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Princess Cruises: Island Princess

  • Princess Cruises

Island Princess Review

Launched in 2003, Island Princess is one of just two cruise ships in the Princess fleet that was specially built to sail through the Panama Canal, giving the vessel, along with her sister ship CoralPrincess access to more worldwide destinations than some of their fleetmates. Renovations have added many of the cruise line’s most popular signature elements, including Movies Under the Stars and the Sanctuary.

Princess includes Coral Princess and Island Princess in their Sun-class category; however, they are larger ships (albeit with a similar capacity to Sun Princess and her two sisters), which means much more space per passenger; we feel this necessitates a separate category. All the Personal Choice features attributed to the larger Grand-class ships were incorporated into this design as well as a few unique additions, such as a demonstration kitchen and ceramics lab complete with kiln where ScholarShip@Sea programs are presented. The four-story atrium is similar to that on Sun-class ships, but public rooms are mainly spread fore and aft on two lower decks.

Princess Cruises may be best known for introducing cruise travel to millions of viewers, when its flagship became the setting for The Love Boat television series in 1977. Since that heady time of small-screen stardom, the Princess fleet has grown both in the number and size of ships. Although most are large in scale, Princess vessels manage to create the illusion of intimacy through the use of color and decor in understated yet lovely public rooms graced by multimillion-dollar art collections.

Princess has also become more flexible; Personal Choice Cruising offers alternatives for open seating dining (when you wish and with whom you please) and entertainment options as diverse as those found in resorts ashore.

Lovely chapels or the wide-open decks are equally romantic settings for weddings at sea with the captain officiating.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • As many as 20 courses in the ScholarShip@Sea program are offered on each cruise
  • Cabins that sleep third and fourth passengers are numerous
  • The Fine Art Gallery is a dedicated area, so displays don't clutter other public spaces

Cons

  • The library and card room often become noisy passageways
  • There are only 16 suites on each ship
  • Engine pods on the funnel give the ships a futuristic space-age appearance but are mainly decorative
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 900
  • Entered Service 2003
  • Gross Tons 92,000
  • Length 964
  • Number of Cabins 987
  • Passenger Capacity 1,970
  • Width 106 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 1, 2017

Review of Island Princess

Terry Knight Age: 66 Occupation:Retired RN Number of Cruises: 5 Cruise Line: Princess Ship: Island Princess Sailing Date: 2016-08-20 Itinerary: Alaska We sailed from Vancouver with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway sailed Glacier Bay College Fjord and disembarked in Whittier, for our land tour. For the land portion we spent 2 days in McKinley, 2 days at Denali and 2 days at Fairbanks Lodges. We chose Princess for our Alaskan cruise and land tour

because of positive reviews of Princess for Alaska. Although the weather was in the 50's most of the trip and frequently rainy , we enjoyed our trip, especially the land tour. The ship seemed clean and the staff were friendly and courteous. BUT-We noticed a sewer odor as soon as we boarded the ship. It was bad in our bathroom, seemed to get better and then worse at times, and we got wafts of the odor at times throughout the ship during our cruise. We stayed on the Dolphin deck forward. Food is far superior in dining room than Horizon Court. (Don't miss the Creme Brulee.) We found the food in Horizon Court to look good but had no flavor. Even the desserts were blah. We did not dine in any of the specialty restaurants with additional cost. We had a balcony room which I highly recommend. If you are going Northbound, choose a room on the starboard side if you have a balcony. You will see of the towns and land as you are sailing. Bring a fabric steamer since there are no irons in the rooms. The laundry facilities are all at the rear of the ship. I enjoyed having the park rangers and the naturalist on the ship, nature and wildlife programs greatly enhanced the experience. I enjoyed the shows in the princess theater, but I think the music for dancing was a bit sedate and they need to kick it up a notch. Did not do any shopping to speak of on the ship. The excursions were all very good that we chose, except we had 2 that involved flying cancelled due to bad weather. We were able to make up for it by taking a last minute glacier landing flight out of Talkeetna on the land tour. Bring a good camera with a sports mode and a good set of binoculars. Overbook excursions, since some might be cancelled if it rains.They do not let you know of cancellations until the last minute and you might not have time to book something else you would choose. We were told by friends that had done Alaska cruises that they were more casual, and we wished we had brought some dressy clothes. We definitely felt under dressed in the evenings. We packed more for the land tour, but there were many on the cruise who only did the cruise. My husband did not bring a suit coat, or dress shirt tie (at least bring a button down shirt and tie) and we were not allowed in to the 2 formal nights in the dining room where the food is much better. Princess does a great job in getting you from place to place and informing you of where to be when. Every bus, shuttle and train has drivers who narrate during the ride pointing out points of interest, local history and their personal stories of why he came to Alaska. We learned so much and gained such an appreciation of the land and its people. We stayed at the Princess McKinley Lodge-(our favorite because of the beautiful view of Mt Denali, walking trails and setting) Princess Denali Lodge-some trails closed due to "wildlife activity", and the Princess Fairbanks Lodge. The Fairbanks lodge is more like a regular chain motel. We loved all our excursions and were the most pleasantly surprised at our last stop in Fairbanks by the included excursion Riverboat Discovery Cruise and Gold Dredge. A very enjoyable day and included so much information about the history of the area. Don't skip it!

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  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Aug 11, 2016

Alaska

We sailed from Vancouver with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway sailed Glacier Bay College Fjord and disembarked in Whittier, for our land tour. For the land portion we spent 2 days in McKinley, 2 days at Denali and 2 days at Fairbanks Lodges. We chose Princess for our Alaskan cruise and land tour because of positive reviews of Princess for Alaska. Although the weather was in the 50's most of the trip and frequently rainy , we enjoyed our

trip, especially the land tour. The ship seemed clean and the staff were friendly and courteous. BUT-We noticed a sewer odor as soon as we boarded the ship. It was bad in our bathroom, seemed to get better and then worse at times, and we got wafts of the odor at times throughout the ship during our cruise. We stayed on the Dolphin deck forward. Food is far superior in dining room than Horizon Court. (Don't miss the Creme Brulee.) We found the food in Horizon Court to look good but had no flavor. Even the desserts were blah. We did not dine in any of the specialty restaurants with additional cost. We had a balcony room which I highly recommend. If you are going Northbound, choose a room on the starboard side if you have a balcony. You will see of the towns and land as you are sailing. Bring a fabric steamer since there are no irons in the rooms. The laundry facilities are all at the rear of the ship. I enjoyed having the park rangers and the naturalist on the ship, nature and wildlife programs greatly enhanced the experience. I enjoyed the shows in the princess theater, but I think the music for dancing was a bit sedate and they need to kick it up a notch. Did not do any shopping to speak of on the ship. The excursions were all very good that we chose, except we had 2 that involved flying cancelled due to bad weather. We were able to make up for it by taking a last minute glacier landing flight out of Talkeetna on the land tour. Bring a good camera with a sports mode and a good set of binoculars. Overbook excursions, since some might be cancelled if it rains.They do not let you know of cancellations until the last minute and you might not have time to book something else you would choose. We were told by friends that had done Alaska cruises that they were more casual, and we wished we had brought some dressy clothes. We definitely felt under dressed in the evenings. We packed more for the land tour, but there were many on the cruise who only did the cruise. My husband did not bring a suit coat, or dress shirt tie (at least bring a button down shirt and tie) and we were not allowed in to the 2 formal nights in the dining room where the food is much better. Princess does a great job in getting you from place to place and informing you of where to be when. Every bus, shuttle and train has drivers who narrate during the ride pointing out points of interest, local history and their personal stories of why he came to Alaska. We learned so much and gained such an appreciation of the land and its people. We stayed at the Princess McKinley Lodge-(our favorite because of the beautiful view of Mt Denali, walking trails and setting) Princess Denali Lodge-some trails closed due to "wildlife activity", and the Princess Fairbanks Lodge. The Fairbanks lodge is more like a regular chain motel. We loved all our excursions and were the most pleasantly surprised at our last stop in Fairbanks by the included excursion Riverboat Discovery Cruise and Gold Dredge. A very enjoyable day and included so much information about the history of the area. Don't skip it!

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  • New

Feb 19, 2016

The prettiest of the Princess Fleet I've sailed on

I sailed with Island Princess from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles and very much enjoyed my first time aboard her. I was most impressed with the decor: lovely paintings, screens, pools in the atrium, etc. Like less passengers. My room steward and diningroom waiters were the best I've had in ages. Would love to sail again on this very pleasant, comfortable ship.

  • New

Jul 25, 2013

ALASKA

I picked Princess due to the repetition and cruise destination. I enjoyed the cruise portion of my trip. I thought most of the employees were extremely confident and professional. Our steward was enormously accommodating always inquiring if there was anything we needed, etc. The dining room menu selections were goo the food average. The accommodations were what I expected, small but adequate for two petite women. All was going well UNTIL we left

the ship for the three day land segment. Princess scheduled us to arrive at McKinley and Denali Lodges knowing that we would arrive too late to do or plan any excursions? Actually you could have skipped McKinley, nothing there. I waited for years to see Denali. Thanks to their arrangements we arrived in Denali after 4 PM with the last excursion leaving at 3 PM. I cannot even describe how distressed and depressed we were. The only reason Princess would schedule anyone to these lodges is that people would spend more money in the restaurants and gift shops Thank you Princess Cruises for ruining what could have been an exceptional vacation. Menu selections looked good and most of the food was fine but a little bland. Small but fine cabin for two petite people. Clean. Really did not participate in many activities. Be very careful of the land segment -- Princess does not schedule well for this. Took four excursions, two were nice. The Whale dinner sightseeing cruise was a waste of money. The food was horrible and the boat so so.

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  • New

Jun 30, 2013

Alaska

This was our second cruise. We cruised to Alaska on June 2, 2013. We were a bit disappointed with ths cruise only because of the workers bugging you and trying to sell things. Our first breakfast the waiters were bugging us and were very persistant. It continued with our evening meals and so on. Like trying to get you to buy Sanctuary bookings for the glacierts the next day, wine testing and so on. We told them we were not interested but they

ever gave up. That was the only real complaint but comparing this cruise to our cruise we took last year, a Norweigan Hawaii cruise June 2, 2012 for our 40th anniversary I'd have to say this didn't happen on Norweigan. Also this cruise we had three full days of cruising which I didn't like. Our last year cruise to Hawaii we cruised at night and were docked in the morning. Just had to say this, hopefully this stops. Good and plenty of food. Cabin was very good and kept clean. Average activities. The shows were great. All in all glad I went but wouldn't go back. This was three days of cruising. Too much on the water. Weather was cold and dreary.

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