This was our third cruise in the past 10 years. Each cruise has been with a different cruise line. This was the most disorganized and the employees did not seem very happy. Our disembarkation was a mess. The ladies at the Westin Hotel were at the table the day before disembarkation for check in. But the next morning there was not a table or sign indicating where we were to meet. There were 10 in our group so we all gathered in the lobby near where the table was the day before. We didn't see any Princess employees until we sent out family members to check out the lobby and they finally found one of the ladies outside where the buses were gathering. There were 2 bus loads of people in the lobby needing some reassurance that we were in the right place and we didn't get that until 10 minutes before the buses were to leave.
We were supposed to have priority check-in since we were in a large suite but there were not enough princess employees to direct the crowds once we got off the bus. We ended up waiting in the long check-in line only to find out that we could have skipped that line with our priority check-in. I would say they were definitely short staffed.
We enjoyed our suite and our room attendant, Ernie (Ernilito), was very helpful and always upbeat and smiling. There were some minor inconveniences like the sink was slow to drain and the tub drain stopper didn't work so we called Ernie and both times he arrived immediately assessed the problem and got the plumber out quickly to do repairs. Our bed was very comfortable although the room was a little to warm with the AC at the lowest setting and this was in Alaska!
The food was very disappointing! The 14th deck buffet was confined in a very hot cramped space and we tried everything in there for two days and the food did not look appetizing and didn't taste good either.
We had the same experience with the food in the Canaletto traditional dining room which was hardly edible. This dining room is difficult to access and our waiters were not friendly. Once the dining room filled up with people it turned hot and stuffy. We ended up scheduling and paying $25 for 10 of us to eat dinner in the Crown Grill one night and in Sabatinos on two other nights. Their food was better but just not the quality of food that we are accustomed to enjoying in our hometowns of Dallas and Houston, TX and Charlotte, NC. That was an extra $750 to get a few decent dinners on the ship.
The best food was in the International Cafe where you could get fresh salads and sandwiches and Lattes.
The entertainment was plentiful. The singers and dancers were great and the comedian was pretty good. The magic show was very dull and the theatre lights were down so low you couldn't see anything anyway and we were on the 4th row of a large theatre.
One of our biggest complaints about cruising with Princess is the big push to sell jewelry and art.
We were irritated to receive fliers in our mailbox everyday about jewelry and art sales and the insult comes when you arrive at the ports and find the towns are full of Princess owned jewelry shops. We enjoyed an excursion in Juneau which included a helicopter ride which landed on Mendenhall Glacier and a salmon bake which was the best food of our whole trip. Other cruisers that went into Juneau to look around said the Princess owned shops had salespeople standing outside of their shops aggressively trying to recruit buyers. These shops ruined the experience of the quaint looking town.
Disembarkation was very disorganized. The employees in charge were giving us and other families who had elderly parents in wheelchairs conflicting instructions and sent us all to the wrong exit. It just sort of left us with a bad ending to the trip.
I can't imagine ever wanting to go on another Princess Cruise.