Diamond Princess Cruise Review by abizer: Princess - Overall Outstanding Organization/Experience
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Princess - Overall Outstanding Organization/Experience
This was my first cruise, and the third cruise for my wife and her parents. Overall we had an amazing experience, and I was very impressed with the service and organization of Princess.
Ship: Top notch. Facilities excellent, and lots of fun. Bars/Nightclubs were first rate, and fun. Only gripe is the nightclub was pretty empty at 1100PM, but I'm guessing that has to do with the average age group being older on this ship. We used the hot tubs every day, and there are several indoors and outdoors. Temps were a little off (either too hot or too cold), but a minor issue.
Room: We had a balcony cabin on Aloha Deck, which by luck ended up being a great find, because this had a roof over the balcony, which is a huge plus in the rainy Alaska environment. Steward and room service all first rate.
Food: Excellent. My mom-in-law lived in the buffet, while my wife preferred the fine dining at the international dining room. We had fixed seating at 5:45, More which I would recommend. It gave us flexibility to go to the first show after dinner, and the two days we missed dinners because of excursions, they seated us with no problems at 8:00 with the same waiter. Wait staff was amazing. We mentioned off-hand that we enjoyed Indian food, and the next night, after our normal dinner, magically appeared 5 star quality Indian Dinner, without us asking!!! They did this for us the last two nights.
Shows: Also excellent. I would say the equivalent of a 'B' Broadway show. I went to the shows only to accompany my family, and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and performance. Also saw a comedy show which was nice.
Misc: Before the cruise I griped to my wife that I would be bored, as I am an active person that doesn't stop moving. I have to say that both myself and my wife had a fabulous time everyday, and instead of being bored, I found myself without enough time in the day to do all the activities on the ship that we wanted to try (dance lessons, bingo, workout, food show, swimming, etc, etc).
The last thing I will saw is that Princess definitely has their act together. In terms of getting on and off she ship, was seamless. We did a land tour after the cruise, and our bags always appeared on time at the correct room!! Kudos to Princess for their organization!! Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
We did the Mt Roberts tram, and enjoyed walking along the trails at the top of the mountain. Would also recommend.
We did a Flight Seeing Tour through Island Wings Aviation. Excellent tour to the Misty Fjords, and would recommend them strongly.
After finishing the tour, we by luck (for me, not my wife) we're able to catch the Lumberjack show. I would recommend also, cause you can't see that anywhere else.
Was raining hard in town, which is common, but didn't take away from our experience of walking around.
We spent the first two at the Denali Princess Lodge, and the last two at Mt McKinley Princess lodge. Both lodges were first rate. While Denali the room was nice, ask for blds 10-11, as they are the new buildings with a nice view. By luck, we had a view of the mountain from our room at McKinley Lodge.
At Denali, we did the extended Tundra Wilderness tour (8 hours long), and would recommend this as we saw way more wildlife than the people on the basic 4 hour tour. We also did Whitewater rafting in 38 degree water!! I only signed up for this because my father in-law was excited to try it out. If you've done a lot of rafting before on big rapids, this river will underwhelm you. We had a great time however just hanging out. We also by luck saw a Bear on the side of the river. The company provides dry suits over your clothes.
At Denali, we ate at a local Pizza Place, Panoramic Pizza. If you go there, be warned there is only one oven, so expect it to be a 2 hour experience. Great pizza, but took too long, especially because we were already tired.
At McKinley we had excellent weather and was able to see the mountain. We did a kayaking trip on Byers lake, and had fun because we had the lake to ourself. This lodge is a little more laid back as it's in the middle of nowhere, but we enjoyed just hanging out and seeing the mountain. The 20310 restaurant was great!!
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