This was my 1st time sailing with Princess but my hubbies 2nd as he cruised with his previous spouse, we usually cruise with Celebrity but I wanted to check out Princess and I am very happy that I did. We booked last minute and sailed a 14 night Vancouver round trip, it was cheaper to sail home than to fly from Anchorage Alaska to Vancouver BC Canada so a 7 night cruise became 14.
The service was exceptional, all over the ship, it really was outstanding ,I was very impressed. I found the food to be very good, enjoying lots of seafood and juicy steaks, I ordered lots of appys to try different things but also to get extra seafood, ie king crab legs was not a main course so I ordered 4 of them as a meal, you just need to think about things sometimes and I ordered 2 meals when it was lobster tails skipping the appys etc. and the desserts delicious.
We became regulars at the International Cafe, it's those desserts again in the centre of the ship, my husband bought coffee cards, 1 for each week, as he is a coffee hound and enjoyed fancy coffees 24 hours a day with the bonus of free regular coffee, teas and hot chocolate, you just have to show your card as it doesn't count as a special coffee but without the card there is a small fee to drink here.
It did take us a while to find our way around the ship as it is the largest ship we have cruised on but after a few days it was a little easier, I cheated sometimes and asked for help when my husband wasn't looking, the activity staff were very good making things fun and getting people to take part.
The entertainment was either superb to mediocre depending on the show the cruise line singers and dancers were good but they need new material and new routines.
I have one complaint, it was very hard to find a washroom and when I did there were only two or three so there was always a lineup in the ladies.
the whale watching was fabulous our captain and naturalist were great they were so knowledgeable about the whales and the area. As we went in the summer the humpbacks were bubble feeding the young herring it was AWESOME and after all that we then went to see some Orcas that were in a different bay it was worth every Penny and then some.
Lots to see and do in Juneau as it is the Capital city, museums etc and of course the Mendenhall Glacier that is receding and it's waterfall that keeps getting bigger.
What can I say about Ketchican, it always rains, almost every day of the year so be prepared, good waterproof jacket, hat or umbrella as everything carries on as normal in a downpour. I found cheap beer here, Alasken beer is really expensive in Skagway and slightly less expensive in Juneau so if you want to check out the local brews this is the place to do it. Lots of shopping fairly reasonably priced, I found a good jewellers store here and I'm very happy with my purchases . We didn't go on any excursions as the weather is always bad but those who did came back with very positive remarks.
I love Skagway it is such a neat place the old town and the gold rush stories, the train is fabulous we didn't do it this time as we have rode it in the past.
The shopping is the same in all of the ports you just need to watch the prices, we did however go to the Bonanza bar as it had the World Cup on their TV but were fleeced with their prices so I will never go there again and I think that if you are smart you won't either. Alaska is expensive as they have such a small season to sell their wares but this place was ridiculous, don't get me wrong we love Alaska, we come here often.