31 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Alaska

We chose Princess after reading good reviews, and because they are known for their Alaska cruises. Unfortunately we won't be travelling with Princess again. We were very disappointed in the level of service. We have travelled ... Read More
We chose Princess after reading good reviews, and because they are known for their Alaska cruises. Unfortunately we won't be travelling with Princess again. We were very disappointed in the level of service. We have travelled with other cruise lines in the past, and this was by far the worst level of service we have ever received. Crew were not overly friendly, and sometimes downright rude. I can honestly say that in my past 6 cruises, I've never experienced a truly rude crew member like I did on this cruise on at least 4 occasions. I'm used to being smiled at, greeted, moved over in the hallway if possible (not cut off) and just helpful. This was not the case on the Crown Princess. Our only consistent good service was our dinner servers. They were always very friendly and attentive. Here are some of my specific complaints: Room set-up. HORRIBLE. We had a verandah room on the Caribe deck and it had 2 floor beds with 2 beds that dropped out of the ceiling. My children hit their heads HARD on these overhead beds at least 10 times. What a bad design these rooms are. You can barely get to the balcony if the beds are down and you are always at risk of hitting your head. Also, when the 4th bed is down, NO ONE in the room can watch TV. Room cleaning. Barely saw our housekeeper. Sometimes had to find him in the afternoon just to get towels, TP etc. Sit Down Dinner: Had to ask for butter every night. When we asked the server he told us he was instructed to only give butter on request...but yet there are buns on the table when you arrive to dinner?? Buffet: Logistically a really bad set up. You sometimes had to wait 20+ minutes to get into the part where you could start getting your food. On other cruises the have different sections that are open and accessible, and you don't have to wait in line. Also, not a lot of variety from day to day. Kids Program: I was told there would be plenty to do for our kids...not the case. The kids program only operates at specific times and there is no drop in. So if you kids didn't like what was going on, then they didn't go. On other cruises, my kids would practically live at the program, but they hated the Princess kids programs. It's also not available on Port days unless you want to sign them into the little kids program (my kids are tween and teen). So if you are on the ship at all during port days then the kids are bored to tears. Ship: Our ship was constantly shaking for the first few days...not rocking like with the sea, this was a fast/hard shake that rattled things in our room. I spoke to other seasoned cruisers and they were upset about it as well. First Day: We were asked a total of 10 times if we wanted to buy the drink package. Why can't they just ask you once as you enter the ship, and if you say no, then leave you alone! Other than those complaints, the ship was nice and clean and food was OK. But I won't be taking a Princess cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have cruised many cruise lines but by far Princess is my favorite. Adam the cruise director was not as outgoing as I would have preferred but he did an adequate job. The musical group, was outstanding. I say that even though I ... Read More
We have cruised many cruise lines but by far Princess is my favorite. Adam the cruise director was not as outgoing as I would have preferred but he did an adequate job. The musical group, was outstanding. I say that even though I can't remember the name of the group. I think it was Static, but nonetheless they were very entertaining. We actually departed on the 13th, and we arrived two days before and explored Seattle, WA. Seattle is a great place to visit and if you go you must visit the Public Market. We have actually done this cruise twice, this time with the whole family. Our adult children loved it as well. The cruise was great but the buffet has changed since our last cruise, to the extent that I prefer the dining room for my meals. The never ending pizza is wonderful, as well as the hamburgers, hotdogs, and fries. You are never at a lack for food. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We took this cruise during 13th - 20th. I had my family including 2 teen boys with me. The itinerary was good. Your Room and Comfort: However the cabins smelled muggy/wet, and the bathrooms smelled like public restrooms. Beds were ... Read More
We took this cruise during 13th - 20th. I had my family including 2 teen boys with me. The itinerary was good. Your Room and Comfort: However the cabins smelled muggy/wet, and the bathrooms smelled like public restrooms. Beds were sagging and uncomfortable. Not good to get relaxing sleep. Entertainment: The company clearly focused it's energy on selling (goods on ship via their stores, or shows or auctions or drinks if you did not purchase their drink plan) but had less focus on making your stay enjoyable. Other than mostly shops, there were some entertainment like movies but it got real boring when it was whole day at sea. The temperatures get cold and rains are common in Alaska, hence you can't really enjoy Lido deck as much. I expected the ship to have lot more fun activities inside but sadly it was mostly either shopping or casino. Music been played in the areas where even coffee is not free so better shove out money if you want to listen to relaxing live piano being played. Dining Service: Staff was okay if you were to go to formal dining rooms. Casual buffet staff was plain out careless in most cases. Language barrier with staff made it even more challenging to explain what you need - ask for water and you may get coffee. The food choices where pretty much limited - pizza, burger, ice cream, casual buffet or formal dining. Fitness Centers: Fitness center was small, specially when you have 3000 guests, 10 trade mils and 5-6 machines for strength workout was way too little. Center was always packed with waiting lines, very little room to move around. I have seen twice the size on other ships. I had more expectations from Princess but sadly disappointed. The whole point seemed like "Aha, now that you are on my ship, I am going to suck and shake every penny off you!!! Where will you go even if you don't like me huh?" Overall, I would say, stay away from Princess. Only other cruise line I had sailed was Carnival and they were much better at treating you like they cared. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We took our 7-yr-old granddaughter on her first cruise. She loved it and we loved it through her eyes! (This was my 4th trip to Alaska.) She loved the Pelican Group activities. Michael, the naturalist was great. It was an enjoyable ... Read More
We took our 7-yr-old granddaughter on her first cruise. She loved it and we loved it through her eyes! (This was my 4th trip to Alaska.) She loved the Pelican Group activities. Michael, the naturalist was great. It was an enjoyable trip. The ship was well-kept. There were workers painting, polishing, etc. The cabin was adequate for the 3 of us and our steward was very good. We always enjoy the production shows with the Princess singers and dancers, however the shows on this cruise were not quite up to par. Too much smoke burning our eyes on the Magic show. The sets and props were not as spectacular as usual. Carlos Oscar is the best comedian of the century, and totally rated G for all audiences! Please get a better recipe for the "dressing" in the "turkey and dressing" entree. That sweet dressing was gross, disgusting, and not suitable for diabetics! Same for the sweet potatoes. A nice, unadulterated sweet potato would have been delicious. Ketchikan was shortchanged. There needs to be more time there. It is unfair to the city and to the passengers to be there for such a short time! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We choose this cruise at the last minute, well only 6 weeks prior to cruising. We were on the Crown Princess because there were 2 cabins, a balcony and an interior across the hall from each other which was a requirement since we were ... Read More
We choose this cruise at the last minute, well only 6 weeks prior to cruising. We were on the Crown Princess because there were 2 cabins, a balcony and an interior across the hall from each other which was a requirement since we were taking our grandsons on their graduation cruise. This was our 4th cruise on Princess and did not meet the standard of our previous experience on the line. Dining room for breakfast was not good. We ate at the Horizon Court, which is very unusual for my wife, most days. Crown Grill was not worth the premium, Sabbatinis was. Lunch and dinner in the dining rooms was okay, but not quite up to what we remembered from previous cruises. My grandsons enjoyed all the food options and were rarely disappointed with what they ordered. The Tradewinds cafe in the plaza is a great place for a quick snack. Pizza and burgers on the Lido deck were as expected. Didn't go to any any shows, grandsons went to Movie Under the Stars every night raining or not. Cabin steward was great, all other service seemed to lack enthusiasm. Whale watching in Juneau with Gastineau Guiding was exceptional. We followed a group of 12 humpbacks that bubble fed, triple breached, and swam under our small boat. Boys and I loved the zipline in Skagway, not as restrictive as the one in Ketchikan. If I cruise to Alaska again it probably won't be on Princess, but I would go in August and be sure to book the same company for a whale watch. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Alaska is beautiful. Had a great time. It was only my second cruise, but already I'm turning into a more discriminating cruise-o-phile! Had traveled previously on the Celebrity Solstice last year to NZ. This was our first trip to ... Read More
Alaska is beautiful. Had a great time. It was only my second cruise, but already I'm turning into a more discriminating cruise-o-phile! Had traveled previously on the Celebrity Solstice last year to NZ. This was our first trip to Alaska and my wife and I traveled with my dad and our niece in the adjacent balcony stateroom. Pros : The itinerary was great with the touristy ports of call in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. Our cabin steward , Felix, was great. Very friendly and attentive. Our room was on the 14th deck, port side, not far behind the bridge. Big closets, small bathrooms. The ride through Glacier Bay was magnificent. Even though it was nearly August, the weather was quite cool. The casino was great. The Crown definitely has a passenger demographic that is younger so that there was a lot more action in their casino than the Solstice's . Good dealers, all very professional. They have great laundry facilities on this ship. I wish I knew that beforehand. We could have brought smaller suitcases. Cons: The food. Food quality not so good on the Crown. That was evident in buffets, the sit down dining, and even the specialty restaurants. The service at the Crown Grill was extremely slow. And the Ribeye was not good. The wine selection also below the quality of what we experienced on the Solstice. The buffet on the Crown was difficult to navigate and the selection was remarkably low. We did experience a shutdown of the cabin's plumbing system for about 4-5 hours one day. You'd do well to avoid any "nutrition" class put on by the spa personnel. They tried to sell my dad a program of "detoxification" . 85 bucks to start and another 100 bucks a month. They said it would help him live long. He's 91 years old. I'm pretty sure the salesman isn't going to live that long. We had a good time on this cruise nonetheless. If you can't be happy on a cruise to Alaska..... Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We traveled with our 2 children and 3 other family members on a wonderful Princess Alaskan Cruise. i loved everything about it. We arrived around 11:00 to get on the ship, no problems at all, no lines. We were allowed to go to the 15th ... Read More
We traveled with our 2 children and 3 other family members on a wonderful Princess Alaskan Cruise. i loved everything about it. We arrived around 11:00 to get on the ship, no problems at all, no lines. We were allowed to go to the 15th level and enjoy the buffet. Around 3:30 we were called to our Muster stations to practice safety drills. Then at 4, we set sail. There are photographers at all the events, so smile and get your picture taken. These pictures are offered to be purchased. They do offer formal pictures as well. i ended up buying the Glacier Bay Photo and 2 Formals..but they really are all so good. Everyday they deliver a booklet of activities..we enjoyed wine tasting, paper parties, bingo and the nightly shows!! The Comedian's are super funny! The ship has a constant buzz of fun vacationers.. The staff is happy and always ready to assist. The Casino is booming at times, they offer Blackjack and Slot tournaments some days/nights. My husband bought the beverage package, but i bought the drinks as I wanted them. I used the gym 1 day, as that was the only day i could squeeze it in, lots to take in...i never took a nap as I knew i could do that at home and this vacation in this magical place only lasted 7 days! The Captain and Crew come over the announcers to let you know of things they spot outside or upcoming weather. We booked all of our excursions with Princess. We did Whale watching, Mendenhall Glacier, Zip Lining, The Train, and the Deadliest Catch boat. If you book through the ship, they will always wait at the port until you arrive. You can book them once you get on the ship as well, but the good ones do book fast. All of the Ports were wonderful. We had a 10th floor balcony, it was awesome. The room was perfect in size. Bathroom was small, but suitable and the shower felt great. Our room stewart was very nice and always asked if there was something that we needed. She cleaned in our room twice a day. We mainly ate at the buffet, but did enjoy the dining room for the 2 Formal nights. The food was good and their was always so much variety. We enjoyed eating in the buffet and gazing out the windows. My kids, ages 7 and 12 loved the pool and hot tub, along with the kids club. My son begged us so he could keep going back to his club, the 3-7 year olds. He made lots of friends while he was in there. They had very structured activities going on. We bought both kids the soda beverage package, which they enjoyed. They also enjoyed watching movies on the big screen. I enjoyed taking pictures on the boat. I was able to capture a Humpback Whale jumping, while I was at the back of the boat in Glacier Bay. Overall, I would promote Princess Cruise and will be cruising with them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was my 6th cruise. But 1st cruise with Princess. We went on this cruise with 23 family members. It was to celebrate my dad's birthday. The trip itself was great. So fun to be with family and the fact that we had 3 of our cabins ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise. But 1st cruise with Princess. We went on this cruise with 23 family members. It was to celebrate my dad's birthday. The trip itself was great. So fun to be with family and the fact that we had 3 of our cabins all next door to each other was fun. They opened the doors on the balconies, so we could all hang out. We were on deck 11 in B503, 507, 509. Other family members were on deck 8 and 9. The only problem with the rooms was the first 3-4 days we had a terrible sewage smell in all 3 rooms. It was in the hall as well and you could smell it as you approached the rooms from the hall. Once we went to other parts of the ship we realized how bad our area smelled. We were concerned. There was obviously a sewage issue. It took several days to fix. We got a letter from the ship apologizing saying that we should move rooms but the ship's at full capacity. It was becoming more concerning as we had our 3 children with us and we were all breathing sewage which is a health hazard. I mean...if there is a sewage leak in your home, you have to evacuate. We checked in each day to see if there was any progress, they just gave us the "run-around." Finally on the 2nd to last day, we got another letter that said we would receive $250 credit per person to spend on the ship. It was an interesting consolation. Not sure if I agree with it. But it is all we were offered. Considering we spent thousands on the room and we were such a large group, it was disappointing. We brought family members on the trip who had never cruised before. I hope they don't base their opinion on cruising all on this trip. I hope they will give it another chance. The wine served at the bars was a poor, cheap selection. We ended up going to the wine bar each night and buying wine there to take to dinner. This ship is definitely one of the ships that "you get what you pay for." Everything that was "included" was average. The dinners in Michelangelo were average at best. The servers were rude, didn't smile, acted irritated or put out when you ask for something. With the exception of Francesco and Rigoberto, the servers were not up to par. Meat over cooked, salads bland, wilted, and tiny. We joked that we should just skip dinner and have dessert each night because the desserts were so good. But if you go to the restaurants where there is an up-charge like Sabatini's or Salty Dog...the food was fabulous and the service was so much better. We felt "taken care of..." The spa was interesting. I booked a massage. But for $20 you can upgrade and have a mini facial added to our service. I felt as if she rushed through the massage so she could "sell" all of the products to me that were "perfect for me." It just wasn't as relaxing as I had hoped. It was a sales pitch. However, I did like the products used during the facial and did spend $300 on products. Our children went to the kids club several times. It wasn't their favorite compared to other ships. But it was fun on some nights. Our kids are 12, 9 and 6. They had to be separated because of age. The 9 and 12 year old went to a separate area. But they were allowed to go to the younger area if we took them there. Just the youngest cannot go to the older kids area. I understand. We booked a private room on the last night of the cruise for a party for the family. It was great. We had our own servers and bartender. The room was nice. We rented the sound equipment etc for a slide show. We also did 3 wine tastings while on board. Ella's wine tasting in the Vines Wine Bar was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My husband, 12-year old daughter and I took the Crown Princess for 7 days and it was an absolutely remarkable vacation! Princess Cruise line did a fantastic job on all accounts. (This was our fifth cruise as a family, and have previously ... Read More
My husband, 12-year old daughter and I took the Crown Princess for 7 days and it was an absolutely remarkable vacation! Princess Cruise line did a fantastic job on all accounts. (This was our fifth cruise as a family, and have previously sailed on both Carnival and Disney.) We were upgraded --free-- at the last minute to a room with a window, which was fantastic for watching the whales from our room. The ship itself was most beautiful in every area, from the gorgeous main lobby, or piazza, to the lovely dining rooms, lounges and theaters. With multiple pool decks, there was plenty of space to gather for outside viewing the entire cruise. Entertainment was also excellent. There are so many positive things to say about this trip, but will try to keep it brief. Our cabin was typical, but clean and functional, lots of closet space. We sailed in July, so we were lucky, too, in that we had gorgeous weather, despite it being a typical rainy month. With that, we had extremely smooth sailing the entire time. Never any rough water. The food throughout the entire cruise was top notch. A wonderful selection whether the morning buffet, lunch or dinner. All absolutely fantastic. Always fresh, tasty, well presented and plentiful. The International Café in the Piazza offered numerous sandwiches, salads and desserts that also offered a nice option. Also in the Piazza, there were always activities, music and entertainment... a very enjoyable place to hang out. We did buy the kid's drink package for $50 for the week... then our daughter could get any kind of specialty drink she wanted. Seemed fair enough! Movies under the stars were also kind of cool as you sailed past snow-covered mountains curled up on pool lounges with blankets and popcorn! Another awesome portion of the trip were the on-board naturalists who gave lectures throughout the cruise and spoke of the wildlife and the history of Alaska. The captain of the Aleutian Ballard was also a guest speaker, and he was fantastic. Even my 12-year old didn't want to miss one lecture! In Juneau we did a whale watching tour, and indeed the captain did get very close to orcas and humpbacks. While this I suppose could be hit or miss, it did seem as though all those we spoke to who took a similar excursion enjoyed it immensely. From there we took a bus to the Mendenhall Glacier which was a must-see in our book. Don't miss the visitor center as the views from there are equally spectacular. The day ended with the Roberts Tram... again extraordinary views! The best advice I can give is, if you want avoid doing too many tours, rent a car in Skagway from the Avis office downtown and drive the Klondike highway on your own. The Avis office is an easy walk from the cruise ship pier. We drove all the way up to Emerald Lake -- 70 miles one way, and the views here are among the most stunning you'll ever see. Go online and download the Murphy's guide, and it will provide you mile by mile points of interest the entire way. This way you have the luxury of stopping to take photos and admire the views on your own time. This was by far the highlight of our trip, in addition to cruising Glacier National Bay. The only excursion we took that in hindsight I may have passed on was the Misty Fjords trip in Ketchikan. We spent nearly 4.5 hours on the boat, and the scenery to the actual Fjords was not much different than what we'd seen from the ship. The day we went, there had not been much rain, so the waterfalls were dry. While the water was a gorgeous emerald color and the peaks granite, to me it was not worth spending the entire time on the boat just to see that. I will say, however, they had a naturalist on board who narrated the entire tour, and that portion was interesting. We booked this tour directly through Princess. Glacier Bay was extraordinary. And while I have read other reviews touting it as less so, I was still thrilled by the timeless beauty of it all. Again, we had gorgeous weather, which made for especially stunning views. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone interested in Alaska. It is truly America's final frontier! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was overall the best vacation I ever took. As the date became closer, I did become more nervous after reading some reviews of the ship and dining services. I could not believe how surprised I was that the ship and food both lived up ... Read More
This was overall the best vacation I ever took. As the date became closer, I did become more nervous after reading some reviews of the ship and dining services. I could not believe how surprised I was that the ship and food both lived up to my expectations. I found the Crown to be very clean and comparable to the other ships that I've been on with Carnival although less tacky looking with colors. I enjoyed the Cafe Caribe buffet that had theme nights throughout the ship and was always less crowded than the main buffet. I think some people didn't walk the distance to see there was a whole other buffet. The anytime dining worked perfectly as we were always seated immediately. Really enjoyed the Magic to Do show and the London show. Had read early reviews and knew to be there early so we never missed a show and always got a good seat. Also, gave us time to look through the pictures that we took that day. Went to five cultural lectures on about Alaska and really enjoyed the learning part of the vacation. This ship is not a party cruise like the three others that I've been on and was a nice change of pace. Of course, the sites of Alaska and Glacier Bay were breathtaking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Our first time cruising. We were on Deck 11, Baja, and the room was great with the balcony. Our steward was very accommodating and helpful. Always called us by our last name respectfully. Our only glitch was at the Victoria, BC, ... Read More
Our first time cruising. We were on Deck 11, Baja, and the room was great with the balcony. Our steward was very accommodating and helpful. Always called us by our last name respectfully. Our only glitch was at the Victoria, BC, port. We arrived around 7 p.m. as scheduled. It took the ship staff quite a while to get customs clearance leaving a lot of persons with no time to get to their excursions. Excursions held up as long as possible but once given clearance to de-board, it was a total mess. We were in a long line to exit and got to a point when a staff member told us to follow a different line that literally led us back to the back of the line. We were furious to say the least. That mistake cost us another 1/2 hour. There were several persons yelling at the total mess they were leading us through. Overall, food was great at the restaurant. The cleanliness was very good the the restaurant staff professionally trained with excellent 4 course meals at every meal. Definately go for the the 2 sit down white table cloth restaurants. The food is created from scratch and wonderful choices. As for the buffets, they were ok, but not to the level of the 2 restaurants that are part of the package as well. There are restaurants that you can pay for, but the 2 provided were great for us. And you meet a lot of other great guests as well. We always chose the "join another table" option for that reason. Overall, a great trip and very good excursions and tours. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This extended family of 8 cruise was my mother's wish to celebrate her 80th birthday. As first time cruisers, my husband and I were already wanting to do it again before we disembarked! We can't say enough about the ... Read More
This extended family of 8 cruise was my mother's wish to celebrate her 80th birthday. As first time cruisers, my husband and I were already wanting to do it again before we disembarked! We can't say enough about the Discovery/Animal Planet Whale Watching excursion with Gastineau Guiding. Amazing! The room steward, Edgar, was so pleasant and always around even though we are not high maintenance guests. The ship was clean and the crew polite. The dining menu was a little too fancy for our 10 year old. I would have rated this a 5 except for a couple things. There was one server in the Da Vinci Dining room that was trying to hurry us out. We had anytime dining and were not able to arrive until 9pm due to a unanticipated late 8:00 return from an excursion scheduled through Princess. We were also not pleased with the kids programming at Shock Waves. We registered my 10 year old upon booking. We received a schedule of events the 1st night. We signed her in 3 different times on different days for scheduled events. Upon signing her out, none of the 3 scheduled events actually occurred. The kids were just allowed "free play". We purchased a photo package on the ship that included a flash drive. Upon returning home, 6 of the 10 photo files were corrupted. BUT, we called Princess explained our situation, the photo department contacted us right away. We emailed them the required information and got a new flash drive in the mail 3 days later! Now that is customer service done right! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Embarkation at Seattle: Easy. Line always kept moving. Room was ready when we got there. Service: Exceptional. I’m not one who usually goes for being “pampered,” but I felt like a king (or a prince since this is Princess ... Read More
Embarkation at Seattle: Easy. Line always kept moving. Room was ready when we got there. Service: Exceptional. I’m not one who usually goes for being “pampered,” but I felt like a king (or a prince since this is Princess Cruises?). Our steward was helpful and always seemed to be around…but never hovered. Wait staff was amiable and professional. Top notch all around. Food: Ranged from average to excellent. Two great meals in the Crown Grill (loved the filet mignon!) and had good food in the MDR (hello salmon! And I’m still having dreams about you, Fettuccine Alfredo!). Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe was standard buffet food, pretty much what I expected (how ‘bout some berries in the morning, please?). And what’s with the nickel and dime charge for gelato at the International Cafe? It’s good, but not worth paying extra. We did Anytime Dining because we didn't want to stick to a rigid schedule. Well, we learned it really should be called "Anytime Dining but reservations highly encouraged!" So, we decided what time we wanted eat dinner in the morning and made a quick call to the Dine line for reservations. Facilities: Loved all the open areas, walking around the Promenade Deck, Skywalkers Lounge, Terrace pool area. The piazza is beautiful. Most of the time, the ship never felt crowded (and that’s good because I’m not a “crowds” person). Some issues finding seating in Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe at peak times (mainly from people taking up tables who weren't actually eating). Onboard Activities: Alaska is so port-intensive, we were sometimes too tired. But we did go to several performances (“Magic to Do” musical and 70’s music show) and liked them. Tried our hand at trivia…fun time. Attended the culinary demo and galley tour…fascinating. Watched the finale of “Voice of the Ocean”—some talented passengers on board! Ports: Juneau--ate at Tracy's King Crab Shack, did Harv & Marv's whale watching, and went to Mendenhall Glacier. Skagway--did Frontier Excursion's Yukon Discovery Tour. Glacier Bay scenic cruising--AMAZING! Ketchikan--Island Wings Misty Fjords flightseeing tour. Victoria BC--took the shuttle bus and walked around downtown. Found something to love in each of the ports! Disembarkation at Seattle: bit of zoo, but I guess that’s usual? We did Express Walk Off and would do it again. As first-time cruisers, we weren't sure what to expect. We loved it! Will definitely cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We really enjoyed our cruise! Second cruise for me, first cruise for husband, son and son's girlfriend. There seem to be some bad reviews for this itinerary/ship but for us we like it! We arrived in Seattle on Friday night to ... Read More
We really enjoyed our cruise! Second cruise for me, first cruise for husband, son and son's girlfriend. There seem to be some bad reviews for this itinerary/ship but for us we like it! We arrived in Seattle on Friday night to ensure we were there in plenty of time for our embarkation on Saturday. We handled our own hotel reservations and transfers. We did however book our air via Princess Air and bought insurance. Reservation process was simple and the price for the air fair was really much cheaper than if I had done it on my own. Embarkation was so smooth! Went through very quickly and was on the ship within about 45 minutes. There were no lines when we arrived which was a little before our designated time. Our cabin was ready and clean when we embarked. Our cabin was fabulous. We were far AFT on the baja deck - deck 11. Extended balcony looking out the back of the ship. I knew going in there would be an obstruction but it did not interfere with us sitting out and enjoying the scenery. There is no wind back there and the balcony was covered. Although the rest of the ship was breezy and downright chilly, we could sit on our balcony with just a light jacket and enjoy our travels. Daniel was our Steward and he always kept our cabin stocked and had a bright hello and smile for us all the time. It was really quiet also. Deck 11 is sandwiched between other cabin decks so we didn't have any noise. Bed was surprisingly comfortable and we fell asleep really quickly every night! Son and girlfriend were across the hall in an interior. They said it was fine for them. My son and his girlfriend (age 22 and 21) were the youngest people I saw other than just a few very small children, but they kept themselves occupied. They loved the Movies under the Stars even in the chilly air. They especially enjoyed the entertainment - the big production show the first night with music by the same folks as Wicked, Godspell and Pippen - was really great. The singer and the comedian were also very good. But they really loved "Voice of the Ocean" and went to all the performances. Ship was kept immaculate. Very clean and done in a non-obtrusive way. I never saw plates piled, etc. Staff kept things picked up. Shore excursions were fabulous. Highly recommend the Juneau photo safari - whale and glacier watching - and the Skagway excursion to the Yukon Territory including the narrow gauge railroad. Such beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, etc. Ketchikan was ok - we walked around the town ourselves. Got into Victoria late due to weather. Husband and kids went out and explored as I stayed behind not feeling well. They wished they had more time to check out the city. One of the highlights was Glacier Natl Park on Wednesday. It was a very rainy and foggy day but the light was still nice to be able to see the blues of the glacier. Marjorie Glacier put on a nice performance and calved for us! Got to watch it from my aft balcony. Rough seas on Thursday night/Friday morning had us rocking and rolling a bit, but they did everything possible to keep it safe and not all that bad. Took a mid-ship stroll around 2am and I was the only one up and about - other than crew cleaning up - so obviously it didn't bother anyone else. Food - probably the one area for improvement. Caribe and Horizon were always packed but food was blah. I think they are trying to drive everyone to the upscale (pay more) restaurants. Food was the same day in and out with a couple of changes. We always found a seat, but we figured out when to go so that it wasn't being crushed with people. Pizza bar was good however, wish it was open later! Always picked up some ice cream there every day too. Son liked the Trident Grill for burgers and Fries. We had anytime dining and only went to the Michelangelo twice - both on formal nights. Again nothing spectacular. Wouldn't recommend this cruise to those who cruise just to eat. We did not buy drink packages but did buy bottled water which was in our rooms upon arrival. Disembarkation was great! We chose express walk off taking our own luggage and we were off the ship in 5 minutes and through customs in less than 15 minutes after that. Easy to find a taxi to get us to our rental car location so we could explore Seattle on our own. Flew home on Sunday. Supposedly we were sailing full, but the ship never felt crowded except for the food lines in Caribe and Horizon. This is ship is not huge but we did a lot of walking. Unless you want to wait forever for elevators, take stairs. Not an issue for us and it was great exercise, but may be an issue for others. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I have been on about 50-60 cruises, so I would think that I am a seasoned traveler and know what to expect for my money. To say that the cruise staff is poorly managed would be an understatement. This is a beautiful and stately ship. ... Read More
I have been on about 50-60 cruises, so I would think that I am a seasoned traveler and know what to expect for my money. To say that the cruise staff is poorly managed would be an understatement. This is a beautiful and stately ship. However, we seemed to have issues in almost every area of the ship, with the exception of the embarkation staff. They were great. The Salty Dog (Gastropub) was also wonderful. As for the rest, read on. Our party of 8 always entered the dining room promptly. However, we were always the last ones to leave. Service was painfully slow. The assistant waiter doubled as a beverage server which took him away from clearing dishes and running food from the kitchen. As if this was not bad enough, the food was horrible. One would think that salmon would be fresh on an Alaska sailing. It was dry and un-edible. I ordered it a second night and it was the same. Next, was reservations. On the second day of our cruise, I made phone reservations for Wednesday at the Salty Dog, and Thursday at the Italian restaurant. On Tuesday, I received a card confirming my reservation for that evening. The reservation was made for Thursday, not Tuesday. We went anyway. Dinner was just OK. However, the server was excellent. On Wednesday, we went to the Salty Dog at our reserved time. They could not find a reservation for us. Next, it was the Spa. I was given a spa gift certificate by my children. I made reservations for my wife and myself for spa treatments for Thursday afternoon. At breakfast, we decided that we would rather have Friday appointments. I called the spa to change the appointments and was told that Friday was all booked up. I told them that I would then need a refund of the pre-paid amount. Miraculously, they got us appointments for 1:15. As a matter of fact, my son called a little latter and got appointments for himself and finance. So much for being booked up. Next, it was the excursion desk. I had pre-reserved our tours from the Princess web site. On the first day, I had the tour tickets delivered to my cabin. I checked my shipboard account to see if everything was as pre-booked. The tickets were correct, but the amount charged was not. The tour desk agent told me that I was mistaken. I showed him the printout of the tours and the cost to be charged. It was in black and white, but he still stood on his high horse and told me that I booked them wrong. I received a call from him latter that night telling me that it was straightened out and re-billed correctly. No apology! I am not going to go into the quality of entertainment. Let's just say that it was about the worst that I have ever seen. Although the princess staff "missed the boat" on the customer service end, we still managed to have a once in a lifetime vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We cruised Alaskan Crown Princess May 21 - 28, 2016. Had numerous relatives & friends who had gone on this cruise a year ago & raved about the cruise & the food. Our 25th anniversary, so we planned for this event for over a ... Read More
We cruised Alaskan Crown Princess May 21 - 28, 2016. Had numerous relatives & friends who had gone on this cruise a year ago & raved about the cruise & the food. Our 25th anniversary, so we planned for this event for over a year. We did everything thru Princes, air, shuttle, hotel, excursions. Double Tree Sea-Tac had no people to help with luggage. Cabin Steward "Riz" was the best!! Food in Cafe Caribe & Horizon Court was the worst. The "set time" dining was not much better. Ads state that the food will be from local Alaskan eateries. Didn't ever find it. Took over 1 hour & 45 minutes for food at DaVinci for lunch & had to share our plates with others at the table. eggshells in eggs benedict. Bathroom faucet sprayed the mirror & us when turned on - reported to cabin steward 1st day & he advised he reported it during previous cruise. Never anyone came in toi even look at it. The balcony was great & the excursions were even better - no complaints thered. Didn't dock at Victoria BC - after immigration boarded ship in middle of water & about 20 people were summoned to Passenger Services with their passports - Captain announced it was too windy to dock - even tho we passed 2 cruise ships already docked. New Princess motto should be "come back hungry & disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our 7th Princess Cruise and first time to Alaska. Second time on the Crown. We flew into Vancouver the same day and had ordered the Princess transfers to the ship. This was convenient, because they take your luggage to the ... Read More
This was our 7th Princess Cruise and first time to Alaska. Second time on the Crown. We flew into Vancouver the same day and had ordered the Princess transfers to the ship. This was convenient, because they take your luggage to the ship from the airport. Our flight was late and we had to wait over 1 hour for the bus to arrive to pick us up. It would have been cheaper and faster to take a taxi, but the luggage would have had to come with us. The bus was beautiful and the driver provided details of the city. It was just a long day having a layover with our first flight. We had priority embarkation, thankfully. We were through all the lineups with in 20 minutes. There was a lot of distance between security, customs and checkin. This would have been difficult for anyone with mobility issues. There were mostly blue cards on this cruise, and non Canadian/American passengers. Those passengers had huge lineups and we heard they experienced 2.5 - 3 hours wait-times to get through the process. The ship left port late due to a large group with a delayed flight. We had a minisuite on Dolphin deck. No problems there. We had early dining. Our waiters were fabulous, the food great. We didn't make it to supper each night due to the late port departure times. We took advantage of our time ashore. The Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe were always busy. It was difficult to find seating. People would sit at an empty table to look out the window or use their phone. The wait staff was very supportive and friendly. We had a complimentary specialty dining. We went to Sabatini's the second night. It was prebooked for us. This was very nice. There were only 3 tables occupied, so it was quiet. We had the ultimate beverage package as part of our booking bonus. This was difficult to get our money's worth out of. We would not have purchased it ourselves. Alaska is not a "sit by the pool and drink" kind of trip. The pools were heated, but were used infrequently. We didn't do much entertainment viewing. The time change of 4 hours and sunrise at 4:30 made it difficult to adjust. We were up at 3:15 Glacier Bay day. (7:15AM home time for us). This was worth it. It was light out and very few people on deck. We had a quiet, unobstructed view of the sunrise on a clear sky day. We took excursions in each of the ports. That will be listed elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
There were 5 in our party (yes, one was a single and had to pay double) and we're in our 60s. We have cruised on NCL, RCCL, and CCL before. For cleanliness, style, service, and FOOD this was by far the best cruise we have ever ... Read More
There were 5 in our party (yes, one was a single and had to pay double) and we're in our 60s. We have cruised on NCL, RCCL, and CCL before. For cleanliness, style, service, and FOOD this was by far the best cruise we have ever taken. We were met at the airport by a Princess representative which surprised us since we didn't book air travel through them. However, we did book a transfer to the hotel (Doubletree) and then to the ship the next day. The ride from the airport to the hotel was on the regular free shuttle, but from the hotel to the ship was in a bathroom equipped tour bus. We arrived early and went through the lines quickly. There was a wait after check-in before boarding, but it was organized and fast. We did have to schlep our carry-on baggage for awhile, but were in our cabins before lunch. We had an extended balcony cabin next door to our single cruiser. Rudolfo, the steward, kindly opened the door between our balconies so we could go back and forth without entering the passageway. The cabin was nicely set up with the singles together into a queen bed. The mattresses weren't the best, but were adequate. All the regular amenities were present. However the hair dryer was in the living area by the desk which I guess did second duty as a vanity. One nice touch was the fridge on had a big bottle of water in it, not all those annoying little liquor and wine bottles and snacks. There were two chairs: one a desk chair and one sort of a lounge chair. On the patio were two chairs with foot stools and a table. We really only used the balcony in Tracy Arm Fjord because it was fairly chilly and damp outside. Still, I wouldn't be without a balcony if I had a choice. The extended balcony was easily twice as big as a regular balcony. Our cabin was Caribe (deck 10) 604. There are a number of pools on the Crown Princess, but no indoor pools. So, needless to say there was very limited use of the pools/hot tubs. There were all kinds of activities throughout the cruise and we stayed "busy" having fun. I was a bit concerned about this before we left, but was assured by previous cruises that it wouldn't be an issue. The gym equipment is good. Didn't use the rest of the spa. Eating venues included the dining rooms, buffet, grill, international café, extra charge Italian, and extra charge steak house. We did not go to the extra charge places because the food everywhere else was superior. We do not like anytime dining and had chosen late dining at 8:15p. They changed the time to 7:45p, but neglected to also change the time of the shows, so we only went to two shows both of which were fun but typical of cruise shows. The change of schedule was not well thought out (one of several minor irritants). Dinners had many choices and no one in our party ever got anything they didn't like. I thought it was amazing how well the kitchen and wait staff did. Our head waiter was June and the assistant was Victor. The service was great. We liked to order wine at dinner and it came right away. The hot food was always hot and never over cooked, and the cold food was always cold. Due to port stops there were two nights with open seating. It was managed effectively, but we didn't enjoy it because we didn't know the wait staff. The buffet actually included another restaurant the name of which I'm afraid I've forgotten. They were laid out two toward port and two toward starboard. However, the ship staggered when each was open. It was well marked. They also did something very smart controlling how many cruisers were in the buffet area at any given time. As folks finished they let more folks in. This created some lines, but they moved quickly. By today's standards the buffet was small, but there were plenty of choices and it was all good and fresh. All of the food was top notch. The grill had hot dogs and hamburgers. They looked fine, but we never ate there. Nor did we eat at the International Café which is adjacent to the coffee shop. We did get punch cards for the "good" coffee, but found the ship's coffee to be quite good as well. There was a small 3-piece band, a duo with a synthesizer who could play and sing just about anything, and a couple of piano players. A guitar player was in the schedule, but we never found him. There was also a DJ, but we never went to that club. We like smaller, less noisy venues. We felt like Princess could do a better job with entertainment. For example, both piano players were classical. It might have been a good idea to have one that was a "bar style" player. Ports were all good stops, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria (Canada). We also spent a sailing day in Tracy Arm Fjord where we went up the Fjord to Sawyer Glacier. It was absolutely majestic! It's amazing that a large cruise ship can navigate in and out of the Fjord, and do a 360 degree turn in front of the amazing glacier. Just that day made the trip worth while. Juneau had excursions to whale watch. I can't begin to tell you how much fun it was to see humpback whales (grown and immature) swimming in their own element. They put on a show for us breaching, waving fins, flapping tails. It was awesome. In Skagway we rode the old fashioned train (with bathrooms and free drinking water in bottles) up the mountain. Fabulous vistas going up and coming back. We enjoyed the ride. Another irritant occurred with the last two stops. In Ketchikan we were only in port for the morning and in Victoria (Canada) we were only in port for the evening. This greatly limited excursions. I hope that Princess will consider making this an 8-day cruise so that port time in these places could be better. I know they have to stop in Canada to make it an international cruise which has implications for wages/salaries, but I wouldn't want to miss the Ketchikan stop. We did a rain forest hike and crab feast in Ketchikan. It's the king crab capital of the world and that part was fun. In Victoria, we went to the castle. It was night and was OK, but not great. Still, if we had only done the Fjord and the whales, the cruise would have been unforgettable. All the rest just made it better. Oh, they had a naturalist on board. He was sort of a strange duck. Maybe he was knowledgeable, but his affectations put us off. The ship had many bars and evening spots. So long as there wasn't a big crowd it was fun and the service was good. However, if something like trivia drew a large crowd the service was not sufficient. The alcohol pours were measured and the wines were good. For those who drink soda, it's all Coke products (not my favorite, but I shouldn't drink the stuff anyway). This was the last Alaskan cruise of the year for Princess and it was fabulous. I'm a warm climate liking cruiser and wasn't sure about this cruise, but it turned out to be so good, I would likely do it again in a few years. You know even if this hadn't been a great cruise, even a mediocre cruise is a great vacation. This cruise was certainly no mediocre. Do it! Last but not least was disembarkation. We had requested that 3 of us leave together at 10a. Of course Princess didn't get that correct, but they sent enough luggage tags that we threw away our 8:40a, and got tags from our single cruiser so we could all leave at 10a. We didn't pay attention at breakfast and found ourselves to be some of the last leaving the ship. We didn't have to search for our suitcases. They were right there by the pathway all alone! It was great. We scooted outside got a taxi to the hotel and spent another day in Seattle. What a great week! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was my 14th cruise and 4th Princess Cruise. My last 3 were with Princess and in a period of approximately 1 year. I had previously seen a review about the ship looking worn and stains etc. in some of the rooms. I checked with ... Read More
This was my 14th cruise and 4th Princess Cruise. My last 3 were with Princess and in a period of approximately 1 year. I had previously seen a review about the ship looking worn and stains etc. in some of the rooms. I checked with Princess prior to my booking and asked them about the condition of the ship. I was told that it was going to be refurbished in May and was referred to someone who confirmed it. They refurbished only the public areas not the rooms. To shorten this up a bit, I ended up with the exact room that had been reviewed on this site stating the stains were there. Well the stains were still there and the bed was all sunken in. Unfortunately I didn't have the presence of mind to have them switch the bunk above my bed and I slept very uncomfortably instead. I love to cruise when I can afford to especially for the food and the service. Big letdown. I need to eat Gluten free and this ship did a very poor job of that. Buffet foods were slathered with some unmentionable glop all over them or breaded. It was difficult to find edible foods. Dinner in the main dining room was okay but definitely not up to standard with service or available selections for me. My bread was only brought when I asked if they were going to bring it and not until just before the main course. I had been use to (on other Princess ships) getting my bread when everyone else got theirs and getting wonderful deserts. It was always an imposition or it felt that way. If I hadn't received such wonderful service before, maybe I wouldn't have been so disappointed. This was my 3rd Alaskan Cruise. Unfortunately the Glaciers have melted a lot and there are smaller ones than before but the ship gave us excellent close up views of the 2 that we went to. We took one excursion to see the whales and that was good. The company provided binoculars but it is hard to focus before the whale dives again. I was able to get some pictures. As one other reviewer stated the ship is not in port long enough in Victoria to do much and trying to go see the gardens at night seems a bit counter intuitive. It is really too bad that they can't stop there at a time when it can be enjoyed. We went to a museum for about an hour and it was time to go back. It was a good thing that we had been to Alaska before and taken excursions as the prices of most of the excursions were between $150 and $600 plus. It was nice to get away but not restful or satisfying for me. For other people who are maybe going on their 1st cruise, it would probably be okay. I can't help but compare quality and service if you are going to spend that much money. Maybe without special diet needs and being younger, this ship would be okay. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Just finished a week long Alaska cruise with mixed results. Food was great. Live entertainment was a disappointment. Major issue was an excursion booked thru Princess, to see the butchart gardens in Victoria. Layover in Victoria was only ... Read More
Just finished a week long Alaska cruise with mixed results. Food was great. Live entertainment was a disappointment. Major issue was an excursion booked thru Princess, to see the butchart gardens in Victoria. Layover in Victoria was only 4 hours starting at 7pm. By the time busses were loaded, it was 8pm. Arrived at Butchart gardens in the dark at 9pm. Had to be back on buses by 10pm to get back to ship by 11pm. Minimal lighting on walkways at garden, but the gardens were in the dark. A total ripe off by Princess. Otherwise, we were pleased with cruise. This was our second Alaska Cruise with Princess in the past two years and I'd go again. We sailed out of Seattle this time and returned to Seattle. Hotels in Seattle are expensive in the downtown area so plan accordingly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We sailed out of Seattle via the Crown Princess on August 29th. We booked 3 months ahead to get connecting balconies on deck 10 mid ship / B-1 Class. - Arrival and Embarkation was smooth. However, the wind caused boarding delays due ... Read More
We sailed out of Seattle via the Crown Princess on August 29th. We booked 3 months ahead to get connecting balconies on deck 10 mid ship / B-1 Class. - Arrival and Embarkation was smooth. However, the wind caused boarding delays due to the ramp being shifted about. - Luggage arrived approximately 30 minutes after we boarded. No lost bags. - CABIN was clean with the bed configuration as requested. Large balcony with two chairs and small table. Refrigerator, TV, Hair Dryer, Two Nightstands, Desk, Large Closet, Safe. - Beds were worn and needed extra padding, requested an egg crate foam be added to the bed. Next day we had our room attendant add 2 additional foams. Overall, the bed was uncomfortable and very hard. - STAFF was very accommodating and friendly. One issue with service during the cruise was the popcorn machine on deck 15 was always "empty." We arrived at promptly 10 PM and were told by staff that they ran out of kernels. At no time did we see popcorn in that popper. Princess failed miserably here. - SPA was very nice with great a professional staff. - ON SHORE Excursions were overpriced for the activity. We participated in the whale watching and rain forest walk in Juneau and were very disappointed. At 200 per person, I would not recommend this activity! We heard the train ride in Skagway was very good. Besides the scenic train ride, we didn't hear anyone "bragging" about their excursions. - We didn't see the staff cleaning handrails constantly on this ship as with other cruise lines. It appeared they would wipe everything down once early in the morning. - CASINO was very smoky so we would avoid walking through on deck 6 to get to the theater. Take deck 7 instead. The casino was never crowded and appeared empty most of the time. - FOOD was excellent on this cruise! - ENTERTAINMENT was very good with our favorite being Micheal the naturalist. He is very passionate about the environment, wildlife and puts on a great presentation! - ELEVATORS were slower on this ship than other ships we have been on. One elevator was out of service the entire cruise. - TRACY ARM was absolutely beautiful with bright sunny skies. We were disappointed the captain did not turn the ship a full 360 degrees so only the port side got a full view of the glacier when we turned to leave. We heard the small tour boat was a big disappointment for the price. - WEATHER was terrible (rain with rough seas) only 2 out of the 7 days. The other 5 days were great with light winds and sunny skies. - SUMMARY after cruising on multiple cruise lines, this will be our first and probably our last for Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was a cruise for my father's 80th birthday, 22 in all would be on the cruise. My wife and I returned to cruising about four years ago after a substantial break. This would be our first cruise with Princess since starting again. ... Read More
This was a cruise for my father's 80th birthday, 22 in all would be on the cruise. My wife and I returned to cruising about four years ago after a substantial break. This would be our first cruise with Princess since starting again. Our children, 11, 9, and 6 have been on one cruise previously (last fall). We flew into Seattle the Friday before the cruise started. We had Princess transfers to the hotel and ultimately to the ship. This was a great buy and I highly recommend it, as you and your bags are taken care of. We took the day to tour around Seattle and do the typical tourist things. Just a side note, there are very few available bathrooms in downtown Seattle, whether you are a customer or not. We stayed the night at the Fairmont Olympic. First class hotel with all the amenities one would want. No complaints. As previously mentioned we had Princess transfers to the ship. They picked our bags up and we wouldn't see them again till they were delivered to our cabin. Before boarding the bus we went through a quick "pre" check in with Princess. The bus ride was fast and smooth. Embarkation was no trouble and the lines were reasonably short. We had arrived at around 11:00am. Once through check-in, we waited about 15 minutes for our group to be called and then we were aboard! We will now start the hard part of the review. First, you must do an Alaska Cruise, I don't care what ship you are on, its a must do; make lemonade from any lemons you find and enjoy yourself. As for the The Crown Princess, we found the ship dated, hard to navigate, crowded at times, poor food and understaffed. Our room was a balcony, B-522. The cabin was good. The closet was spacious and nice, a little short on shelf spaces but no complaints about the room. Our balcony was a perfect size and afforded us great views, including two separate incredible whale viewings as we cruised. Our room steward was great and always available. We ate dinner nightly in the Botticelli Dining Room. Dan was our server and he was very attentive and apologetic for the food and numerous occasions. I personally ate seafood every night and did not have a problem with my entrees or appetizers. Rating my food for taste however I would only give it passing marks, nothing special or particularly memorable. Others in our group, including my wife, who doesn't eat seafood, had troubles with the food every night. Steak was regularly overcooked; order rare get well done. burnt chicken, lifeless salads, and lackluster soups. Desserts were better, as Dan would bring us all the selections each night and we would partake in a sampling of each. As far as lunch and breakfast went, we made the mistake the first day at sea of eating in the buffet. If you like crowded overcooked buffet food, it will fit your needs fine. On the plus, they had plenty of smoked salmon in the buffet great for a snack. We found eating breakfast and lunch in Da Vinci Dining Room a much better deal and would recommend it. Elsewhere around the ship we found the pizza pretty good, again no complaints but no raves either, the hamburgers and chicken burgers at the grill close to inedible, however the hot dogs were pretty good there. We did find a good place for food and hanging out to be the Piazza and International Cafe, although being there cut you off from any outside views. We also used room service more than we every had previously and found the sandwiches good and the cookies very good. All in all, we expected better food quality than we received., although the service was always good. The entertainment on board was just average. I did not like any of the live music we took time to listen to. Shows are not my thing, but reports from family members indicated disappointment with the shows. We did attend a number of lectures by naturists on board and found them to be very interesting and informative and would say they are must do's on your Alaskan cruise. Daily activities were the usual cruising games, nothing to report one way or the other. Our kids did attend the Children's clubs. In fact our group had kids from 17 to 4 on the cruise. everyone raved about the Children's clubs, uniformly, including the teens. My children couldn't wait to get back, a shocking event for me. They loved the activities and the counselors. Princess really shined here. Our oldest daughter and I did the Jr Chef at Sea activity and had a blast, meeting the head pastry chef and staff, and she decorated a cake after lessons from the professionals, lots of fun and highly recommend it. We ported in Juneau, where we did a private whale excursion. Well worth it, lots of whales. We ported in Skagway, where rented a car from Avis and drove to Carcross Canada. Along the way saw incredible scenery, drank from glacier water, saw a mother bear and cubs, and had a great lunch. We also ported in Ketchikan, where our children attended the lumberjack show with their grandfather and even though it was pouring rain had a great time. we also spend a day of scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord. For this we splurged and purchased the small boat excursion. Wow, was this ever worth it. It is hard to explain how beautiful everything is close up. We visited two glacier, both a close as possible, came up close to icebergs and waterfalls, and saw mountain goats climbing the wall. Do this excursion if you have the opportunity, it is worth every penny. We returned back to Seattle early in the morning. Our flight was Sunday, so we leisurely exited the ship, collected our bags and headed to the hotel, before spending some more time in Seattle. Final thoughts on the cruise: Everything you see in Alaska is incredible and worth the cost of the cruise. An Alaska cruise is not a Caribbean or Mexican cruise, its a cruise for the sights and scenery. I would not recommend the Crown Princess, although if it was between the Crown or nothing I would take the Crown. Alaska is worth it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our second cruise to Alaska, we sailed on the Celebrity Mercury back in 2010 on a round trip out of Los Angeles and that trip was magical as it was in early May and everywhere we went it was great weather and lots of snow on the ... Read More
This was our second cruise to Alaska, we sailed on the Celebrity Mercury back in 2010 on a round trip out of Los Angeles and that trip was magical as it was in early May and everywhere we went it was great weather and lots of snow on the mountains. This trip we took our son, his wife and our grandson with rooms next to each other on Baja deck. The steward opened the partition between the balconies and it really open up the space. We sailed on June 20th from Seattle, embarkation was the fastest and smoothest I have ever experienced, this was probably our 15th cruise and from parking the car to on the ship was literally 30 minutes. Unbelievable. Don't know if Seattle Cruise Port is always like this, but I'm sold. Stopped in the room to drop off our carry on and went upstairs to the buffet and had lunch. BTW, this was the official Seahawks 12th Man cruise and being from Phoenix and a Cardinals fan, I was not happy when we found out. But overall it wasn't bad, the fans were a little over the top sometimes, but really a couple of hundred fans among 3000 people it was tolerable. Lunch was pretty good, especially the cheeseburgers and brats from the grill.the burger actually tasted like good ground beef and not some processed patty. The lifeboat drill was typical and we were soon underway. Sailing out of Seattle, it takes a while before you reach open ocean, lots to see going by. The first night's dinner was the only miss of the whole trip. My son and I ordered the prime rib and it was a very poor cut of beef. Tough, funny taste and funny look. Everyone else liked what they ordered though. Our waiter was Marino and his assistant was Miguel. Outstanding service and attention. One thing we discovered on our last cruise is the late seating is by far a more pleasurable experience. You are not rushed, the service is better and the dining room is not crowded. If you can get used to eating at a later time it is well worth it. Marino entertained our grandson every night, magic tricks, puzzles, he even folded a dollar bill into a ring for him to wear. Marino sang to our daughter in law on her birthday and made her a rose out of a napkin. When we signed up for late seating, it was supposed to be 8pm, but once on the ship, we were told it had been changed to 7:30, which was even better. The itinerary matched our 2010 cruise, so we wanted to do some of the same things and also try some other things. We went to Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Kethchikan and Victoria. In Juneau, we took the Mendenhall Glacier/Salmon Hatchery/Salmon Bake excursion and it was excellent. We walked to Big Nugget Falls, whic I highly recommend. It takes about 45 minutes round trip, including time at the falls. You see the waterfall from the visitor's center, but unless you go to it, you cannot get a feel for the massive amount of water pouring over into the bay. It was our second trip to the salmon bake and it was just as good as before. The chinook salmon had a glaze on it and all the sides were excellent. They really do a good job, even giving everyone a bowl of clam chowder upon arrival. There is a stream and waterfall nearby, an abandoned mine and even an open pit fire to roast marshmallows. Next up was Skagway. Last time we went by bus up to White Pass and with all the snow it was beautiful. This trip we decided to do the Kawasaki Mule ride up into the mountains. We were taken by ferry to Haines, and then by bus to the trailhead. We jumped into the Mules and were given a quick tutorial and warning about not going too fast. Once underway, we understood why, it is steep, with hairpins and loose dirt on the trail, we had to keep the vehicles in 4WD low all the way up. On the way up, the scenery is incredible. Waterfalls, streams, vistas, and more. Halfway up we stopped at a little cabin and were served hot drinks and fresh baked cookies. We got back on the trail and soon we were at the summit. We climbed over 1000 feet and the view at the lookout point was magnificent! We took a lot of pictures, they really gave us plenty of time before we started back down. We stopped again for lunch and it was a chicken dish and fresh halibut that was lightly breaded and fried. The fish was outstanding and the sides were really tasty as well. One of the guide's Mule broke down, and she asked if she could ride down with us. We really learned a lot from her as it was like having our own private tour guide. Great excursion, highly recommend. Tracy Arm Fjord. Unbelievable. In 2010, we weren't able to get to Sawyer Glacier due to the fjord ding frozen over, which was disappointing. Since in was June 24th, we were able to make it all the way to South Sawyer Glacier. Although there weren't as many icebergs in the water and there was a lot less snow on the mountains this time (less snow also means fewer waterfalls), it was still the highlight of the cruise. The on-board naturalist was very informative and we learned a lot. Once we rounded the last corner and the glacier came into view, the captain really slowed the ship down. We were treated to amazing views as once he went as far as he could go, he slowly turned the ship in place 180 degrees, giving all on board perfect viewing angles. A side note: there is an excursion that you can do in the fjord, you board a smaller vessel and it it suppose to get you closer to the glacier. But our capitan got us so close, the smaller vessel only got a little closer than us. Next up was Ketchikan and we were supposed to go on a Duck Boat tour, but we decided to stay on the ship. The kids went on a Zodiac Expedition and loved it. Ketchikan is one of the rainiest places in the US, and it was misty and rainy while we were there. One of the ships we followed was the Holland Westerdam and when we reached Victoria the next day we heard about the float plane that crashed in Misty Fjords and killed nine people from the Westerdam. The buzz went throughout our ship, especially since we left Ketchikan about an hour before the fatal crash. Victoria was out last stop, we went whale watching in 2010 and since we didn't get to port until 7pm, with an 11pm departure, we decided to stay on the ship again. The kids went out for a walk on the pier, and enjoyed it. Disembarkation was pretty smooth, we followed instructions, waited where we were supposed to be and were soon off the ship and back in our vehicle. All in all, it was a great cruise, the food was outstanding, the service superior, it really exceeded our expectations. Our very first cruise was in 1996, on Princess to the Western Carribean. We hadn't sailed on Princess since, going on Carnival several times, Royal Carribean and twice on Celebrity. The Celebrity Mercury was magical, smaller ship, we had a suite with a butler, 14 days RT from LA, incredible scenery, tough to ever top. Conversely, the sister ship, Celebrity Century was a disaster cruise. The beds in the balcony cabins are rounded on the ends, making them a foot shorter in the corners. The food was very average, sometimes terrible. We went with friends on their second cruise and it really turned them off on cruising. I will definitely think towards Princess for any futures cruises. In fact, we booked a cruise on-board...Panama Canal, partial transit, 19 days round trip from LA next November. A once-time only cruise, kinda like our 2010 Alaska cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I had read some very negative reviews before our Alaskan cruise and really wanted to go in with an open mind especially because this was our tenth cruise and first on Princess. Pre-cruise: Princess' payment department used my older ... Read More
I had read some very negative reviews before our Alaskan cruise and really wanted to go in with an open mind especially because this was our tenth cruise and first on Princess. Pre-cruise: Princess' payment department used my older daughter's credit card to pay the balance of my husband's and my Cabin C742 rather than correctly use my credit card for final payment. Our credit card was processed correctly for our younger daughter's cabin E511. Final payment was not applied by Princess to my older daughter's cabin and she lost a mid-ship Caribe cabin and all of her pre-booked excursions. Our Travel Agent had to deal with finding a new cabin (A746) for older daughter and her husband. She had to rebook excursions and only could get leftover excursion times. Princess did not compensate her for his pre-cruise grief. Disappointment from A to X: A - a half eaten rotting apple was found on the lowest shelf in the closet/dressing area in E511. Our daughter had wondered why there were fruit flies in her cabin when she had not had any food in her cabin. She found this on the last night when packing up her clothes and had to call Guest Services for assistance. B - our C742 balcony was covered with black stains. From the A746 balcony, we had a direct view of our unsightly balcony. The cruisers next door to A746 even remarked that maybe we wouldn't notice the stains when we were actually on our balcony. Replied that they were the first thing we noticed when we stepped out on our balcony. C - Cruise Director made derogatory remarks about the cruisers from Singapore during the opening theater show. What a nice way to make the cruise enjoyable for all. As third and fourth generation Americans of Japanese descent, we were not very pleased. The Cruise Director set the stage for the complete week and helped to color cruisers' perception of those who were not Caucasian. D - Dining - during our Tuesday dinner in Bottacelli, we watching a Dining staff person approach tables and offer complimentary Champagne Brunch for the following Glacier Bay day. She avoided our table and another table where four Asian Americans were seated. I had a 180 degree view of the dining room and watched her only approach tables where Caucasian cruisers were seated. Thinking that she would eventually make it to our table, I didn't hunt her down. She never came to our table with the offer. X - excursion process was very disorganized. From not having port arrival times and deck disembarking info in the Princess Patter, to an unorganized mess on the piers, getting off to a good start on an excursion was comical. Our guide for gold panning told us to watch the Princess excursion manager run around like a chicken without a head; he was correct. Good: Our Room Steward was awesome. Room Steward for E511 was not, Overall: Weather was beautiful and Glacier Bay day was gorgeous. Did that make up for the overall pervasive racist attitude we felt on the ship? Not even close! My husband and I had cruised on the Norwegian Pearl to Alaska 5 years ago and had a great cruise in an aft cabin directly over the wake. Staff was wonderful on Norwegian and our Cruise Critic group even had a meet and greet with all the Officers. This cruise was a disappointment. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with a Princess rep who followed up after I sent in my completed online survey. No compensation was offered and I was told he was sorry that it wasn't the "Princess experience." I informed him that it was the "Princess experience - OUR Princess experience!" Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We frequently cruise to the Carribean, in fact, have cruised so much that am now a "Platinum" member. So, when we decided to travel with family of four North to Alaska thought Princess would be a great option. Wrong! First ... Read More
We frequently cruise to the Carribean, in fact, have cruised so much that am now a "Platinum" member. So, when we decided to travel with family of four North to Alaska thought Princess would be a great option. Wrong! First : Room looked clean when first arrived but once started putting clothes away, found previous guests paper bags, half used water bottle, in one of the desk cabinets. Then found previous guest's lipstick on the floor. The bathroom had a strong urine smell. Bed sheets were torn and one of the covers was dirty. Not sure if room was cleaned prior to us moving in. (Don't want to think about that). Complained to house keeping and the room was cleaned and issues resolved. Also received chocolate covered strawberries as apology. The ship's food was not a good quality and has gone down from past cruises. The buffet had better food than the dining room. We ate at buffet for breakfast and sometimes lunch. dinner was always in dining room. The dining room food was poor most nights. chicken was tough,lobster was very fishy and very small, turkey (last dinner) grey in color and tough. Knife didn't cut. 3 of the 4 in my family could not eat it. We did have an excellent waiter,Robert and his assistant Sonia who were delightful. The entertainment was fair. The off off off Broadway shows were pretty much the same as on previous cruises. The comedian was good. The mentalist, ok. There were very few things to do on board of interest. My daughters 27 and 28 found nothing of interest for their age group and we're ready to jump. Cruises need to have more things to do on board than just bar service, and silly games that were offered. Also, felt nickeled and dimes for everything. Pictures, games, bingo, tipping, etc. etcetera. Alaska was amazing and breathtaking. We all loved it. The time in most ports was too short no time to explore. Last port Victoria in British Columbia was at night. First time I ever visited a port at 730 pm till 11:00 pm. Beautiful island but not enough time. All and all, the cruise was poor on Princess. The Alaskan adventure was great the excursions offered were fun, well planned and worth the money. We did whale watching and mends hall glacier in Juneau, sledding with mushers and meet the puppies in Skagway, zip lining in Ketchikan. Princess lost a lot of their appeal and is no longer my cruise line of choice. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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