We really enjoyed this cruise. Having heard so much about the cold and rain in Alaska we were prepared but ended up with beautiful warm sunny weather for almost all of the cruise.
The ship was lovely. There were certainly spots that were showing its age (i.e. rust near the windows in the dining room, stains on the grout in the bathroom of our mini suite, rust on our balcony that they actually fixed while we were there) but nothing that detracted from the cruise. With a passenger capacity of approx. 2,300 - it never felt crowded (except when leaving the Princess Theatre after a show since there are only 2 aisles in the whole theatre!) and we seemed to make several friends who we saw repeatedly everywhere we went.
The staff was lovely - you would be hard pressed to find a staff member on this ship who was not friendly. Walking in Juneau we saw one of the shopping experts (Jay) and he chatted with us as we walked to town as though we had been friends for years. We More
loved our room steward Erwin. The room was always perfect and he always greeted us by name and with a smile. Whenever we asked for anything from him - it was there in a flash.
We had anytime dining and in the past we found a waiter we liked and then requested him every night. It was different this time - we felt like they were not as attentive as they had been in the past. Some nights it seemed like they didn't care - just wanted to get the food out on the table and then get you out of the dining room. No big deal. The food was good and we certainly ate plenty of it. We never had to wait for a table but it seemed like everytime we were leaving dinner there was a huge crowd waiting to be seated. Since we were early eaters (no later than 6:30) - it would seem that going early is the key to not having to wait. One of my favorite moments of the cruise happened in the dining room...on our sea day on the way to Vancouver, we were sitting by the window and saw loads of orca. It was incredible. The best was when one came up right outside the window - so close I felt like I could have touched it.
Entertainment - We were disappointed that they do the same shows as they do on other Princess ships. We saw the production show "Do You Wanna Dance" on the Caribbean Princess and it was the same exact show here just with different performers. Sort of boring the second time around. We saw both of the comics, Scott Wyler and Cary Long - both were good. We also loved the "Cooking" show done by several members of the dining room staff - very cute! We participated in the various trivia games, Jeopardy games, watched the Not So Newlywed Game, etc. - plenty of options for entertainment.
Disembarkation was a little slow but not terrible. Our assigned time to go off was 8:30 am and our group was called at 8:50 am. After that gathering our luggage and going through customs was a breeze.
It was a wonderful trip and Princess does a nice job. I am already planning our next trip! Less
Nice sized room and bathroom. Enjoyed having the bathtub. The balcony is an uncovered balcony. Although this allowed anyone above us to look directly down on us, we never felt a lack of privacy. It seemed like everyone was out on their balcony to enjoy the scenery and not to watch us!
In Ketchikan we went kayaking to Orca's Cove with Southeast Seas. It was a warm sunny day and I have a nice tan to prove it. We saw several eagles and a nest with and eaglet - lots of fish jumping out of the water. We enjoyed the peacefulness of the trip. Afterwards we headed to the famous Creek Street.
In Skagway the ship was docked at the Railroad Dock which seemed to be the farthest one from town. Since the weather was nice, it was a nice walk but when it is cold and rainy there, I am guessing this might not be such a nice walk. We rented a car and used Murray's Guide along the way. We stopped so many times to takes pictures - it is really gorgeous up there. (We loved that the first thing was saw in Canada was a bald eagle perched on a tree.) We stopped at Cinnamon Cache where we had a yummy cinnamon bun before heading to Emerald Lake which was our turnaround point. On the way back we stopped in Carcross. The ladies in the visitor center are quite friendly and we had a nice chat with them and learned a bit about the town. After we turned in our rental car, we did a little walking in town. The town is very quaint and shopping is plentiful here. I read somewhere on here that if you went to the footbridge in Skagway that you would see seals. We headed up there 2 times and saw nothing. We stopped and asked some people and they told us to go where the Holland America ship was docked (Broadway dock) and low and behold there they were playing in the water. At the end of the dock closest to town there is some type of water shaft that is pumping lots of water - around it there were loads of fish - the seals must be attacted to the fish because they were playing all round there. Very cool!
Since we had a late flight, we stored our bags at Canada Place with CDS - we paid a fee to store the bags and then a nice surprise was that for an extra $15 they would take the bags to the airport for you. We took the hop on/hop off trolley around Vancouver for the day - because they took our bags to the airport there was no need for us to have to go back to pick them up and then carry them along in a taxi to the airport. Well worth the $15 in my opinion. We enjoyed the trolley - we went to Stanley Park, ate lunch in Chinatown, visited the Dr. Sun Yan-Set gardens, and walked around Granville Island. It was a very nice way to spend the day in Vancouver. (A word of warning though...some people from this cruise rented a car so they could see Vancouver. They left their belongings in the car while visiting Stanley Park. Their car got broken into and a lot of their things including their passports and some money were stolen. They later heard from the police that this happens all the time!) If I were to do this trip all over again, I would have opted to spend more time in Vancouver as there was simply too much to see in so little time.