Once again a very enjoyable week onboard a Princess vessel. Easy embarkation/disembarkation in Seattle, minimal waiting time to board and depart. Used city bus from downtown to Pier 91 and return ($6.50 total each way for 2 seniors, 1 adult, 2 youth) to avoid large parking fees at the pier.
Sadly, unfriendly to business Seattle has prohibited music at sail-away parties so the departure was sedate. Nice scenery sailing out of Elliot Bay and through Puget Sound. Calm water sailing around Vancouver Island was warmly welcomed after rough seas forced a turnaround on our last Alaska cruise. Weather was unseasonably good throughout the trip.
Made a standing reservation for 5pm at the anytime dining Bernini Dining Room through the maitre'd and had a great window table with friendly and skilled waiters Rochelle and Archie. Marvelous food each day at all meals. Enjoyed well prepared and presented seafood, meat, pasta, starters, soups, salads, and desserts. Shrimp, greek, and chicken salads at the International Cafe were quite good. Barista Joel at the Piazza deck 5 bar was spectacular, making the best lattes we've had at sea. Teenage grandsons enjoyed the food at Horizon Court at lunchtime.
Comedian Sarge was wonderful, loved the way he went with the crowd, lots of interaction with his audiences, very funny. The boys liked the magician/illusionist Alexander Great a lot. "British Invasion" production show had some familiar music from the 60's but also some tunes we were not familiar with. "Stardust" production show was fine but not like some of the other productions we've seen before and enjoyed to a higher degree. Did not attend the third production show--schedule conflict. Cruise Director staff game shows were pretty good with some funny passenger participants. String quartet was wonderful. Adagio dancers in the Piazza added some newness to the usual entertainment offerings such as the juggler who was good. Loved the Runway fashion show in the Piazza where passengers modeled clothes and accessories found in the boutiques.
Cabin attendants Rolly and Warlie were outstanding! The large balcony in Emerald 205 was a wonderful surprise, plenty of room for 5 people to comfortably enjoy the view or have a snack.
By and large the vessel is in great shape for its age. The crew is doing a good job keeping up with the wear and tear on the ship. The crew is extremely friendly and personable. Smiles and sincere hellos at every turn. Hotel Manager Michele, Future Cruise Consultant Nikki, and Captain's Circle Hostess Colleena
were very good ambassadors for Princess.
Naturalist Kathy Slamp did a great job with narrations as we sailed along our route.
Too much ice in Tracy Arm prohibited us from enjoying the Sawyer Glacier but the fjord in/out was nice.
Ketchikan--took the duck around town and into the water, a good time was had by all
Skagway--took the White Pass railroad to the summit and back, a very scenic 3.5 hour trip, the town is one big tourist trap
Juneau--visited the beautiful Glacier Gardens, well worth the expense but the $4 roundtrip bus rides from/to town were arduous, will take a cab next time
We will keep returning to Princess for our holidays as they provide a wonderful cruise experience.