Within last two years we cruised to the Mediterranean on Emerald Princess and Baltic on Star Princess. By comparison this cruise to Alaska was very poor. Apparently it is the only roundtrip cruise to Alaska from San Francisco. Obviously Princess takes advantage of that convenience by using an older poorly maintained ship. Chipped paint and non working toilets and faucets are common. Our inside cabin was so small it made the walk in closet in our house look like a big room. We could barely turn around, and we are fairly small people. It's a problem when you're on vacation and feel like you can't wait to get home where you have a decent room and a good shower. The ship was completely booked so there was no chance for an upgrade.
The elevator service was terrible. They were extremely slow and there were many disabled people on board with motorized scooters. The advantage was it did force us to get a lot of exercise. European cruises and newer ships do not seem to have such a problem with that.
Disembarkation was a nightmare! Hundreds of passengers were herded into the dining room-literally pushed and shoved like shoving cattle into a pen. The staff was yelling constantly that we would not be allowed to get off the ship if we didn't pack ourselves into the dining room. Then we sat there for over an hour while they searched for people on the ship without US passports or those who had not registered a passport. WHY wasn't that taken care of the day before which was a whole day at sea???? It was hard to believe such poor organization when this cruise happens every ten days.
The food except for the extreme crowding in the buffet was quite good. Sometimes we had difficulty finding a seat in the buffet.
The entertainment was good. The major shows and the piano bar with Larry Dunsmore was very enjoyable.
Alaska ports are what they are-not very interesting to me except for Victoria. For some unknown reason we were only there for a few hours on this cruise. I do hope to go back to Victoria on my own.
Of course, there are advantages to cruising, but pushing photos, charges for soft drinks, excessive charges for internet service, and excessive charges for ship excursions are a big turnoff for me. You aren't required to use any of these, but the whole scene detracts from the experience as you begin to feel it's just all about squeezing more money out of the passengers.
No more Sea Princess for me!!