I hate to say that mom and I are feeling rather disappointed in the the way Princess has handled this cruise. To start, we left Seattle late so we arrived late at Juneau. Then we left late from Juneau and arrived late for Skagway... So has been the whole trip, to the point that we arrived so late to Victoria, BC that all of the excursions had been cancelled. In addition to being late, there has been absolutely no organization for disembarkation so the disembarkation process for excursions has been total chaos. The line started at the disembarkation spot and winds all through the deck and doubles back on itself. There was no staging of people to have everyone exit in an orderly manner, just two massive lines exiting all at once. Not once had there been any notifications for how people were to exit the ship. Just chaos. Most people were trying to be a sport about it but after standing there for so long in a line that was barely moving, sometimes tempers would flare. Then, because we are late, excursions have felt rushed yet after being told that we must be on board at the scheduled time and everyone appears to abide by this, we would again leave port late. It's almost like they have never done this before. Mom said she has never experienced this before and other passengers that I spoke with agreed. This was both frustrating and very tiring. I've been told that this doesn't happen on Holland American and this isn't the way Carnival handled it in 2010 when Mom and I went to the Western Caribbean. Princess should be better than this.
On a positive note, our cabin stewardess was wonderful and the head waiter in the dining room had gone out of his way to help us stay gluten free. Our room was fabulous. Having the balcony absolutely made this trip. To be hanging out there in Glacier Bay was the best experience ever! Standing there and listening to the ice cracking and then watching while it was calving was totally awesome! Then, as we were leaving the bay, watching the whales was a great experience too. Too bad the best photo appears to be a whales tail, but I have the vision in my head of watching two humpback whales breach in front of the ship. Wow.
This trip was a contrast in extremes. The absolute beauty of Alaska mixed with frustration and exhaustion caused by Princess mixed again with the warm service people they have working for them.