Anyone who has sailed the ISLAND PRINCESS to Hawaii? Any feedback. Booked for April 2005 sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles. Have booked a room at the Airport Marriott for the night before. Regarding the sailing - have a Cabin with balcony on Aloha deck midship. Is this a good thing? Plenty of time to reposition. Would appreciate comments. Also, are there any predestination activities regarding the upcoming islands on the sea days before we arrive in Hawaii. Plan on checking into the tree cable ride on one of the islands? Anyone experienced this?
Hungry for any suggestions/comments. Never sailed Princess line. Have sailed Royal (3) and one time on Carnival
We are also on the Island to Hawaii next April. We are in a Caribe Deck balcony cabin because we believe that the cabins are bigger on that deck, and partially covered. I don't know if the Aloha Deck balconies are covered, but heard that the Baja cabin balconies are.
I'll be interested in hearing the answers to your questions too.
I'm excited already, but it sure is a long time to wait...........................we'll just have to hang out on the Cruise boards.
The Island is a beautiful whip and I think you will be quite pleased. She hasn't been to Hawaii yet as she spent last winter in the Pnama Canal and last summer and this summer in Alaska. From my understanding, this Hawaii itinerary was her original 'purpose.'
The ship will provide whatevery you are looking for...either casual or formal, quiet days by the Lotus pool or more activity by the outdoor pool. The balcony cabins were nice. We often had breakfast on the balcony and also did a lot of reading out there.
The ship is well-appointed and I felt the staff was attentive. You will have several sea days on your way to/from Hawaii-should be fun!
The library and game room have good views and the casino is always an adventure. Your odds are pretty poor at Bingo. I didn't attend the art auctions but heard good things about it.
Ship's laundry facilities (coin ops) are clean. If you prefer you can send your laundry - dry cleaning out and the ship will do it promptly but it is more expensive.
I hope you have a wonderful time, and, as I always say, "Pack Light!"
After 30+ cruises, this is my favorite itinerary. I've done it 4 times--Crown Odyssey, Statendam (twice), and Sun Princess. I'm going again in December '04 on the Island Princess. One reason I like it is that I can drive to the ship, park my car and hop on board. The disembarkation is just as easy and I'm home in a flash.
I love the days at sea--if you can afford a balcony cabin, all the better. Watching the passing scenery is facinating--and yes there is scenery while "at sea". The sea colors are ever-changing, the cloud formations with passing storms off on the horizon, even the occasional shower presents new vistas. There is usually sea life, too--birds of all sorts, dolphins, and flying fish and even the occassional passing ship. Maybe whales at certain times of the year.
I've always had good weather and sea conditions on my cruises but of course weather is totally changable and cannot be predicted with accuracy. The Pacific was truly pacific on my crossings.
Once in the Islands your activities will change to the shore opportunites that abound. The Hawaiian folk are welcoming and happy to see you. In most ports the ship is greeted with musicians and hula dancers and leis are often presented to passengers as they disembark. The ship is usually docked (or anchored) in the middle of town so access to the area is easy. Even in those ports (Niwiliwili and Hilo) where you're in an industrial port, there are always free shuttles that take you to shopping areas.
The ship offers a multitude of interesting shore excursions, rental cars are always available, and even public transportation can be utilized in some ports. Cabs are waiting for you, too. I always enjoy walking around the local areas--especially Honolulu, Lahaina, and Kona. Each is easily accesssible from the ship.
Of course, shipboard life has non-stop activities and entertainment, great food, and just plain relaxing opportunities. You'll love it!
Thank you for your reply. I'm savoring every anxious moment. Hawaii has been on my dream vacation list for so long. Have a feeling one trip will not be adequate. Also, not spending my time cooped up in an airport/plane is making the trip even more attractive.
I'll stay with the Aloha deck balcony for this trip as I like being midship and believe it or not most of the midship cabins are filled. I could have snagged an aft on your deck. Also, I requested that I not be upgraded due to perhaps gaining a suite but losing a balcony. Looking forward to perhaps (fighting odds) that we meet onboard.
Boy do I have some sailing to catch you. This will be my 5th. Intend to sail at least once a year. Thank you for all the info. I also like meandering around the new ports. I do want to see a waterfall.
We are taking the expensive holiday cruise that leaves on December 20th. We have sailed on the sister ship, the Coral Princess, so we know what to expect. We liked the Coral.
Don't expect to see too much as you are only in port for a limited time at each island. But it will give you a good idea of where you may want to come back to and spend a few weeks. Our favorite island is Kauai as it is closer to the ideas people have about Hawaii.
We are hoping that we have better weather than was experienced this past December for the holiday cruise. Unfortunately it raines so bad that they couldn't even put in at Nawiliwili harbor on Kauai and that is not a tender port. They may have also had problems tendering at Lahaina, Maui.
Plan to make it a good trip regardless of the weather and then if the weather cooperates, you'll have an even better time.
As I have only sailed Royal Caribbean/Carnival would like to ask a question about the tips being applied to the Sea Pass on Princess. Is one allowed to have them take the entire amount off the Pass so one can allocate tip amounts at will? I would like to control how much I disperse.
I will be sailing on the Island Princess Oct. 6, 04. Looking forward to it. I enjoy sea days as well as days in port. I did the Hawaii/Tahiti sailing in 96 on the Old Golden Princess. She was much smaller and need remodeling big time. By 97, she was no longer a part of the Princess fleet.
Anyone sailing on the Oct. 6th date?
I like Princess, and prefer Princess to many other cruise lines I have sailed on, The Princess ships have in the past, have had excellent food, service, entertainment, great ports of call, the Best Pizza (Pizzeria) on Dawn, Sun, Regal,
II've only been on the Cruise Mates Message Boards for a few months, and I enjoy reading most of the comments. What bothers me the most, is the people who do nothing but complain about the one bad thing that happened on their cruise, and ignore or forget to mention all the good things.
Many of the people on some other the topics have said, Life is so short, enjoy it, and make the most of your time. Be thankful that you can travel and enjoy. I totally agree.
Sorry for rambling on. To all of you ready to sail...Enjoy
Cruisers on other boards have said if you remove the automatic tips any tips given personally must be reported by the crew member and then pooled. Better to leave the automatic tip and tip extra personally. They can then keep that in addition to their pooled tip distribution. Doris
On our last Princess sailing, on the Sun, we went to the Purser's Desk and asked about the tip situation. Leaving the 10.00 pp on the card, or removing it and tipping on our own. We were told that if you DO tip on your own, the recipients have to pool that money. Evidently, all the $10.00 pp is pooled and then divided among the Wait Staff and the Cabin Stewards, so if a passenger has removed that amount, then the staff member that has been tipped separately must add that amount to the pool. If a staff member receives ADDITIONAL monies, they are allowed to keep it all. We left our tips in place, and t hen added a bit, in cash, on the last night. Of course, that was not required, but we had EXCELLENT service. Also, we do tip Room Service a few dollars when we have that, and your bar bills include a 15% tip.
Now that I reread what I posted, I notice that Elequieu has said all that much more succinctly............
MPM, which date in April are you on the Island? We're on the 4th...............there is a roll call on the Cruise Critic Boards, but I haven't seen one here yet.
Thanks for all the info, too................................I have another question for Jowahe. With your experience, can you tell us how to rent a car at each island? I don't know yet if we want to rent one at EVERY island, but we might like to do that at some islands. Can we rent through Princess on board, or should we rent through the rental agencies ahead of time? Will they meet us at the ship?
If you look in the photo gallery I have picture's of the Island's sister ship, the Coral. From what I understand it's the exact same layout. Click on this link to get to the pics & you can click on the photo to get a closeup. http://www.cruise-forums.com/gallery/view.php?id=1981
You should be able to see your room from some of the outside pictures. If you have any questions feel free to ask!
We were on Aloha Deck A414, mid ship. It was a great location. Our balcony WAS covered, the decks that are larger, were not covered. The rooms were spacious enough, we did not have anything special, i.e., mini-suite. I was concerned about having the Kid Zone on our level and the lido deck above us, but it never bothered us. The Island Princess was beautiful and very clean.
We are going on the 11/5/04 cruise RT LA to Hawaii. Have done same trip before on the Statendam (from San Diego). For us, this is great as we don't have to fly. 20 minutes to the pier from home, so will just have a friend drop us off. Starting to get excited!
i've have been on five cruises and 5 airline visits to hawaii.
on oahu ,the bus transport is great and reasonable.
it's cheaper to take a tour with or without the cruise line,than to rent a car.
most tour operators hang out outside the arrival terminals and you can book the tours on the spot for less than the cruise line.
as far as tipping goes,i believe that individual tipping is still the best way to go. i've been on a lot of cruises that have given substandard service in certain areas.
a balcony is the only way to go in hawaii. between october and may the weather will be cool the first three days out of los angeles and vica versa on the way back. might even have fog.
am going on november 20 ,2004
'can't wait ,even though it's a repeat trip.
Renting a car is not more expensive than tours. We are getting full sized cars in Hilo, Lahaina and Kauai for less than $50. There is no way the three of us could get any type of tour (even independent of the cruise line) for that, and it would be rare to have a tour through the ship for less than this for one person. In addition, virtually none of the tours are wheelchair accessible, which we require. Check out Alamo for some good deals (but reserve ahead of time, as they book up).
We do take the Bus in Honolulu, which is wheelchair accessible, and there is an accessible cab company there as well.
Just returned from the Island Princess on Saturday, September 4th, after a 5 day land tour and 7 days on the ship. We had a terrific balcony. It was B414. We were on the very end of the row for these balconys on deck 11, which meant no one beside us on one side and only one on the other side. Every deck below us, we could see their balconys because they were not covered with a "roof" like ours was......If you were on deck 12, it was ok also. All the decks below us, when we looked over our balcony we could look down on everyone else. I did some research to get this balcony because I heard of this problem. Also, I used the covered Lotus pool a lot in Alaska. Only problem was, for me, it was too warm. Never had that problem before. They used the same water in that pool as the hot tub, and it was hard to swim in 90 degree water. The outside pool was just right and the last day coming back to Vancouver, the sun came out and it was a perfect day to swim. One problem (and I love kids, I take my grandkids on cruises with me) there were about 10 kids jumping on people and running around without any parental supervision and after a few minutes they ran all of the adults out of the pool. Running by the pool was not safe and "cannon balling" people was not safe, but no one said anything to these kids. I did enjoy the little ones who were in the Lotus pool. I just wish parents would watch their kids; but the Island Princess was my 31st cruise, and I know by now, that most kids are just turned loose. Overall, we had a great cruise, except for the fires in Fairbanks. Also, Princess kept our souvenir knives and promised to return them to us at the end of the cruise so we could pack them in our checked baggage, but they never did.
PS I took the Sun Princess to Hawaii on the 15 day cruise a year ago last March and it is one of my favorite cruises and the Island Princess is a nicer ship in my opinion than the Sun Princess. Also, we had no problem with the norvo virus on this cruise.
Greetings Buddy! I'm booked on the Island Princess for a trip to Hawaii in January - Princess gave us rooms on Aloha, mid-ships (not mini suites), and I was wondering if the balconies are covered, and is there noise from the Lido deck above? I'm excited about a balcony, but worried about too much sun and loss of privacy from above...... Can you comment?