We chose this cruise at the last minute due to the very low price. Apparently this cruise was a 'late add' to the 2019 sailing schedule when the Island Princess did not go in for it's scheduled maintenance. There were 1,963 passengers, less then the full ship capacity of 2,200 guests. So there must have been several dozen empty cabins. We were not offered an upgrade.
5 out of 5
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Buffet food was typically 'good' Princess -- good selection, different items every night.
2 out of 5
The fitness center is way down on a lower deck in the stern of the ship right over the engine room. It is dark and dreary and suffers from vibrations and motions of the ship's movements. You can actually become sea-sick as you try to work out. Not a pleasant experience.
5 out of 5
The two theatre productions -- 'Secret Silk' and 'Down On the Bayou' were both full of color and sound and very entertaining. Cheers to the hard-working actors and actresses and band members. They were all great.
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
Room steward was great.. But... The promised birthday balloons and birthday card on our cabin door never materialized. We were eligible for a free internet package, but Princess did not tell us this until the last day of the cruise. So all those free internet minutes were wasted. I asked at the Customer Service desk if they could make any sort of adjustment and was politely told in a very nice way to go pound sand. There was no listing of the popular 'champagne pouring' event in the ship's event newspaper. Apparently many people didn't know it was happening. Thus this special event was poorly attended. Hopefully cruise host Benny will do a better job next time!
3 out of 5
The Island Princess is one of our LEAST favorite ships. We would not want to be on this cruise for any longer than four days. Two reasons: The fitness center is way down on a lower deck in the stern of the ship right over the engine room. It is dark and dreary and suffers from vibrations and motions of the ship's movements. You can actually become sea-sick as you try to work out. Not a pleasant experience. Also: The Island Princess has no "International Cafe" in the main plaza! What? No International Cafe? It is unfortunate that this enjoyable public lounge -- found on every other Princess ship -- was somehow removed from the Island Princess. Sad!
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
Typical Princess cabin. The bed mattress and linens are GREAT.
'Amber Cove' is a private tourist stop located near the small town of Puerto Plaza in the Dominican Republic. It was built just for processing herds of cruise ship passengers. Unlike some other 'coves' created as designated cruise ship stops, Amber Cove has NO beach. There is a large pool with a wade-up bar. There are a few of the usual t-shirt and jewelry and souvenir junk stores. If you are from Omaha or some provincial burg and it's the middle of winter and this is your first ever cruise, you might be impressed. Basically it is a collection of just a few shops and a large plaza for the crowds to assemble so they can board their tour buses and exit thru the barbed wire perimeter.
We took the cheapest "Easy Puerto Plaza" bus tour for $29.95 each. We stopped at the central plaza 'Independence Square' in the center of town. We took a peek inside the famous 'Catedral del Aburrimiento' and it was not much to look at. Our tour guide immediately herded everyone to a gift shop where his cousins work and kept us there for 45 boring minutes. We drove around in the heat and would not have stopped at the famous 'Fortress De Piedras Aburridas' if several of us had not shouted out "Stop! It's the Fortress! Yes, we want to get out and see it!" Other tour highlights: We saw a man and his wife and two small children all riding on a single motorcycle. We saw a man wearing a Halloween costume that made him look as if he were riding a donkey. We drove by the local fire station. We drove by the 'Chanel Cafe' in the center of town, but we did not eat there.
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