we were delighted when we joined the cruise in Whittier, the send-off was with fireworks and it was great to see. The sail down to Skagway was quite nice too but it was always quite misty on the shores so we were unable to see much. However Glacier bay was spectacular and the ship did go very slow for pictures and stuff. The activities on board were not so great, the prices of alchohol at meals and at the bar were extortionate to say the least AND this Cruse crowd DO NOT give drinks packages like other lines do so it was put up or shut up. The meals were good to start but got very samey when you got to the 3rd and 4th days. The wine at table was quite ridiculously priced so we declined as did our other 6 diners at the table. If the price for a bottle of wine at the table was reasonable then everyone could have probably bought one, but as I said the prices were extortionate therefore Princess cruises lost out big time. People always speak with their wallets if things are too dear. We decided we would go for something different one night for dinner so booked into the steak house, we enjoyed our steaks and the pudding but we did not enjoy that a surcharge of $20 per head was added on to the bill, plus we were cotracred in to pay $12 dollars per person per day for gratuities to the staff. This is not what I would call tipping for good service, it was in fact tipping for the sake of tipping and it should be stamped out. This should be left to the individual and NOT be compulsory.
The 1st port we visited was skagway which was excellent, a day later we visited Juneau which also was excellent, both were wet but warmish but that did not deter from their appeal. The next stop was to be Ketchekan, but due to a Force 11 storm brewing we were told that it had been cancelled. So we had to sit, the now, Force 12 storm out aboard the ship as it grew worse and worse. It only blew itself out as we approached Vancouver. After paying our bar bill at the end, our gratuities bill was $117.90. Still a total rip-off and should be exposed so that people can choose for themselves about tipping.