Rather than have a party for my 60th birthday, my husband and I decided to take an Alaskan cruise and ask my 65 year old sister to come along to celebrate. Many cruise lines cruised over my birthday, and really wanted RCI since we have cruised with them 3 times before and Celebrity once, but the route and number of stops was more on Princess so decided to give them a try.
First of all, I have never had a cruise specialist, like Holly at Princess did, ever call me about a price reduction or specials after I booked. Very impressive. THEN, since we had two window view rooms next to each other and Princess was overbooked, they called and asked if they could upgrade us to a Grand Suite with balcony since we were all family. We did and it truly was a beautiful space with an incredible balcony for viewing Alaska.
Because we were in the suite, our embarkation was a breeze, but since we were port side, we saw long lines of people waiting and many in the hot sun as Seattle was incredibly warm and sunny. Our room had fresh flowers, fresh fruit and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us, so felt so spoiled. We usually get a balcony when we travel alone, or a mini suite, but have never had anything so lavish, especially the whirlpool tub which was a plus on an Alaskan voyage.
Dining in the MDR was great, another great table of people to meet and on my birthday, the staff beautifully sang happy birthday to me and had cake and ice cream for our table. (Plus I heard if you turn 60 in Alaska it does not really count, ha!)
Stopped in Juneau and got off and took an excursion to Mendenhall Glacier. How do you describe a glacier, magnificent. Was great as the bus was not very crowded since the other ships were still pulling in. Forgot my swimsuit and storeowners helped me find one in a tanning salon that was not expensive.
I wanted to swim in Alaska, and did! (The suite came with the thermal suite and we loved the heated stone beds)
Did Tracy Arm Fjord and cannot describe the quiet, the beauty and the almost spiritual feeling there. Stayed on our balcony drinking coffee and having breakfast and had on channel 41 to hear the naturalist which was a huge plus.
Ketchikan was a favorite and really want to go back when we can have more time there. Did the Crab ship excursion as my husband is a huge fan of Deadliest Catch. It was a riot, but took up 3 of our 4 hours in Ketchikan and it looked like such a cute town.
VIctoria BC was a surprise. Had no idea it was so beautiful. Walked into town to stretch our legs, shopped at the little booths along the water and took a cab back. Again, only about 4 hours there.
Rough seas heading out from Seattle and coming back from Seattle which made my sister a little sick on the way back. She took some over the counter medication from the shop and was good to go.
Loved the bingo, did not like the casino though. I played slots and the husband did craps, but after you burn through $100 and there is no winning at all, I was done.
Shops had only limited stuff, but so many cute places at the stops by the ship that was no big deal. International café had fabulous foods and the pizza and the grill were convenient. Not big drinkers but actually bought a "shake" card for unlimited shakes. Might sound weird for Alaska, but we ended up having the most beautiful weather on our cruise.
Princess gave us a complimentary dinner in the Crown Grill and I highly recommend their food, I would be happy to do it again and pay for it. MDR food was good, buffet was hit and miss, actually seemed to be better food when we had it brought in room service.
The comedian on board was offered 3 times. Carlos Oscar we saw the first time based on reviews I have seen on cruise critic, and they did not do him justice, we all went wild for him. My sister went the second time and said it was a different show, so we all went to the 3rd one and that was different too. I would see him again in a heartbeat wherever he is.
Disembarkation was a breeze, we opted for the luggage valet where we put it outside our door and did not see it again until Minneapolis. Second time we did this and second time we loved it.
All in all, food was good, entertainment was excellent, ports were everything we hoped for, room was beyond fabulous and service was perfect, attentive but not suffocating. Thank you Princess for a memorable birthday.