my wife and i just got off of the pacific princess yesterday. this was my fifth princess cruise (yo platinum) and the best of the princess cruises i've been on. i've been on over 30 cruises and this ranks high on the list. the circle hostess, anita barton, was kind enough to give us our platinum cards and pins whilst on board so we could enjoy some of the privileges. she even upgraded my wife to platinum even though this was her fourth cruise.
we had a mini suite which was spacious. there wasn't enough closet space but that was our fault not princesses. the dEcor in the room is very nice. the balcony spacious. they even have lap robes for glacier and other cold days. they are replacing the mattresses 50 a trip. ours hadn't been replaced. the bed was wretched. they will put an egg carton thing on it, but theirs isn't very good. i had gotten a better one from target for $16. we took it on in a carryon and left it on board. with it sleep was hard...without it it would have been impossible.
the ship is wonderful. the decor is like an english manor house. very comfortable.
we loved sheila turner in the casino bar. she knows something like 2000 songs and has a great voice. while we were aboard she got engaged to the trumpet player in the band. and two crew members got married. maybe they should go back to the love boat theme.
the entertainment troop on board is first rate. supposedly the top rated troupe in princess. richard joseph the cruise director is excellent and has a fascinating session on cruise ships. he tells the story of being a hostage on the achille lauro when it was hijacked.
dick gold was on board. he is a staple of princess cruises and a good comedian. we also had bob mills on board who was a writer for bob hope. it was especially timely as mr. hope passed away during our cruise so bob mills could give us reminiscences of him.
brent nixon was our naturalist. he can be wonderful as when giving narration in tracy arm but his style is a little over the top for us. perhaps it's because it is the third time we've been on a cruise with him and the appreciation of the histrionics tends to fade with repeated performances. in all fairness though most people liked him.
the singer on board was terrible. (name available on request). he was slick, sleazy, greasy, and oily also manipulative and maudlin. he began with a tribute to barry manilow. as one person said, "barry manilow is bad enough but someone imitating him is even worse." many people liked him but many people walked out as did we.
the service was great on the ship. always smiling people. always friendly. one felt as if one were on one's own personal yacht. the food was good.
we ate in sterling's (steak house) three times. the beef is excellent. and you may wish to order the dover sole just to watch them debone it. a fascinating feat. my wife says that usually when you eat steak the first bite or two are good then it tastes like steak but at sterling all of the bites are great bites.
we also ate in sabatini's. great service but a lot of food. sterling's is better.
our first night and day were a little rough...ok a lot rough...we didn't get sick buy many many people did. even people who had cruised 20, 30, and 40 times without ill effects.
tracy arm is beautiful. sitka, skagway, and juneau were good. especially sitka. we have been on many alaskan cruises and sitka is our favorite. we were there on our anniversary so that was especially meaningful for us. we would have liked longer port times. especially in vancouver. in skagway we went to the red onion for lunch. a very fun place. i suggest you get there early to get a seat. we took the tram in juneau...first time we've done it. very picturesque view.
we often rent cars in port and just roam. we did this in sitka and had a grand time. we drove to the end of the road...a beautiful romantic spot.
we also took the walk behind the national park building which was beautiful and gives a great view of your ship.
we ate lunch in van winkel's and sons. excellent halibut.
we were able to add to our collection of northwest indian art in sitka with three carvings by natives.
the ship never seemed crowded. even on the last day it was easy to get through the breakfast buffet.
embarkation/disembarkation both went smoothly.
the exercise room is well equipped. . the showers in the dressing room are awesome. one of them has seven heads that hits you from all around and above. the other one has a regular and a waterfall head. it is called a fog shower, but no one seems to know why. i went from one to the other. even though our bathroom was spacious the tub was off the ground and if i stood whilst showering i would hit my head on the ceiling. so the other showers were the perfect answer for me. the steam room was a little feeble.