Number of Cruises: 7
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Island Princess
Sailing Date: February 18th, 2005
Itinerary: R/T Hawaii
My wife and I just finished a wonderful 15-day cruise to Hawaii on the Island Princess. We are experienced at cruising and have been on longer trips before. This cruise was by far the most enjoyable for us of all the longer-term cruises we have taken.
Princess has given the Embarkation and Debarkation question a great deal of thought as it was the easiest, quickest and most trouble free we have ever experienced before. Upon arriving to check in and actually sitting in our cabin took approximately 30 minutes, and our luggage was delivered shortly thereafter. Getting off the ship was just as easy. On the departure day we had a nice breakfast and then went down to the deck where the departures were taking place. Each cabin is given new luggage tags prior to departure that are color-coded and have a large number on each. In our case we were a “Pink 5”. This designation told us that we would depart with the Pink group and should go to Section 5 of the luggage pick up area. Once off the ship we walked to the Pink 5 area and there was our luggage all assembled together for pick up along with approximately 40 or so other bags. It was so easy. We were in our car within 15 minutes of leaving the ship.
Now the question about the food on board: It was simply wonderful. The buffet (24 hours) was excellent with a very large selection of hot and cold food, fruit, salads, soups, sliced meats and cheeses along with many baskets of bread, of all types, baked daily on the ship. Likewise, the dining in the dining room was excellent. Wonderful selection of main courses, soups, salads, appetizers, and deserts. We could not have been happier with the food and service in all areas. There were a few highlights that I feel may give you a glimpse of how nice this was. During the 15 day trip there were four times when the ship had a “Pastry Buffet” and a “Sushi Buffet” – These buffets were in addition to the normal buffet and were huge in there own right. The Pastry was astounding and the Sushi was also. The beauty and amount of goods present was breathtaking. There was enough to feed hundreds and plenty in reserve.
Our cabin was very nice with a comfortable veranda. We spent a good deal of time out there reading and watching the ocean simply go by. Our veranda had two reclining chairs and a full size table. The cabin inside was very comfortable and perfectly clean. It had all the things needed for a comfortable stay including fresh fruit of your choosing delivered daily. The bath room is nice but the shower is small. The redeeming factor there was there seemed to be an endless supply of hot water. The towels were large, fluffy and plentiful. They provide special Pool Towels that are blue and white striped. Again, very large and fluffy.
The ship itself is beautiful with every amenity one would want. There are plenty of deck chairs inside and outside and large numbers of big soft chairs to sit in for reading or simply resting throughout the ship. The entertainment was varied, very good and presented at times that made sense with your dining times. There are two movie theaters that showed first rate new movies several times a day plus a great library, many smaller sitting areas, a Internet Café, smoking room, card rooms and the normal assortment of shops that seemed to have everything. Naturally, there is a nice Casino for those who want to enjoy the games.
If you want to swim or be in a hot tub – no problem. The ship has three pools that are very large by ship standards along with five large hot tubs. They were clear and warm. Plenty of room with no crowding. One of the pools is inside a eye popping beautiful enclosed area that was at the least spectacular to look at and enjoy.
Finally, the entire crew was so friendly to everyone. They were are well prepared for their job as one could possibly ask for. There was service at every turn with a smile and a friendly hand if needed.
In all, we would rate this cruise close to 100% perfect and recommend it to anyone who would love to be at sea for several days coming and going.