This was my 3rd Princess cruise (sailed on the Grand out of Galveston in 2006 & Emerald out of Ft. Lauderdale in 2010) and it was great! This was my second time to Alaska (sailed on the Carnival Spirit in June 2007).
Cabin: My husband and I had a Balcony cabin on the Caribe deck (C612). The room was plenty spacious for us although it was the smallest shower I have ever had on a cruise (17 cruises) but it really wasn't a big deal. The balcony in this room was great!! It was larger the the balconies on the decks above us and was half covered (unlike the balconies on the deck below us). I'm glad we had some covering since we had rain several days. You could still have your balcony door open or sit under the covering to enjoy the scenery. We had friends in the 3 cabins next to us (C614, C616 & C618)and our room steward opened up our balconies so we were able to go back & forth between very easily.
Food: I am a very picky eater but was able to find food to my liking every night. There was a lot of seafood but that is probably pretty standard for an Alaskan cruise. The cold soups were really good - they served them in drink glasses! The lunch buffets always had a great salad bar but the main entree always seemed to be Mediterranean/Middle Eastern. Desserts at dinner were wonderful. I thought that they were trying to sell the soda card, specialty restaurants, and wine tasting way too hard on this ship. When eating in the buffet several people would stop at our table and try to sell us something, it was quite irritating.
Shows: We only attended the comedian (2 nights) and the Illusionist. We really enjoyed the comedian both nights, he had 2 different shows. The Illusionist was good but I think the show was somewhat racy for the older audience on board. A lot of people got up and left.
Anchorage: We spent 2 days in Anchorage before our trip before heading to Whittier. We attended the Anchorage Market & Festival that had a lot of shopping & food vendors...great for locals or tourists. We went to the Earthquake Experience Theater and also watched another film on Alaska there. We rented a car so we went out to the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood. It's Alaska's most popular ski resort. It was a beautiful hotel and we took the tram ($20) up the mountain and enjoyed the views and watched the skiers. It was also a pretty drive (even though the weather wasn't great). We also went to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Girdwood that you can drive around and view the animals. Ate at some nice restaurants while in Anchorage: Humpy's, Glacier Brewhouse, Snow City Cafe.
Whittier: We took the train from Anchorage to Whittier and really enjoyed the ride. It was a really nice day and the train ride was fun. Not much to do/see in Whittier so we got straight on the boat and embarkation was a breeze. We were like the 5th couple in line and it took about 5 minutes to check in and go through security. They took our luggage before we boarded the train and we didn't see it again until they delivered it to our room that night. It was really nice to not have to lug it from the train to check-in.
Sea Day: Our first sea day was fairly rough. I anticipated it might be rough because we had some rough cruising on our first Alaska cruise. I took some motion sickness pills and had no problems (other than wanting to sleep even though they were no drowsy).
Yakutat Bay (Hubbard Glacier) Scenic Cruising: The weather was rainy but we still enjoyed seeing the Glacier. They were giving facts and talking about the glacier as we were cruising and we could hear from our balconies (they had speakers up on deck). They also had it on the t.v. so if you didn't have a balcony or couldn't hear you could turn it on.
Glacier Bay (Scenic Cruising): Pretty much a repeat of the review above. Weather was about the same and the glaciers were very neat. We didn't get to the main 2 glaciers (Margerie & Johns Hopkins) until about 2pm. 6 of us decided to go in the hot tub up on deck after we got all of the glacier pictures we wanted. It was hard getting in and out because it was so cold outside but the hot tub felt great...and we couldn't ask for better views!
Vancouver: After our 2nd sea day we arrived in Vancouver. Very rainy and dreary day. We chose to do the latest disembarkation because we were not flying out until the next day and had a private tour booked at 1145. Unfortunately the latest disembarkation time was 9:30 but you had to be out of the staterooms at 8. They seemed to have disembarkation nailed down because there weren't tons of people waiting around everywhere. We waited in the lobby by the coffee bar until we were allowed to go to our designated lounge. Once disembarking, going through customs, and claiming our luggage - we waited in the hotel that is attached to the cruise terminal for our private tour (Shore Trips). There were a total of 16 people on the tour (8 from our group) and it took us to Stanley Park, Capulano Supsension bridge, Granville Island, and Gastown before dropping people off at their hotels or the airport. It was a great tour to get a taste of Vancouver.
We had a wonderful time in Alaska, and although I have been twice, I wouldn't hesitate to go back. There are so many different things to do and experience in all of the ports.