Truly bad experience. We cruised up to Alaska with holland America and had a horrible experience. The check in was smooth and efficient and the cabin steward was good but there the positive experiences end. The remainder of the crew seemed to have no clue about customer experience - every time you asked for anything, even asking for glasses by a water machine, they sent you somewhere else as if helping you was too much trouble. They all looked surly and miserable and didn't seem to want to be there. Unfortunately that isn't a nice environment to spend your holiday.
The food as terrible too. The only hot thing was the plates which were invariably scorching. The food was always warm at best and tasteless. We found the cafe by the pool was the only place service freshly cooked food but that meant a diet of burgers, chicken, burgers, pizzas and Mexican tacos. Couldn't wait to get off the boat at ports to get some decent food.
One of the worst bits was the cabin. The room itself was fine but the bathroom is in desperate need of renovation. The tiling has been repaired but badly. The smell from the toilet was terrible every time you lifted the lid.
The only really positive was the port stops. Good schedule and they are one of the few boats who can get into glacier bay. I understand only 2 cruise boats are allowed in each day so not sure how they decided which ones but it was a truly stunning day
We cruised back with Norweigian and had an amazing experience so you just need to be careful about which cruise line you pick. We met some people on princess who also were having a great experience.
Get the local bus to Mendenhall glacier for $16 return. Expect to spend a good chunk of the day here as you can hike, go to the view points, go to the waterfall and most importantly check our steep creek in rebar season. Be patient as after 1-2hour wait a bear came out to go fishing and we got to watch him for an hour. Lots of the tour will zip you through Mendenhall in an hour but I would do it yourself and really spend time here
We got a local bus to totem bight state park (for $2 each return) and spent a hour there. We then walked around the town and followed the river. The salmon were there and great to follow them along. No clue how they get upriver but an amazing sight to see and good viewing spots at the top of creek street
Nice old fashioned town but so busy when the cruise ships are in. Maybe take a quick peak around town early and then head off hiking. Lower Dewey lakes hike is really tough for the first half mile but then levels off and you walk around a lake. Take a picnic and stop along the way or if you still need more head higher to upper Dewey lake and the waterfall. Short walked the other wise of town eg to smugglers cover