This was our fourth cruise and our second with Princess. We were a party of ten from tree generations; wife, self, daughter, son-in-law, son, daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. We had three cabins on the Aloha deck, a balcony stateroom and two insides directly across the hall.
The boarding process went very well. The ground staff was well prepared and we had our key cards within a few minutes. After waiting in line for security pictures we were in our cabins in less than an hour. Our bags arrive within a few minutes.
The ship was very well maintained. Public areas were spotless and décor was interesting and appropriate. There was always a place to sit and relax in public areas and we never had to wait to be seated in any of the dining rooms. Our family celebrated a birthday in Sabatini's (Italian Restaurant) and it was a memorable event indeed.
An issue with the balcony door came to our attention as soon as we entered the room. The latch on the sliding door was broken and it was impossible to secure. Combined with the broken locking mechanism on the metal door between our balcony and the balcony next door our stateroom was unsecure throughout the week. We reported the situation immediately but it was not corrected by the time we left the ship. We again reported it to the cruise company from home and were assured that the issue was being addressed. Thanks to the wonderful and honest guests next door!
The verandah space was nice but the smaller then I had expected. With such a large party we were not able to enjoy the sites and arrival and departure all together without leaving our cabin and going to a public area. Our cabin was clean and well designed. The closet was large and had an adequate number of hangers for all our clothing.
The beds were comfortable however the mattresses had slightly noticeable sags in the middle as mattresses often due when they near the end of their serviceability.
The bathroom very clean and everything worked as it should. The shower was small but completely adequate. The bathroom had plenty of counter space and shelves for personal items. Towels were quickly replaced as were shampoo, soap, and other items.
Without exception the staff was friendly and responsive. Our cabin steward was always helpful and attentive without being in the way. The staff always greeted customers in a friendly and unobtrusive manner. We were very pleased with the staff.
The dining room staff was attentive, friendly, and efficient. The food was always well presented and of high quality with the exception of a serving of Fettuccine Alfredo which was entirely too salty and uneatable. An immediate offer was made to replace the dish with something else was made but turned down. We greatly enjoyed Horizon Buffet on the Lido deck. Food was always well prepared and presented and in wide variety. With 4 children in our party the buffet became an important stop during our travels on the ship. We never had a difficult time in finding a place so sit, even with our large party. Tables were cleared and cleaned immediately as soon as vacated.
Ports and Activities
Ketchican " we chose to take a leisurely walk around town. My wife and I had been there on a previous cruise and I had been there on business trips a couple of time so we were familiar with the area.
Juneau " We participated in a group tour to a Salmon Hatchery, the Mendenhall Glacier, and a salmon bake. We saw black bear in the wild and bald eagles feeding. Our grandchildren were treated to a marshmallow roast at the salmon bake and everyone had a wonderful time interacting with others in our tour group.
Skagway " Our group chose to ride the White Pass and Yukon Railroad up White Pass. Wonderful scenery and dizzying heights greeted us at every turn. The cost of the trip for 10 people was just over $1000 (that in itself is a little dizzying) but again the look on our grandchildren’s faces made it almost worth it.
Victoria, British Columbia " The scheduled arrival in the early evening and departure at midnight really made no sense except to allow the ship to comply with rules concerning foreign (non-U.S) flagged ship which operate in the US market. We chose to take a shuttle bus to downtown Victoria and walk around taking in the sites. A very nice small Canadian town in which to spend an evening (and they have great cigars!!).
We had a wonderful time. The ship was beautiful and the crew attentive and friendly. Food was very acceptable and plentiful. Entertainment was what can be expected and certainly a good finish to another wonderful day at sea. We would unreservedly recommend this cruise line and this ship.