Having previously sailed on Norwegian,Celebrity and Holland America ships, we are planning a trip on the Island Princess in May 2007. I haven't read much about this particular vessel, and am not sure whether that's a good or bad thing. Has anyone out there cruised on the Island Princess and if so, how was the food, service, staterooms, gym, pools, or any info you can provide?? This chat-page has been really helpful to us in the past and I appreciate any feedback before we make our final decision. We've been spoiled with Celebrity.
Your question is very timely. Check out the thread entitled "Weather in the Pacific" which you will find on this site. We are fortunate to have a very kind cruiser presently on board the Island Princess who is on his way back to LA from Hawaii. His name is RichC, and he has been posting reports daily since he boarded the ship about 10 days ago for his 15 dayer to and back from Hawaii. You will find answers to many of your questions on this thread. My wife and I are scheduled for this same cruise leaving LA March 12, so we have been following his voyage very closely.
We are going on the Island Princess to
Alaska May 14th. This will be our first cruise with Princess. We have been spoiled by RCCL. We have read good and bad about Island Princess, but mostly everyone seemed to have enjoyed the cruise. We are excited about going to Alaska and are counting the days!!!
We're onboard the Island Princess right now & both my wife are really enjoying the food. NO conplaints. We're been to the Horizon buffet for both breakfast & lunch every day & there's always a something new on the menu. They day we arrived they had a roast turkey for lunch & I usually don't eat the white meat because it's dry. It was juicy, tender & you could cut it with a fork without gravy. Their pork had always been done to perfection.
Last night was the Captains repeater party & they served felet mignon with shrimp- Also perfect.
The night before was lobstr tails. There were two small tails on each plate & I ordered two plates- they were done perfectly- not over cooked or kept under a heat lamp. I also shared a plate of Chateau Brione with my wife- again perfect. We're been on some Princess ships where the meats haven't been as good but this ship isn't one on them.
We haven't been to any of the speciality restaurants on this ship or any other Princess ship- I can't comment about the food except that why pay $30 extra when the regular dining room is great.
I forgot to add that the service has been very good even thought I heard that the crew is sailing slghty short handed on this trip. Something like 112 crew left on Dec 5 & only 95 replaced them. This I heard from the future cruise director. I don't know which departments are lacking but it isn't apparent in their performance.
We have a balcony stateroom & although it has plenty or room to move about, the bathroom leaves a lot to be desired. It's the smallest Princess shower I've ever had on any of their ships. (This being our 19 th Princess cruise) The shower is so small you CAN'Y bend over to pick up the soap. Yea, I know I've heard the joke before from all the commedians, but it's true. You actually have to get out of the shower to pick up the soap! I don't know how some of the larger people actually get into the shower & close the curtain. We visited a mini suite last night & they do have plenty of room in their bathroom since they also have a bath tub. They also have two TV's & a couch. I'm not sure if I'd pay the extra $400 or so for it.
They gym seems OK to me but I'm not that particular about that sort of thing.
The pools appear to be large enough for all the passengrs but on this trip not many have used them since it was so cool on the way to Hawaii & once we were there everybody was off the ship. As soon as we left Hawaii the wind picked up again & people are staying inside. No one is using the indoor Lotus pool either except to sit in the lounge chairs on sunny day. Today it's overcast & NO ONE is outside.
The prominade deck was busy this morning with the walkers.
Thanks, RichC. Really enjoyed hearing all about the Island Princess. Can't wait to sail on her. Sounds like you're hooked on Princess. Have you ever tried RCCL? We've had good experiences with them. Of course, we've never had a bad cruise.
We've been on somewhere around 9 RCCL cruises also- All very good & no complaints about them either although their prices seem to be a little on the higher side lately. We go with the best price these days & Princess seems to out do the others & as long as they keep giving a good product for the money & keep booking them.
The weather this morning on the Island had calmed down a bit with only moderate winds & a slight rocking motion. I doubt if anyone will be in the pools as the air temp isn't all that warm. My wife brought along 4 bathing suits & didn't use one of them, even in Hawaii. There was to many things to see & do to spend time on the beach....perhaps some day if we fly to Hawaii & spend 2 weeks there.
It's almost 1 PM & although the wind is still blowing it has calmed down considerably. It's still to cool to swim but there's other things to do. There's another lecture by Dr. Bob Basso on his personal encounters with Fidel Castro, Jackie Robinson and JFK. If he's on your cruise you'll enjoy his talks as he's very knowledgable on all aspects of Hawaii.
On the next cruise leaving Dec. 20 I've heard that they'll be 420 kids on board. Good luck !
The cruise director implyed that it was the very next one that leaves on Dec 20 (I think it goes back to Hawaii for another 15 days)- either way I glad we didn't book that week. A few kids I can tolerate but 430 or so is another thing.
Tonight we had king crab on the menu for diner, also baby lamb chops. One plate of crab legs was just about right. They were large jumbo legs, already split & were HOT. I don't know if there also at the buffet but I'll check later.
Another tip- watch channel 21 for the "morning show" each day at sea. They pose a question of the day & you can sumbit you answer in a box in the library. All the winners get a small prize such as a travel clock, Princess tote bag & things like that. The questions are easy & we're won three days. My wife loves the canvas bags.