The Diamond princess was our first cruise with the princess cruise line. We were very happy with all the aspects of the cruise. We arrived in Whittier after riding the train from Denali. While the line was long, it moved well and we were on the ship in a short period of time.
We had the anytime dinning feature and enjoyed the opportunity to try the four different dining rooms. The menu in each was the same, except for the fact that a daily special was offered. This special was not on the menu and was given to you by your waiter. We enjoyed the service in the Santa Fe and Savoy the best. The food was good and well seasoned. As like any cruise you could order as many appetizers, entrees, and desserts as you wish. We had six people in our group, so dinner was always an hour and a half to two hour event.
We did breakfast in the Horizon court (buffet). They had a wide selection of food from cold cereal to egg omelets to order. They offered many different fresh fruits and pastries and breads. The staff was constantly changing out the food to keep fresh items available.
Each day during the lunch hours they provided a theme buffet. We found this food to be very good and fresh as well.
Our only complaint was in the specialty restaurant Sterling Steak house. This cost $20 person and is noted as one of the best places to eat on the ship. I need to be very specific, the food (steak) was outstanding. The service on the other had was about as bad as I have every had at any restaurant. We were ignored for the first 25 to 30 minutes, then we almost had to beg to get our water refilled. Just a poor experience from start to finish.
We had a balcony room which was so nice. They did a good job of giving each side of the ship the same equal time while viewing the glaciers. So nice to sit on your balcony and watch large chunks of ice 100's of years old fall into the sea. My wife got coffee delivered to the room each morning, always at the time she requested. Good size room and bathroom considering you are on a ship.
I used the spa service every day. The steam room was always hot and the showers in the spa were well stocked and larger than the showers in the room.
We found the staff to be friendly and helpful for the most part. A few crew members did not seem to know where some places where on the ship, however, for the most part they were courteous.
The shows were all good, but none were outstanding. The last nigh members of the crew staff performed and they were very entertaining. The cruise director (Kelvin) and assistant (Dan) were tremendous. The games and shows they MCed were do not miss events.
The under the stars movies are not to be missed. They give you blankets to keep warm. They serve warm cookies and popcorn.
The drink prices were very fair, much better than RC (Royal Caribbean). Princess lets each person bring on board one bottle of alcohol.
Over all we had a fantastic experience with Princess. If you are thinking about Alaska, the Diamond Princess is a great way to go.