We just got back Saturday from a cruise to Alaska on the Golden Princess. We were a group of 10 - 6 adults (85, 50, 49, 48, 47 and 45) and 4 kids (10, 7, 7, and 6). All in all the trip went well, and if you are considering an Alaska trip that doesn't include Glacier Bay - DON'T. It was definitely one of the highlights.
- The ship was very clean and well maintained
- Our mini suite was perfect for our family of 4 and had plenty of storage space
- I can not say enough about the kid's club and the kid's club staff. There were only 138 kids under the age of 12 on our ship, so our kids got plenty of attention and the programs were well done and well thought out.
- We took the excursion in Juneau which included whale watching and the Mendenhall Glacier which we enjoyed and we took the Deadliest Catch excursion in Ketchikan which I would highly recommend. The city tour in Victoria was just OK
- There were a lot of shipboard activities and both shows we went to (Motown and the British Invasion) were well done.
- Embarking and Disembarking were both VERY well done. We were on board in less than an hour and off the ship in what felt like 10 minutes since we waited to leave at our appointed time.
- The food on the whole was not good. The desserts were consistently good and some of the entrees in the dining halls were good, but most of the food was nothing to write home about.
- Most of the staff in the dining rooms were not very friendly and seemed to be less than enthused to be doing their jobs.
- None of the pools are less than 5 feet in depth (which effected us since we were traveling with "emergent swimmers")
- I arrived at the spa early for my appointment (to enjoy some me time) and was told no less than 3 times how early I was. Then the technician tried to overcharge me ($169 instead of $119 for my facial)
- Pay the upcharge ($25 per person) and eat at the steakhouse, by far the best meal we ate on the ship with the friendliest waiter. I am just sorry we didn't try the other restaurants.
- Buy the coffee card ($30 gets you 15 specialty drinks and unlimited coffee, tea and hot cocoa at the International Deli/Cafe). Most of the rest of the coffee on the ship is reconstituted. This coffee was good as were a lot of the sandwiches and salads they were serving.
- If traveling with a group, bring walkie talkies. Having to walk back to your stateroom all the time to exchange messages is a problem.
- We booked through and got some shipboard credit as well as a bottle of wine and 2 8x10 pictures (which didn't seem like a big deal, but how can you not buy some of those formal shots).
- The laundry on the ship was significantly better than I thought it would be ($2/washer and $2/dryer). There is detergent for sale and ironing boards (the one by our room had 1 washer and 2 dryers, but the one by my sister's cabin had 4 and 4, I believe). So, you really can bring less clothes than you think. We also didn't dress for any night but the formal nights, and even then it didn't need to be that formal (especially if you are opting not to eat in the dining rooms).
- If you walk into Skagway, there was a Thai restaurant (believe it or not) called Star Fire on 3rd that was decent.
Whatever you decide to do...ENJOY!