Island Princess Cruise Review by 327055kk: Island Princess - Alaska
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Island Princess - Alaska
CHECK- IN - We checked in at the Anchorage Downtown location and it was easy. They took our suitcases at that time, "coat checked" our carry-on if we were going to wander around the city before our bus left. FYI - On the bus sit on the passenger side not driver as you will have a better views going to Whittier. Once in Whittier it was quick and easy if you have completely filed out their online cruise personalizer. This is also where they hand you the coupon book for the ports. Total time 10 mins.
CABIN - Was nice sized and at the end of the hall, so no one but crew coming threw and they were always quiet. Our room attendant remember our names and always greeted us with it. FYI shower very small, but expected it. Did have to turn off shower to shave my legs. If you can afford it I would recommend it even though it didn't have a balcony which would have been too cold you use. Only noise was entering and exiting port and only for about 30 minutes.
FOOD - 1st night More open seating which was great met lots of new people. 2nd night traditional seating - which we had to change tables as the couple we were seated next to Mrs was nice, but Mr was not - rude and kept correcting her. Maitre D changed us per our request and worked out great. Food was good for the most part - However Pepper Pot soup was bad, and most of the regular deserts were bland (except the Creme brulee - A MUST!! And if you can find them the peanut butter cookies) and the sugar-free deserts very dry and no flavor(except the chocolate mousse on wafer and trifle which were good). Also if you like your steak a little pink tell them rare. Breakfast - do NOT do the egg muffin from room service as it was downright nasty. 1 sit down and rest of buffet in Horizon Court which was fine. Lunch was same thing. Late night snack in Horizon Court was good and always lots to pick from(spicy shrimp the last night was yummy).
ENTERTAINMENT - Lecture at Glacier Bay - Local Ranger was BAD more on her life in the everglades then what was going on in the area, Lecture by Libby Riddles on Dog Sledding was great, All 3 comedians were enjoyable (however 2 were Adult only type), 2 Dance shows were okay but if you are a dancer you will see every flaw in the steps.
SPA - Which was the reason we chose Princess was okay. Really liked the Thermal Spa which we paid for entire week. Hated the way the masseuse tried to sell me $400 in product saying, I was in endangering my health and that I needed these products to be healthier. Really ticked me off. Finally told her that she needed to shut up or no tip. I recommend when you go in if they start asking question not having to do with the massage to tell them you are not going to purchase anything and you are not going to answer question not directly related to the massage. FYI robes are small and waiting area is in the middle of everything so anyone can see.
DISEMBARK - If you are doing Alaskan Cruise have to bus from Ship in Vancouver to Seattle you MUST bring yourself a bottle of water. Its basically 6 hrs without if you don't. Make sure it is sealed and in your carry-on and hopefully customs wont take it. I image its the same reversed. Again make sure ALL of the cruise personaliser is completed including flight information or you will run into problems with your assigned time. This happened to people at our table and they had to do a "walk off" which means they had to carry all of the luggage, carry-on, etc off the ship and through customs without help or luggage carts. Onboard you can not arrange transportation off the ship to airport. It has to be done 2 weeks in advance. You can set-up shore excursion which will include transportation; however if you have an early flight or they are full you end up with taxi costs. Less
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Cabin review: Island Princess E202
End of hallway so no hall noise from people walking around, no noise from theater below us, small shower, large room with small couch, desk and a table with 2 chairs. Outlets poorly place right next to each other at the desk next to hair dryer and phone and so tight can only plug in 1 thing. 1 more behind the TV if you can reach it. Bring a extension cord(s).
Port and Shore Excursions
Mt Roberts Tramway - Due to weather no view, but the information was good.
Dog Sledding on Mendenhall Glacier - CXLD - 1st told because weather was bad and we re-booked for later in the day. Which also ended up canceling. Also told because of weather. Later found out that it was someone fell on the Glacier due to new ice. If we were told that we would have not re-booked. As so late in the day they had nothing left for us.
Basically was a wash day. Nothing to do in port. Bummer.
FYI friends did the bus out to Mendellhall Glacier and the bus broke down on the return. If they had not booked through the cruise line they would have been left. Ship took nearly hour delay waiting for them.
Zodiac excursion - I loved this; however, it was raining. You drive a boat and go up the coastline about 30 miles and back. Stopping for a snack. FYI take a picture of the ladies room (hee). If you are taking a camera be aware it may get wet. Viewed eagle, and starfish. You are dressed like "Gordons Fisherman" so the only part that got wet was my face and glasses. Since so much waterproof stuff and wearing my jacket underneath I wasn't even cold. Temp 50 degrees.
Remote Coastal Hike - Best thing for me, but its my type. We did the 6+ mile hike. It is a hike not a walk so if you are not in shape and can not handle steep, rocky, muddy, rooted trail then I don't recommend. It was through rain forest and it was raining. Very beautiful. FYI not for viewing bears or salmon. We saw 4 eagles. The fast catamaran from Skayway to Haines nice and viewed major waterfalls and seals.
Once back in Skagway I did a quick run to town for my Chai Latte which I did in train station FYI there is a Starbucks which is in jewelry store on right side of street. At intersection took a left and did a quick shop at the outlet. Nice fleece lined rain coat for $20. Stop at stream to take pictured of salmon. Then back to ship. All done in under 45 mins. Had to push it as only gave myself an hour between excursion.
Summit Point, Suspension Bridge and Salmon Bake - Due to weather no stop at Summit Point completely fogged in. Suspension Bridge was great weather cleared and got some great photos. Salmon Bake was okay. Bus driver was great and knowledgeable.