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Sea Princess: Our First Cruise May Be Our Last
- Hotel Info - We stayed at the overpriced Mark Hopkins. Our AAA travel agent didn't bother to inform us that parking would be over $50 per night. It does not have a restaurant. The hotel has a nice view and that's about all I can say for it. We should have found a Best Western.
- Ship Info - This ship was clean, but worn. The gym was nice. It was comical when a gym employee was giving my hubby that hard sell about taking some "Abs" class. My hubby is in great shape and doesn't need an abs class! The staff was not as diligent about assuring the passengers used the germicide gels after the first day. On board, they were always trying to nickel-and-dime you for coffee cards, soda cards, water bottles, etc. As new cruisers, we weren't expecting this after the price we paid. They had a rummage sale in the dining room one day. They were selling the most hideous art and had poorly-attended art auctions in the middle of the ship. They would have More
sale merchandise in the middle of walkways around the Atruim. There was an air of desperation. The ship was jam-packed with cruisers. There was nowhere to find a quiet spot. We managed a load of laundry one morning. The laundry room was the site of a few arguments according to our travelling companions. The instructions on the laundry machines was in Klingon. The ships photographers varied form nice to downright annoying. We did buy some of the formal night photos at eyebrow-raising prices. (Figureing that we might ever do this again.)
- Activities - There were not enough activities on sea days.
- Service - Average in general.
- Port & Shore Excursions - Overpriced, but OK. Tending to shore was not a fun experience as the tenders' engines were smoky and we'd have to sit in the smoke while they figured out which tender got to board first. We saw no bears or whales at any time. We did see eagles and dolphins.
- Stateroom - We splurged for a mini-suite, thank God. It was very clean and comfortable. The ship was so crowded it was great to have a place to retreat. Our steward was very nice. (Folks always say that the cabin doesn't matter because you are hardly ever in it. Well, when I saw how tiny some of those cabins were, I could see why you wouldn't want to spend much time in one. I was glad I'd been paranoid enough to book a larger one to escape the crowds!)
- Dining - Our waiter for the first two nights was a surly man by the name of Carlos. He was rude and even argued with my hubby about an order that Carlos had gotten wrong. He came back to the table to whine about it *three* times and hubby was ready to get up in his face. We begged to be moved to a new table. Our new servers were outstanding. Our travelling companions, who have done several cruises, told me that Carlos was very unusual. Formal nights were less than formal and any outfit at all (including shorts) was allowed in the the dining room. We ate at the steakhouse one night, which is just a partitioned off area of the food court. I wouldn't say that any of the meals were more than average.
- Entertainment - Average. The stages are so small that I was concerned that somebody would fall off. The naturalist was a cure for insomnia. I was thrilled that Libby Riddles came on board. Her lecture was great!
- Summary - The highlight of the cruise was Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier. Absolutely gorgeous! I could see all the majesty from the comfort of our cabin. In general, this cruise was a disappointment. Perhaps our expectations were too high from all the wonderful cruising stories we had heard. We usually travel by RV, so we really didn't know what to expect. Our travel agent was no help. We'd ask questions and all she's say was, "You can find that out online." Well, if I'd wanted to find out everything online, why did I bother to go to AAA??? I DO NOT feel that we got our money's worth. (Except for the cabin, which I loved.) Someday, we may try cruising again. But, no way on Princess.
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