Better Than Expected: Star Princess Cruise Review by sammydog52
Overall Member Rating
Better Than Expected
We are 4 adults (1 senior)who flew to Seattle. A very helpful Princess representative who met us at baggage claim and carted our luggage to the shuttle bus stop for the Doubletree hotel booked for us by Princess. Our rooms were comfortable. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant (which was really the only option) which was overpriced and not very good.
Princess arranged for our luggage to be moved from the hotel to our staterooms but they did not check us into the ship (which they had in the past). Embarkation was hideous! They shuttled us from the hotel around 11 AM to the ship and we were astonished to see thousands of people on line for check in, and then another mile long zig zag line to board the ship. They one (yes one) person at the bottom of the gangway. It took well over an hour from the time we were dropped off to board! Princess has done this well in the past and so we were all shocked.
The food both in the buffet More and the dining room ranged from ok to good - not great - but good. Given the previous reviews, that was a pleasant surprise. I did stay away from grilled steak which tends to be tough.
There was a naturalist onboard who gave 4 talks throughout the week which were absolutely awesome - moving and inspiring (Michael Mod... something).
One singer, who sang Sinatra songs was great, as were the acrobats, and the string quartet. Vines bar was a treat - good wine and tapas. Glacier bay was gorgeous (I only wish the narrator has asked passengers to stay quiet so we could really hear glaciers cracking and calving). The staff were extremely hard working, helpful, friendly, and cheerful.
The "coffee" onboard is undrinkable. I did buy the coffee card but even the brewed coffee was terrible. Try the cappicino. Photographers and actors dressed as cartoon characters assaulted you when disembarking. Photographers also blocked the piazza and elevators on formal nights causing us to have to hike around and around to get through. The gym was too small for the amount of passengers and it was so overheated people were getting sick. It must have been 80 in there. There were no yoga or fitness classes, they constantly used the aerobics area for lectures. The production shows were awful!! Really embarrassing. Not the talent - but the writing and choreography. They were a confused jumble with non-recognizable music or theme. Staterooms had no clocks. There was not enough variety in the excursions. I did book one that was not through Princess because I really couldn't find a good one through them. And again, embarkation was tortureous.
The time in ports was generally too short or at the wrong time. We did not arrive in Juneau until around noon. We spent 7 AM - noon in Ketchikan and did not arrive in Victoria until 7 PM and left at midnight. It was too short to see these ports. Less