Built in 2002, Island Princess is one of the oldest ships in the Princess Cruises fleet. As a result, she’s a little battered here and there and some of the decor looks dated against her newer sisters. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing – Island Princess has more character than the larger Royal-class ships for instance.

A picture of the Island Princess moored in Alta, Norway
Island Princess moored in Alta

As our journey comes to an end, here’s a few things we have observed about Island:


For whatever reason, lifts on Island Princess are rarely busy. In fact, it is not unusual to travel in an empty lift without stopping between decks. This is great because it means Linda can pull a five-point turn on her scooter, reducing the risks associated with reversing blind onto a (potentially) crowded foyer.

There is one minor annoyance – the glass lifts in the Plaza area only travel between decks 5 and 7. If you want to go higher, you will need to head to the midship lifts instead.

Slamming doors

Cabin Stateroom doors are designed to close for safety reasons – but that doesn’t mean they have to be slammed shut. Unfortunately our fellow passengers on deck 12 (Aloha) still don’t know that after 14 days onboard.


Some of the corridors in the ship have weird ramps, meaning that very few of the decks are perfectly level. There’s no obvious reason why the ramps exist, but they add to Island‘s quirkiness as you travel down the otherwise featureless accommodation decks.


Embarkation and disembarkation typically takes place from Deck 4 when in port. However, a wicked cold breeze blows up the central stairwell when the doors are open, making it very chilly in the central plaza. Take a jumper.

A picture of the Plaza area onboard Island Princess
The Plaza can be quite cold when the ship is docked


Because of her relatively diminutive size, Island Princess is one of only two Princess ships that can fit through the ‘old’ locks on the Panama Canal. If you book a canal transit passage on one of the newer ships, you will be going through the newer, less scenic locks instead.