess are basically twins, in contrast to the Coral the Island Princess sacrificed some public areas to include more cabins, especially in the stern areas. Consequently, there are fewer amenities on the Island Princess than the Coral Princess, such as there not being an International Café (24-hours specialty coffee and snack area,) no public stern observation area, no Universe Lounge, and no wrap-around Promenade deck walk. The cleanliness of the ship is very good. Public restrooms were well maintained and well stocked with supplies.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The cabin we had was a basic standard balcony located midship. Closet and storage space were quite adequate. The bathroom is, even by ship standards, smallish, especially the shower, which deducts a star. A small refrigerator is included. Bed was quite comfortable. Cabin overall was very suitable.

Ship tip

The Island Princess is one ship where the most convenient cabins are forward of midship. There are few public areas towards the stern

Ports of call

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata), Dominican Republic

4 out of 5

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

5 out of 5
Port Everglades is about 4-5 miles drive from the Fort Lauderdale airport. Numerous hotels and shops in port area. Parking at the port's parking deck is currently $15.00/day.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
The Island Princess is one of the smaller ships in the Princess fleet. Therefore, since the larger Caribbean Princess was in port the same day as the end of our cruise, the Island Princess was sent to a terminal on the far side of Port Everglades. Consequently, instead of going directly to the port's parking deck we had to wait for a shuttle to take us to the main Princess terminal to retrieve our car. Another irritant was we were dropped off on the opposite end of the large parking deck where our car was parked and therefore had to drag our bags about a quarter-mile to our car. On most cruises there may be no more than 50-60 passengers taking their own luggage off. Since this was a short cruise a large percentage of passengers were Florida locals who drove and parked at port; subsequently hundreds of passengers left the ship at first opportunity.
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