We boarded in Tianjin on Friday May 03 without problems and the cruise through China, South Korea and Japan was very enjoyable in calm conditions with fine warm weather. The ports visited were Dalian (China) Busan (Sth Korea) Osaka and Yokohama (Japan) The only Princess excursion we took was a Temple and Market one at Busan and this was not well run and ended up at the famed ? Fish Market. Really a take it or leave it affair. Strangely vendors at the Markets here tended to run away when approached and it appears that poor English skills may have been responsible. The other ports were quite delightful and we did our own thing often using public transport. There is some satisfaction in hopping on to rail transport and navigating in these large cities. (We took the rail from Yokahama to Tokyo without trouble)
The cruise then set sail for Whittier via the Aleutian Islands, spending some time in the Bering Sea and arriving in Whittier on Sat May 18 to a quite magnificent blizzard which kept up most of the day. These 8 days at sea were where I thought Princess completely dropped the ball. I had been looking forward to this sector as little was known about this remote area that has a very rich history.and many Islands are quite spectacular, rising for 4 or 5 thousand feet out of the sea in near perfect snow covered cones. Now, we did a round Australia cruise with Princess some years back and were treated to an extremely interesting series of talks (Scholarships at Sea) about Australian people and history, including Captains Cook and Bligh, these resulted in the Princess Theater being packed out, one had to get there early.
Alas for the entire cruise to Whittier we were treated to "the Art Museums of the USA" and "Bridge for Beginners", the popularity of which was shown by a max of 50 or so people in the large Princess Theater. I wrote to the Captain expressing my disappointment and the Bridge Crew did forward me some written information, but nothing for the rest of the passengers. During this sector an unscheduled deviation in course was made to stop in a small harbour on Adak island to offload a sick passenger who was then flown by air ambulance to Anchorage. Adak has an airport originally built during the second world War. Again the chance to discuss this fascinating place was ignored. Passengers were seen congregating around the chart trying to figure out where we has been, (it was midnight during the offload)
So Princess, take note and don't bore your passengers during sea days!
The sector South to Vancouver was extremely enjoyable with excellent talks and commentary by the State Park rangers and a naturist chipping in. We struck perfect clear weather for the glacier cruise.
Vancouver was lovely.