This and a short trip on the Golden Princess a month earlier were an introduction to the newer Princess ships. These are nice ships, and the visits to the glaciers and the scenery in the inland passage are the highlights of this particular voyage. This is especially true with the number of cruise ships overpowering Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan these days. We had been on an inland passage cruise on the old Regal Princess in 1993, so the ports were familiar. We were blessed with beautiful weather for this trip, which came on the end of a tour also blessed with seeing Mt. McKinley for at least some portion of the day all four days.
FOOD We do traditional late seating dining and the service was spectacular, really made the evening meal a treat. Menu variety was good, and the only thing that would have made it better would have been a nice lamb chop or leg of lamb one night. We also generally have breakfast and lunch in the dining rooms and these were very enjoyable. The breakfast menu could be better with additions such as corned beef hash, and beans. We also tried the pizza available on deck and it was very nicely done. A couple times we tried the buffet and were not impressed. Breakfast lacked fish dishes. Usually you expect to see at least salmon available, and the size of the buffet itself seems cramped, too crowded to be a pleasant experience. We had taken a trip recently on the Golden Princess and it had the same "too small" feeling.
ROOM The rooms are configured with what is essentially a dressing area between the bathroom door and the closet space. This appears a little strange at first, but it works well in practice and it is an improvement over the "in-line" configuration on
ENTERTAINMENT The shows were very good. They also had an excellent presentation by Libby Riddles who won the Iditarod in Juneau. It would be nice to see Princess provide more educational opportunities. The one Cunard cruise we were on had daily educational lectures and it was very enjoyable.
PORTS Since we had been to the ports and taken the excursions previously, we spent our time in Skagway and Juneau exploring the towns, and found that worthwhile. Good museums and Capital tour in Juneau. In Ketchikan we rented a car from First City Car Rental. They delivered to the dock, let us return it to the parking space there and mailed us the receipt, great service. We visited the Totem Bight Park, hiked the Ward Lake and Lunch Falls Loops and had a nice picnic lunch watching the activity on the fishing boats at the Clover Pass Resort..
EMBARCATION DEBARKCATION These were both well done. We had an assigned dining room debarkation which was equipped with juice, coffee and tea and a representative who kept you appraised of progress, made this hurry up and wait experience passable. Much better done than we've seen on other ships.