12 Anchorage Entertainment Cruise Reviews

This was the trip of our dreams. We flew to Anchorage 4 days prior to our sailing and rented a car to go see Mt. McKinley and other places in the area. This allowed us to see the things we wanted to see and do the things we wanted to do. ... Read More
This was the trip of our dreams. We flew to Anchorage 4 days prior to our sailing and rented a car to go see Mt. McKinley and other places in the area. This allowed us to see the things we wanted to see and do the things we wanted to do. If you are in the McKinley area, 229 restaurant (mile 229 of the Parks Highway) is a must. Five-star dining at its finest and the prices are reasonable. We took our own transfer from Anchorage to Whittier. It stopped at the Wildlife Refuge Centre which was good to see. I was travelling with a mobility scooter and embarkation could not have been better or easier. From the moment we approached the ship till we disembarked seven days later the crew were wonderful. You can tell that they take great pride in working on such a wonderful ship. The new Medallion program that Princess has designed is fabulous. It identifies you when you approach your cabin door and unlocks. You can order food or drinks from anywhere on the ship and the staff will find you. You can even locate other members of your party through it. We chose Anytime Dining and never had to wait to be seated. The food was fabulous and plentiful. The ship is large enough that even with a full load of passengers, you do not feel crowded in any way. We mainly booked our own tours using the Alaska Tour Saver Book. It got us 2 for 1 tickets onto the train in Skagway and the Whale Watch in Juneau. Even though we did not use a lot of coupons, it more than payed for itself several times over. We had been savouring going to Alaska for a long time and this trip was the absolute dream come true. Thank you Princess and all the crew of the Royal Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The itinerary and stops were great but the ship seems to be a little tired overall and maybe not the best value for the buck. So my vacation started with three days in Anchorage on my own.At this time the wildfires were pretty strong ... Read More
The itinerary and stops were great but the ship seems to be a little tired overall and maybe not the best value for the buck. So my vacation started with three days in Anchorage on my own.At this time the wildfires were pretty strong and every day there is a hazy smoke that you can smell and see that obscured the mountains. It was summertime and the highs are almost in the 80s which was unusual acording to some of the locals there. We wore T-shirt and shorts and maybe jeans towards the night time. Also the sun never really goes down it’s always bright even in 2 to 3 in the morning it’s still somewhat bright.We did not go to did Dinali Ben stayed up and stay with in a good area. The wildlife conservation was I want to visit worth doing it’s still nearby. I went fishing out of Seward for halibut caught my limit which is essentially 20pounds worth of halibut. Then I went to a nearby reindeer farm I forgot the exact name but that was the greatest little jam and I highly recommend it. It’s basically a giant petting farm but you get to see reindeer feed them EC moose and ox and elk. OK so to start the cruise we took a shuttle bus from the company ACB. it took about an hour from the airport through the tunnel which was neat onward to Whittier. The bus stops right in front of this giant white tent where the people take your luggage literally two steps away from the bus. Then from that tent you walk into the main building which has nice clean bathrooms and proximately up to 20 people to help check you win. Literally as soon as you get off the bus it took over 20 minutes to get onto the boat it was ridiculously fast. Maybe since the boat is smaller the embarkation is this fast I never had it this fast and easy before. There was no waiting around or anything you just literally get off the bus and non-stop walk and sign in and you get on the ship. Now this is when it gets a little disappointing. My neighbor said princess what is the best cruise experience he’s ever had. Also we read how princess is so good with service and the food is so good and that is basically the mid-level premium line for Carnaval. So I was expecting a little better type a cruise since I’m used to that type a level of service, my previous cruises been on Royal and Disney And Norwegian. We boarded the ship around 5 PM since it was going to leave around 8:30 PM. I expected our room to be completely ready to move-in but as we walked onto the boat into our room it was already been halfway prepared and we met our Steward. Man did he look tired and he reeks of smoke he Musta had just taken his break but he wasn’t the friendliest of guys but he wasn’t mean either he was just indifferent. Now here is my single most worst complaint. The room just smell like sweat. It came from the bedsheets mainly and pillows. It just smelled so bad he couldn’t sleep when you lay down your head on the pillow pillow that smells like sweat is the kind of sweat mold smell where when you leave wet laundry in your washer and forget it you forget about it for a few days and then you try to put in the dryer it’s that type of smell was really all the water sweaty smell in those from everything the sheets and the pillowcases even the actual pillows and maybe some of the carpet and even the lampshade it was just the most awful sweat smell like a possibly think of. finally we just couldn’t deal with it anymore and it was already now 10 PM since we ate dinner and came back and then decided my goodness we can’t sleep in this condition we can’t sleep with the sweaty smelling sheets. So then of course at this time the steward was off service and we had to go to the front desk. Now here is my second complaint. The front desk was manned by a single person at this time and it was a huge line now of like 10 people waiting with various complaints. This is ridiculous there should be more than one person manning The desk especially on the first day of embarkation since many people will most likely have some questions and things to address. AnyWho I told him while emergently I don’t expect them to replace all the sheets of all the beds system or four of us to replace so I said just give me a few pillowcases for an now and will deal with it and then the following morning. how do I mention how much the bed sheets and pillows smell like sweat man that alone totally destroyed my experience with princess. The onboard Internet Wi-Fi is not the best either. The instructions are horrible on how to set it up on your iPhone or iPad. Thank goodness there was an on-site IT guy who helped me set it up on my phone. This guy was probably the most busiest over the next few days. I frequently saw lines of like 20 people every morning at his desk ask him how to set up and sign up for the Internet service. He was very helpful and unfortunately he had to deal with poor instructions on the procedural level that needs to change somehow and princess. Now the food was kind of OK. It wasn’t the best I didn’t have that much variety of coarse it’s a smaller ship so I guess that’s the norm. And as compared to Royal or Norwegian The variety Wasn’t there especially at the buffet and choices of specialty dining. The coral princess had essentially two specialty dining restaurants, Sabatini Italian and Bayou Creole steakhouse. There’s also a third pop-up specialty dining restaurant featured in the buffet area called the crabshack. We ate at the Italian and crab shack and both Route K but for $30 seems a little not too worth it. But I did notice that desserts on princess cruise are actually quite good and probably the best of any cruises I’ve seen. Especially on that this specialty dining area is the desserts are different then you get from the buffet and main dining. so if you want to get like those weird special desserts that you see online in a like exploding round ball of chocolate and stuff I think it’s specialty dining is where you get them but I’d never saw any of those in the main dining room or the buffet area. But overall the food quality was decent it’s not the best of the cruises I’ve been on and I haven’t been on any premium cruise lines yet. Now they told me princess service was phenomenal and top-notch. I did not experience this. The service was a mixed eclectic group of various nationalities I believe from the Philippines, Italy, Romania, and the US. It must’ve been towards the end because boy everyone seems so tired and indifferent. No one was really mean but then again no one was really going out of their way to help you or be helpful it was a very passive style of service if you ask a question you get answered but you have to go around asking the questions and you have to go around asking for help. I’m probably spoiled and it’s not real problem for most cruisers but it does seem so distinctive. Here’s an example whenever I go out to a bar I’ll sit stand there and wait to make eye contact with the bartender. Usually the bartender will say “how can I help you”. But most the time they just stand there staring back at you until you have to say oh can I have a drink and then they usually have some type of banter but then there’s usually no verbal response so go ahead and make your drink and then they’ll give it to you.And then when you received a drink you say “thank you” and they usually say something like you’re welcome but again silence no response. It’s not bad service or they are being mean but it’s like an inch difference like they just don’t care seem to go out of their way to say you’re welcome enjoy your cruise I hope you have a good time tonight. multiply this type of service amongst all the people on the cruise line. From the dining to your steward to the guy trying to sell you the Tanzanite rings, it was kind of unusual I never seen this behavior before then again maybe I’m spoiled with the other cruise lines. My app is a comparison it would be Disney where they are actually over the top and go absolutely crazy with proactive service and there another premium cruise line they’re probably mid-level so that’s what I was expecting a princess from all the reviews and friends telling us how incredible princess Service was. The entertainment was pretty bad for me. I’m the type a guy with doesn’t really go to the casino. I don’t really like to drink or smoke or dance. I enjoy the gaming activities like bingo or game shows. I really enjoy Broadway style productions like they have a Disney and royal. I’m not really into that whole lounge music atmosphere or those weird disco dancing nights that they have on three shifts this is not my thing. The coral princess unfortunately was all about lounge music and dancing and little to no production shows our main act shows. He did have one production show called silk which is interesting take on the Korean folklore story. But only had one night of showing they should’ve shown that three or four nights thousand fabulous show instead all the other night they had weird disco nights and 80s music nights in bazaar cabaret dancing. I mean who cares about watching people dancing randomly on stage and singing nonsensical music I just don’t find those type of shows entertaining at all. And there were enough game Activities on the boat maybe only two a day. I remember on Norwegian it was constant think there is literally a game events in the atrium on the Norwegian boat every single day and was fun to be interactive with other folks with them. We brought the family with children and people say Alaska cruises are not child friendly and mostly for elderly adults. The kids club on princess was the absolute surprise. it actually is the reason why the cruise is up to a two star for us. For me to CRUISES) a one star but the kids cover so exceptionally phenomenal and made the kids happy that it basically alone justified the cruise. The staff there were absent remarkable and they had constant crafts and events to do during the kids club. If your kids are very craft like especially at the young age like five years old then this kids club is probably for them. Every night they’ll bring back to the room little trinket such as stuffed toys and T-shirts that they would hand color themselves pirate hats and balloon animals. The actual facility is very small and we were Kinda somewhat scared especially when the teacher told us over 500 kids signed up. This tells you how many kids are on the boat and is somewhat family oriented is not as adult oriented as you would think. Another complaint is that since this cruise is basically scenery in emphasis. It would have been nice if the cruise director proactively pointed out things during the cruise in real time. For example if there is a pod of whales swimming next to the boat it would be nice if he could just announce at him or the captain or somebody on the boat should announce overhead hey hey guys there’s a pod of whales next on the port side take a look. But no one dead and you have to basically look on the side of the boat on your own for hours and hours is trying to look for something. Nurs Sup, it’s about the stops and scenery sons particular cruise. One of the main reasons why we took this particular shift even though we knew was older and smaller was that it actually went into glacier Bay. Only a few of the smaller bus can go on to glacier Bay that we were told such as princess and Holland. Now of all the glaciers, the Hubbard bay stop what is the most impressive one. That glacier is absolutely huge and everything you see on line we see has many little broken icebergs everywhere in a gigantic wall of white looking nice that’s it that’s Hubbard. There is an excursion we take a smaller boat for about $250 which seems steep for only two hour excursion but that boat gets like within a couple hundred feet from the Glacier up close and the cool princess cruise but basically stops about a mile away which seems far and you can see the Quetion we need binoculars. I highly recommend that boat excursion even though cost a lot for like two hours you get right up to the glacier which is the whole point Of this entire cruise trip to gets closer to glacier and crashing and breaking and floating a part. now you gonna hear this from a few people but quite frankly the glacier Bay national Park wasn’t that great. And all you see roughly 2 to 3 other glaciers but you’re much much smaller than Hubbard and you don’t get that close to them either. You only get to see a few seals and maybe one whale and then I also saw one moose. The only real benefit is that the national Park Rangers get on board your ship to help explain what the glacier national Park is all about. In brief the other stops like Seward and Ketchikan and Juno we’re decent and I highly recommend excursions. I realize Alaska is a different type of cruise it’s not so much the boat it’s really all about the excursions. My favorite excursion was from Ketchikan Which involves a wilderness boat ride and seafood dinner at Silver king Lodge. we ended the cruise in Vancouver which is a beautiful city but man what a hassle doing all their customs and passport deals. In hindsight will be better just to go in and out of Seattle that way you have to deal with customs or anything of that sort. While Vancouver we do the hop on hop off option and direct airport we did deliver your bags directly there. It was a kind of pricey excursion price for it but it’s worth it just to have them take the luggage directly from your room on the boat essentially directly to the airport it’s all you do was hang out in Vancouver and then when you’re done you took their subway bus directly to the airport in 40 minutes. Oh by the way the international concourse in Vancouver is phenomenal it’s very fancy with the fancy shopping I saw a $60,000 bottle of whiskey for sale it’s in sane and very beautiful selfie in the airport airport lounges vancouver it’s pretty just decent international airport on your way back to the US. In summary the boat was not the best experience we won’t cruise with Princess again in Alaska. The excursions and stops are great and that’s where the real value of the trip is. If I had to do Alaska over again Since I have kids I would’ve picked the largest newest boat With the most activities and still go to Hubbard glacier as a primary stop. Glacier Bay national Park is not the most important stop in my opinion and you don’t need to go on some all dirty boat just to go to the club just to go to that park. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Always wanted to see Alaska. Did a land tour first and got to see Denali (McKinley) 3 times in full sun. Put us in the 1% of visitors that did. Ship needs a full refinish for leaks, linens that were close to threadbare, deck flooring, ... Read More
Always wanted to see Alaska. Did a land tour first and got to see Denali (McKinley) 3 times in full sun. Put us in the 1% of visitors that did. Ship needs a full refinish for leaks, linens that were close to threadbare, deck flooring, buffet room and so on. The cabin staff was ok. Couldn’t get hot water in shower and when we asked our cabin steward about it he said he would check it out but he never got back to us. Had to go to Customef Service desk for help and it was a very quick fix. Our travel agent gave us a free dinner in “Bayou” restaurant and we weren’t Hppy with service. Waiter hard to understand and was rude when we had to ask for better help. I was very disappointed as it was the 2nd time sailing this ship. I’ve loved cruising but not sure we’ll sale Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Great sites and loved the Star Princess crew. Loved Assistant Cruise Director Babyface, and Babyface Bingo and entertainer Jere Ring were definitely the best entertainment. This was my 3rd Alaskan Cruise on a Princess ship. Goal this time ... Read More
Great sites and loved the Star Princess crew. Loved Assistant Cruise Director Babyface, and Babyface Bingo and entertainer Jere Ring were definitely the best entertainment. This was my 3rd Alaskan Cruise on a Princess ship. Goal this time was to see bears, whales, salmon, hike to Nugget Falls at Mendenhall Glacier and zipline. All goals were accomplished. Edwin, our cabin steward was incredible. He gave us a detailed briefing upon our arrival and to very good care of us. The dining staff was also great. The only issue several of us had was that our room keys got demagnetized. So some of us had to get new keys made several times. As far as the cruise goes that was my only issue. Absolutely enjoyed every excursion. Skagway: Rainforest Bike Tour, Ziplining Juneau: Private Whale Watching, Mendenhall Glacier Explorer Ketchikan: Wildlife Sanctuary Walk, Rapture Center and Crab Feast at George Inlet Island Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the Coral Princess for it's passenger size (2000), the itinerary, timing for our 37 family members, the land tour option, accessibility and wide variety of shore excursion choices. The Coral Princess looks good, she's ... Read More
We chose the Coral Princess for it's passenger size (2000), the itinerary, timing for our 37 family members, the land tour option, accessibility and wide variety of shore excursion choices. The Coral Princess looks good, she's clean and the cabins are comfortable. The entertainment was fun, especially the trivia for my family members. Our service in the cabins was great, but the dining service for the early dining in Bordeaux was very, very slow and disorganized. The staff was changed on the 3rd night of our cruise because the wait staff wasn't managing our 5 tables well. Five well behaved children were part of our group; they loved the experience in the kid zone as well as the on board activities. Their favorite activity was looking for wildlife from the promenade deck. We saw whales, orcas, porpoises, seals, puffins, eagles, sea otters and salmon from the deck! We would do this trip all over again, it was so much fun! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Our prime reason for selecting this cruise was that it was a Princess cruise and it spent a bulk of time in Glacier Bay. I dare say that any other cruise line could improve upon our Alaska experience. The staff, service, dining, and ... Read More
Our prime reason for selecting this cruise was that it was a Princess cruise and it spent a bulk of time in Glacier Bay. I dare say that any other cruise line could improve upon our Alaska experience. The staff, service, dining, and excursions were excellent. Our only disappointment was that we were unable to obtain a balcony room due to the fact that we booked rather late in the season. Nevertheless, not even the rainy (only two days of sunshine) weather did not damper our spirits nor that of the gracious staff of the Golden Princess. We enjoyed the varied dining options in addition to the traditional dining in the Canaletto Dining Room. We were able to try several venues and the wait staff at each location was excellent. The Horizon Café was difficult to find seating during at sea days and at breakfast hour during port days, so arrive early. The tables were always cleared rapidly and servers were quick to deliver coffee, tea, juice, or water. The pizza and burgers on the Lido Deck are delicious! Be sure and top it off with an ice cream cone. I am looking forward to my next Princess cruise tour. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I booked an 11 day land and sea journey with princess because I was told great things about this adventure. But no one told me it was designed for 55+ Spent a ton of money on this adventure and dissatisfied. 7 days on a cruise ... Read More
I booked an 11 day land and sea journey with princess because I was told great things about this adventure. But no one told me it was designed for 55+ Spent a ton of money on this adventure and dissatisfied. 7 days on a cruise and there were 2 yes 2 fun acts / shows in 7 days. A comedy act one night and a newlywed game... 7 days and this was it. The excursions were great when we got off the ship but spent 2500 on this as well. One my husband and I were looking forward to was the helicopter mad dog sledding, when we got off the ship they told us it was canceled and I needed to find something else to do!! What? Meantime there was a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier not offered to us but instead we had to find this out on our own as we were walking through the town? Casual dinning? No one was happy here either? Fun? How are you.... small talk nope! One place to get coffe / tea / water was in the buffet? No juice. Unless you were dusting down then it was free and only at the table. So expensive and not entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were asked by 3 other couples to go on this cruise. It has been on our bucket list. We all were celebrating anniversaries. For first vacation in 15 years and first cruise ever, it was a great time. There was a flu outbreak on this ... Read More
We were asked by 3 other couples to go on this cruise. It has been on our bucket list. We all were celebrating anniversaries. For first vacation in 15 years and first cruise ever, it was a great time. There was a flu outbreak on this cruise and two of our party were sick for two days. I hear there is always a flu outbreak on this particular cruise. So having to wash hands constantly and not being able to serve ourselves in food lines was a pain. But the crew sure did a great job of trying to keep this flu underwraps. Hats off to them for that. Food was good. Food at the round table was really good. Our two waiters were fantastic. Very prompt. Ship very clean. Entertainment had a bit too much music and not enough other type entertainment. Shops were good but thought it unnecessary to have beauty products as shops on ship. Wish it had more casual shops to look at. Major issue with the front desk personnel!! We did not receive the same pieces of mail at our cabin door as our other couples we traveled with. Things missing pertained to our disembarkment at Vancouver. We went two days before cruise to end and took our disembarkment card down to have the front desk check that is was correct and to tell the we did not receive the two letters that the others received. Also our luggage tags were different color than our companions. The woman at front desk said the card was correct and kept it!!! Then a man went in back to check on the letters, he came back and said he did not know what we were talking about, not to worry. Luggage tag meant we were on different busses, no big deal we would end up together. None of this held true. We needed the disembarkment card to get back into the US, needed letters to show also. After much aggravation and form filling out, we almost missed our flight home. Front desk of Star Princess need to get on same page about what they are tell guests. Very aggravated and disappointed by this! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This is a very long review with a lot of detail. Summary: Golden Princess June 9, Inside Passage S/B Whittier AK to Vancouver BC Cabin B737 Aft Starboard Veranda Cabin This is our 4th Princess cruise - Ruby level Captains ... Read More
This is a very long review with a lot of detail. Summary: Golden Princess June 9, Inside Passage S/B Whittier AK to Vancouver BC Cabin B737 Aft Starboard Veranda Cabin This is our 4th Princess cruise - Ruby level Captains Circle. (Our last sailing was a 12 day New Zealand cruise in Feb of 2016) We took a pre-cruise FB4 land tour. Fairbanks River Lodge, Denali Wilderness Lodge, McKinley Princess Lodge, Train from Talkeetna to Whittier. The land portion will be reviewed separately. We chose this cruise because of other family members already booked on this cruise/tour. About Us: We are an active couple in our late 50’s and mid 60’s. My husband and I have sailed on quite a few cruises. Mostly mainstream cruise lines. Our most recent cruise prior to this may have tainted this review because it was on a more upscale cruise line and it was an extended voyage on a very small ship. We got pretty spoiled and our cruise bar has been permanently raised. Nevertheless we had realistic expectations on the Golden Princess. Our last Princess voyage was a 12 night New Zealand on the Diamond Princess - similar in size and passenger/crew ratio and only a slightly newer vessel, but built in Japan and designed with that market in mind. We had a good time on that cruise mainly due to the itinerary but with many similar complaints. It seems Princess is either not listening or they don’t care to improve. This cruise/tour was a first for us. We did an Alaskan land tour combined with a 7 night inside passage southbound cruise. We had never sailed in anything other than warm weather before nor ever taken such an organized tour via any cruise line. This is probably not the place to review the land portion, but I will say that Princess did an excellent job of providing communication, transportation between points, moving luggage and arranging large, but enjoyable land tours in Alaska. The cruise portion was enjoyable. Our intent is always try to make the most of any cruise, even when things go wrong. Bad shows, disappointing food, illness, missed ports .. this will happens to some extent on every cruise at every level. So my motto is: There is no such thing as a bad cruise. Being at sea, being lulled to sleep by the rocking and vibration of the ship, beautiful vistas everywhere, exotic ports of call and being waited by smiling faces. But taking all that into consideration the food and dining experience was painfully disappointing. From menu selections to food quality to presentation. Princess is sliding backwards and seem to be catering only to those who have nothing else to compare to... 1st time cruisers. Cabin: Our stateroom B737 (Baja deck #11) was comfortable and clean. We had an aft starboard balcony stateroom. We had a wonderfully attentive and friendly cabin steward from India named “Tony”. Itinerary: We thought the itinerary was wonderful. Whittier-Hubbard Glacier-Glacier Bay-Skagway-Juneau-Ketchikan-Sea day-Vancouver. No tendering. Ample time over 2 days to meander into Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay with lots of time to take it all in. There were park rangers on board to talk about the glaciers, the people, the local habitat and such and it was quite a new experience for us to be bundled up on deck with puffy coats and blue jeans and boots on drinking an Irish Coffee to warm up! We had the most amazing weather too. The captain and the crew kept saying how we brought the sunshine with us! Dining: The ship boasted several main dining rooms (MDR’s) and 2 specialty dining rooms. Neither of which we could get a reservation for. We waited until we were onboard to book a night or two in one of these “fine dining” upcharge restaurants because we had a large on board credit from our travel agency. When you book dining in advance you must pay for it without using your shipboard credit. But once onboard we found out that there were no reservations for ANY specialty dining restaurants for ANY night - ANY time. (The standard practice is to save some specialty dining table reservations to be booked on board) We had a private conversation with one of the head waiters of the Crown Grill and he was apologetic and stated that “corporate” had allowed too many reservations ahead of time from passengers booking online and from travel agents giving dining perks to their clients. He felt bad but all he could do was put us on a very long waiting list. Even one of our family members who is an Elite Captains Club Member could not secure a reservation for our small group of 4. So we were “stuck” in the MDR. Table #263 in the Canaletto dining room every night at 7:30. We could have gone to the Donatello “anytime” dining room, but we would have spent time standing in line waiting for a table. Our waitstaff “Jed” from the Philippines and “Sinisha” from Serbia were our team of waiter/assistant waiter. The first few days I felt like we were a chore for them, but as the week progressed, they both delighted us with more personality and time to bond and interact. This is one of the fundamental parts of a great cruise experience. The relationships between passengers and crew. Maybe not everyone feels that way, but we do. We respect them for their choices and are usually interested in their lives and hope to love them so much we want to take them home with us..... (Not really.. but hopefully you understand my meaning). Most people return from their cruises - remembering the people who they interacted with far more than the places they visited. But the food in the dining room was very disappointing. Service was rushed. There were no sommeliers on board. They would just drop the menu on your lap and come back with a quick suggestion for the menu that evening and start round the table taking orders. Most of the courses had decent presentation but were not well prepared. And let me add that my husband and I are adventurous eaters. The staples were not well prepared. In fact there were no staples like a NY steak or onion soup or a fresh piece of grilled fish. In 7 days we never had a steak dinner. We had some “Prince” crab legs. (To call them King would be an injustice). We had lobster tails that were a musty color and mushy texture and would have been sent back in any standalone restaurant. Our first night I ordered prime rib, medium rare. It tasted more like chuck roast and it was medium well with a lot of fat and gravy surrounding the meat. Among our group of extended family at table 263 was someone who worked in the food service industry for over 30 years, marketing dinnerware, linens, food prep equipment and food products, aiding restaurant owners and chef’s to create and design menus that satisfied customers and made profits for the restaurant owners. Her last Princess experience was quite a few years ago and she had expectations of Princess past. She and her companion also felt ... as we did that the quality of the food and the selection of menu had greatly dipped below par. On the final night we managed to get a last minute reservation for Sabatini’s Italian restaurant at 5:30 pm. We have sailed on many cruises offering “specialty dining” for upcharges ranging from $10 to $35. Usually it is worth the extra to have a slow meal with service and food far above the the main dining room experience. In the case of Sabtini’s ($25 cover charge per person) we were very disappointed to see the dining room styled after a Trattoria - without table linens and without a slow dining attitude. The shared appetizer was a wheat bread served in a funnel of parchment paper with prosciutto and a basket of rolls and breadsticks with sides of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The menu actually depicted in writing we were only able to order 1 item from each course and the wait staff also explained this to us at the table. No tableside Caesar salad. No Osso Bucco, No Veal or Chicken Picatta, no Saltimboca, no zuppa di minestrone. And worst of all .... no slow eating experience. It was a longer dining experience from the MDR but not at all what we should have received from the $50 upcharge. My Veal Scallopini .. more like Cordón Blue - cheesy - oily and heavily breaded. My soup was supposed to be a mushroom “fondue” but it was watery. My husbands “fritte” was merely tempura. Our waiter offered to bring me something but nothing appealed to me. While writing this review I wanted to look up the name of the chef. I found a YouTube video of this same restaurant from 2013 where it was set up like the brochure and they panned the menu and took video of the dinner. This is what we expected to pay for.. not a trattoria experience with truly unappetizing food. (I take photos of all my food -I will post what they will allow me to). To end this terrible evening after having them take my entree away we ordered dessert. The presentation of the sampler was beautiful with 4 mini glasses of different desserts. Our waiter took our order which included an espresso and a capuchino .. neither of which came to the table. Afterwards when my husband walked by the restaurant later that night, he stopped in to speak with the head waiter and politely explain our disenchantment - - he offered to remove the charge from our account, but instead of doing that - he billed us another $25. We had to make a trip to the Pursers desk to straighten that out. They should have removed both charges, not just one.. but 1/2 an effort was made. The Horizon Court Buffet was our option for breakfast most mornings. Friendly staff, but nothing really appetizing. Whole fruits were not always ripe. I asked for an omelette most days and special ordered it to be made with fresh eggs (vs the egg mixture they ladle into the omelette pans). I enjoyed those and I enjoyed my daily fix of Congee. An Asian/Indonesian porridge served with green onions, salsa and pickled kimchee. On the glacier days at sea they also offered steaming hot cups of either Miso broth or Chicken broth poolside with some garnishment veggies to help warm you up on deck. This was a very simple treat I thought was a nice touch. They also passed out warm plaid blankets to anyone roaming the decks on glacier days to help stay warm. The coffee in the MDR and especially the buffet was just terrible. Forcing you to go to the International Cafe on deck 5 to purchase an Americano or Capuchino at $4.95 per order. I probably should have pre-purchased a specialty coffee card. I think it is absolutely ludicrous that Princess and most mainstream cruise lines do not offer a decent cup of coffee or bottled water free of charge to their customers. $4.95 bought us a 1/2 gallon of water in our cabin. Since we were traveling to a cold climate for the first time we decided to not purchase a beverage package. Princess wanted $59.95 per person per day. Instead we enjoyed 5 bottles of wine ranging from $33-48 per bottle and cocktails most days ranging from $7.95 - $11.75 and found it made better sense on this trip to buy as-you-go. Entertainment: Here is where I can give the Golden Princess a thumbs up. This ships entertainment was the highlight of the cruise for me. The production singers and dancers were truly all talented dancers and equally wonderful singers. The choreography and sets were clever and anyone with an eye for quality performance could appreciate this. Bravo.!! The crowd however - never rose to their feet as they should have for any of their performances. Our sailing also had a comedian/musician who had bronchitis and was unable to do much of his regular show, but he was entertaining nonetheless. Another headliner did a cheesy Dolly Parton tribute which we didn’t like so we didn’t attend her second show. Skywalkers bar - a nice concept, but the people mover was out of order for several days leading up to it. The windows over the jetway leading to it were unbelievably dirty * (as were most of the windows on the ship - dining rooms - balconies - everywhere). The ship is in general disrepair. We didn’t notice the usual crews painting or lacquering the rails during the voyage. Wheelhouse Bar - was a nice classy little place for a cocktail and on some nights there was a bluesy band in there playing great dance music. Bravo again. Elsewhere on the ship there was a piano man who had a good crowd nightly. There was a duet of gals who played folk music. There was another duet of classical music and a pianist who played some beautiful tunes in the Atrium. There was plenty of music and fun to be had on this ship as well as trivia, moose racing, bingo, art auctions, casino tournaments, shopping events. We got together with other bridge players on one day for non-hosted social bridge. The cruise director John was - so typical of a mainstream cruise line. He was everywhere and always smiling and getting others to participate in different activities on board. We just get a little tired of hearing the same thing from them with the same tone of voice and choice of words. They also tend to work too hard to try and make us “appreciate” all the hard work being done for us on the ship by all the personnel. I can’t imagine anyone on board not seeing this for themselves. All I can say is that it will take a pretty unique itinerary for us to ever book another Princess cruise based on this last experience. We are only Ruby level Captains Club members.. it looks like that will never change. Food is too much of a highlight on a cruise where you are sequestered for all your meals. Good food is essential. We know you cannot have it all, but we have learned that a smaller more intimate ship albeit fewer activities but a higher level of customer service and a truely exquisite dining experience is more our style. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Dining room food was excellent. I was hoping for more seafood especially salmon. Entertainment had great show's but after 3 it 4 got boring song and dance every night need a little variety. Buffet and hotdog hamburger bar was ... Read More
Dining room food was excellent. I was hoping for more seafood especially salmon. Entertainment had great show's but after 3 it 4 got boring song and dance every night need a little variety. Buffet and hotdog hamburger bar was mediocre, nice that they had soft serve ice cream but surprised that they would charge extra for milk shake. Balcony was nice , would not want deck 8or 9 balcony as we were right above and looked down on there balcony which extended out beyond ours. We have cruised carnival and Royal Caribbean a little more variety on those cruise ships as far as entertainment especially liked comedy show on carnival.Cabin Stewart was excellent friendly ,captain was marvelous came around and visited with us several times thought the rest of crew was a little standoffish Overall great cruise nice ship would have liked to had more alaska food choices on buffet and dining room and more variety in show's Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Love the Expedition Cruises! The locations visited are amazing and without hords of tourist. The Expedition Crew are so knowledgeable on the locations; People, flora, fauna and wildlife found there. We love the small ship size: The ... Read More
Love the Expedition Cruises! The locations visited are amazing and without hords of tourist. The Expedition Crew are so knowledgeable on the locations; People, flora, fauna and wildlife found there. We love the small ship size: The entire Crew is friendly from the waiters, bartenders, bus boys & housekeeping personnel to the Bridge crew and the Captain himself. The food is 5 star across the board taste, choices and presentation. Accomodations are graciously made for allergies. The Piano and Cabaret are very nice. A few fun activities are provided on sea days. The children on board ages 7 and up, seem to enjoy the various activities provided by the AMAZING cruise director, Note:These Expeditions are not really suitable for children under the age of 6. This is not your typical big boat cruise. This is a Luxary Mega Yacht with Mega Amazing prople on board who treat you like a Royal Family. The Gym & Spa on board were a nice feature for sea days. See you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We went on this cruise to catch up with good friends, meet new people, have great dinners together, play games, go on excursions and also relax and enjoy each others company. The ship was just the right size so we didn't feel ... Read More
We went on this cruise to catch up with good friends, meet new people, have great dinners together, play games, go on excursions and also relax and enjoy each others company. The ship was just the right size so we didn't feel overwhelmed with too many passengers. All of the people onboard were very helpfull with our questions and needs. The cabin was kept up very well on a daily basis. It is also a plus having a balcony. We would get together and discuss daily plans. We also liked the variety of shows, from comedians to the Vegas type. There is so much to do onboard that I don't think we did or saw it all. Next time. The specialty restaurant, Sabatini's, was exceptional. But i understand the menu has been changed so that is a little disappointing. Will try the Crown Grill next time. Will definately cruise again as soon as we can. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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