1,482 Princess Star Princess Cruise Reviews

First time on Star Princess, second cruise with Princess, probably the last. The ship is fast heading toward being in poor condition. We found buckets positioned around catching water leaks throughout the ship. Wish they had a bucket ... Read More
First time on Star Princess, second cruise with Princess, probably the last. The ship is fast heading toward being in poor condition. We found buckets positioned around catching water leaks throughout the ship. Wish they had a bucket behind my chair in the Capri dining room, we sit down to the aroma of a strong musty smell. It didn't take long to understand why when water started dripping on my back while seated at the table. This is the same dining room they earlier had refused to allow me into on formal night because I was wearing dark colored pants made of a denim type material. I guess I should be glad they turned me away because I'd really be upset had water dripped on my really fancy duds. The assistant waiter made a hard drive on me to purchase a premium coffee after I asked for coffee, I never got the coffee. He didn't stop with his drive for me to purchase something, he then proceeded to entice me to purchase some type of liquor. We don't drink. He finally left us. Still no coffee. There is a continual push from the moment you get onboard until you get off to get into your pockets. A lot of the activities are centered around selling you something. Nearly every sitting place on the ship has staff ready to pounce on you trying to sell something. We got completely weary with all this by the second and third day. A whole week of it nearly drives you out of your mind. The presentations often contain off color references to something sexual or at least to private areas of the body. This is totally unnecessary. The security staff got very rude with me while coming back on board because I forgot to take my phone out of my pocket. You are in a very tight space and trying, with people pushing on you from behind and the security people trying to prod you forward like cattle, to remember everything. We are all human beings even if some don't act like it I guess. You give some people a little authority and it goes to their head. The buffet is really hit and miss. More miss than hit. Hamburgers from the Trident Grill are very good, so is the pizza. Crown Grill is awesome, foodwise. Service is slower than molasses on a cold day though, took over two hours to complete our meal once seated. A lot of the staff is just there, not very punctual. Although there are some that you'll find doing a great job. They have a tough job, I understand and feel sorry for them for the most part. I'll probably consider another cruise line if there is a next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was a much anticipated and planned for cruise with my daughters and there husbands. This was my 8th cruise on Princess, first trip to Alaska. I won't berate the ship or crew severely though will comment briefly later. My ... Read More
This was a much anticipated and planned for cruise with my daughters and there husbands. This was my 8th cruise on Princess, first trip to Alaska. I won't berate the ship or crew severely though will comment briefly later. My travel agent made some very good recommendations that turned out great for our trip. We flew into Anchorage AK the day before Embarkation. At his suggestion we choose to take the Alaska Railroad to Whittier. That was an incredible trip in itself. The train literally puts you out on the dock at the Ship. We were able to board and get to our cabins immediately. We had booked a premium balcony with an interior cabin directly across the hall. As the cruise does not leave until 8:00 PM I took the kids on a tour of the ship. We did a leisurely lunch and the only evening dining room dinner I enjoyed for the rest of the cruise. So now everyone are thinking Norovirus, Ohhhhh Nooooo! The first clue that should have warned me was at the Emergency Drill. We were in a packed lounge and there was so much coughing and sniffling going you could not avoid being contaminated. Sure enough the next day my cold/flu started and I spent the next 6 days confined to my cabin for 90% of this trip. No ships crew could have sprayed enough disinfectant around to account for all the sick people that got on that ship. Ok that being said what scenery I saw from my kids balcony was breathtaking. We actually had sun on the Hubbard glacier day. The rest of the trip was overcast but not rainy. My girls and Spouses had a blast. They did railroad excursion in Skagway, whale watching in Juneau and Salmon fishing in Ketchikan. To hear there stories every day was worth every minute. Now as for the ship: The Star Princess was pretty Typical with one pool area with a closed roof. Movies under the Stars was not well attended on the nights the Kids went, it was just too cold and damp. The crew were probably not the best I have had on other Princess ships, but I had only limited interaction due to my being sick the entire trip. That may be due to Alaska burn out on the crews part, their next destination was Hawaii, that should have cheered them up. This was the last Alaska cruise for the season. I truly think Princess has Alaska down cold. With the land excursions and comments I heard from passengers arriving on Princess train/bus transport there were only great comments all around. Food I did have was well prepared, I did venture out on Glacier Bay Day, the buffet put out on deck was very good, all the while many with colds still walking around, thanks to the kids for meals and assistance. I will stop bellyaching and let you know I did see and enjoyed enough even sick that I'll be on the second Coral Princess cruise itinerary to Alaska this coming May. I truly think you can't go wrong with Princess for an Alaska Vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We are experienced cruisers and have generally gone with Celebrity. A friend booked this cruise with Princess to Alaska. The boat itself was clean and well laid out. Lots of little issues (broken lights, toilets not working etc) however ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and have generally gone with Celebrity. A friend booked this cruise with Princess to Alaska. The boat itself was clean and well laid out. Lots of little issues (broken lights, toilets not working etc) however that indicated maintenance not being kept up. Boat was a bit tired but overall it was fine. (Except huge engine vibration when in reverse). Dining Room Food presentation was good. Food quality was only fair; frequently not hot, overcooked and dry. Certainly not up to Celebrity. Buffet set up is very poor. The buffet is quite small (way too small for the size of the ship) and you need to enter from only 1 point. Frequent long lineups. Extremely limited selection; no burgers/fries etc at lunch. Celebrity buffet was 2x bigger and much more selection. Entertainment was hit and miss. The comedian and magic show guy the worst I have ever seen on any boat. The stage shows were OK but everything lip synched. Shows were only 35 min long. They had a tribute guy (Donnie Ray something) doing blues/soul that was very good. Never once saw or heard from senior staff. Cruise director on stage for 30 sec before nightly entertainment, otherwise he too was nowhere to be seen. Overall this was a disappointing trip. Princess is not in the same league as Celebrity and so a lesson learned for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was my second Cruise and first with Princess. The cruise was great and we really enjoyed it. Here are some quick positives and negatives. Positives: Friendly crew Large Ship Good Theater Shows and Music Good Food ... Read More
This was my second Cruise and first with Princess. The cruise was great and we really enjoyed it. Here are some quick positives and negatives. Positives: Friendly crew Large Ship Good Theater Shows and Music Good Food Lots of Pools Movie under the stars Good Cabin Good Internet Negatives Ship is really showing its age and rust in lots of outdoor areas. The swimming pool at front of ship where there should be a current does not work and has not worked apparently for months. Just not quite as many things to do as on Royal Caribbean ships Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Because we wanted to see the Canadian Rockies as well as inland Alaska, we booked this 20 Day cruise tour through Princess. We were fortunate to book in July through a "flash sale" and received a super price. We arrived in ... Read More
Because we wanted to see the Canadian Rockies as well as inland Alaska, we booked this 20 Day cruise tour through Princess. We were fortunate to book in July through a "flash sale" and received a super price. We arrived in Calgary a day early and it was a good choice as there was a problem with our luggage. The bags arrived prior to departing the hotel but just barely. The Canadian portion included Fairmont hotels in Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise & Vancouver which are fabulous properties. The Canada portion included all breakfasts and some dinners and lunches. We also had a Gondola Ride in Banff and a ride onto the snow on Athabasca Glacier. Both were fun and we enjoyed our time. The Rocky Mountaineer railway was also part of the tour and we spent 2 days on the train with a stop overnight in Kamloops. The silver leaf service was included and we thought the service and food were above average. The scenery is amazing but we would have enjoyed only 1 day of train travel even with the wonderful scenic adventure. Overnight was at the Thompson Hotel & a meal voucher was included as well. Nothing fancy but certainly adequate. We boarded the Star in Vancouver and embarkation was smooth. We opted to walk across the street to the pier and skip the included city tour as we have visited Vancouver previously. Since we have priority boarding, we were onboard by noon. We found the staff accommodating and friendly. The ship is showing its age. We were in an inside cabin and found no problems in the size and availability of storage. Our only issue was it was for 4 people which meant the bunks hung on the wall as opposed to being stored in the ceiling. Initially, we had the beds together but since we could not change our room had the steward separate them. We still bumped into them and felt it somewhat of a safety hazard but it was only 7 days. Our steward was attentive and prompt and a perfect fit for us. We ate in Portofino in a traditional table for 2 at 5:30. There was a mix up with our table but we had it changed and were happy with our table and waiters. The service was exceptional and the food was good. We always find banquet type food subjective but the Alaskan menu was better than the Caribbean in our opinion. We took the Princess tour of Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Watching (with Gastineau Tours). It was a great day for whale watching as there were whales everywhere . In Ketchikan we booked an independent tour to Traitor's Cove to see the bears with Mountain Air. It was fabulous as well. The entertainment was typical Princess but we went to the shows each evening and enjoyed the live entertainment. The singers and dancers do try their best. The Motown show in the Vista Lounge was great. The onboard naturalist offered interesting talks. Disembarkation was to the train for our Alaskan Land tour. Everything went smoothly on the land part which included hotels and transportation only. Princess does a great job of organizing all of these options and everything ran on time. Upon arrival in Talkeetna we went to a market and bought cereal, milk and fruit to eat for breakfast for the week. It saved us money as well as calories. We did not want big buffet breakfast each morning. Princess lodges do not have mini-friges but ice in the ice buckets kept the milk cold. The coffee provided in the rooms was good. One of our tours around Mt. Mckinley in Talkeetna was cancelled due to the weather. Disappointing but safety first! We upgraded an included tour to an all day Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali. A long but good day. The Princess Lodges at Mt. McKinley and Denali are beautiful properties but was disappointed in the rooms and had some issues with cleanliness. We were there the last week of the season and everyone was looking forward to going home so we believe that had an impact the the quality. The Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks had spacious rooms and the tour desk very helpful. The included Gold Dredge and Riverboat Cruise were a fun way to spend our last day. The included lunch was family style and not our favorite way to eat. All in all, the tour met our expectations. We were disappointed the weather did not allow us to see the great Denali but we found out that it is out on 30% of the time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My wife and I chose an Alaskan trip on Princess as our very first cruise ever and I and I just wanted to offer my "virgin" perspective on a few things: 1. We brought a plug multiplier that had USB outlets built in to keep our ... Read More
My wife and I chose an Alaskan trip on Princess as our very first cruise ever and I and I just wanted to offer my "virgin" perspective on a few things: 1. We brought a plug multiplier that had USB outlets built in to keep our cameras, tablets, and so forth charged up during our trip. Fantastic decision, even with the limited outlets in our stateroom, this simple item made charging our array of electronic components smooth and simple. 2. We found the food in the buffet and at the dining room very good overall in both quality and variety. The staff in these locations were very helpful and polite and we couldn't be happier with this aspect of the ship. 3. On the other hand, Princess touts their upscale restaurants as something special so we tried the Crown Grille. BIG mistake. My halibut was well overcooked, dry and tough. The only thing worse was my desert. I ordered a lemon tart type desert and after a long wait they brought me some kind of chocolate desert. Rather than wait even longer I tried the desert they brought, and to be honest this was no big deal since there are very few deserts I won't eat. However, the thing they brought me was even drier than the fish. One bite and I was done. I expressed my disappointment to the manager and he apologized. Nice of him to apologize but it really didn't mean much to me. 4. The excursions were fantastic, we can't say enough good about the various excursions we went on. The online excursion reservation system was easy to use however we found the on-board excursion staff to be pretty useless. When one of our excursions (a helicopter tour) was cancelled due to weather, I asked the excursion person manning the office in the ship what my other options were and her response was "many". She didn't offer any other advice or paperwork listing those options and seemed bothered that I was even there. Not much of a sales person, that's for sure. 5. We found the written materials that were delivered to our stateroom each morning to be very helpful as we looked forward to our activities each day. Oh well, just a few observations from a couple of newbies to cruising. While I mentioned some negatives we did enjoy the trip very much overall and are already looking at our next trip. Thanks, Jay Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed the Cruise itself. There was ample time available to do your own thing or complete a pre booked land tour in each of the 3 towns visited. Ketchikan (my personal favourite) is a 1/2 day visit. Juneau is a full day and ... Read More
I thoroughly enjoyed the Cruise itself. There was ample time available to do your own thing or complete a pre booked land tour in each of the 3 towns visited. Ketchikan (my personal favourite) is a 1/2 day visit. Juneau is a full day and Skagway also a full day. Facilities on board are excellent. We had a cabin with balcony on the starboard side and travelling North we had land to look at most of the time. Waters in Inside Passage, Glacier Bay and College Fjords were like velvet. Roughest sea (if you can call it that) was between Skagway and Glacier Bay. The Land segment of this trip was disappointing . Be prepared to loose your main luggage for 4 nights. It is taken from your cabin night before disembarkation and you will not see it until the night you reach Fairbanks! We landed in Whittier and were transported to Anchorage for a nights accommodation. We all had to sit around a transit centre for 4 hours before our rooms were ready! The next day we travelled to Princess Mt McKinley Lodge via train. I enjoyed the train with its clear dome seating.we arrived at Talkeetna and had a wander before getting the shuttle to the Lodge. The next morning we travelled to Princess Wilderness Lodge. Here the facilities are excellent. In my opinion the land "tour" is a total waste of time and money. Princess would be far better sending passengers direct to Princess Wilderness Lodge from Whittier rather than have us up early to travel half a day and having to have bags ready to loose each day also. It seems this leg is more about Princess milking its passengers by putting them up in Princess owned facilities each leg of the way. Also we decided to stay on 2 extra nights after the "tour" finished in Fairbanks. We tried to book the 2 nights with Princess rather than move to new accommodation . They wanted to move us to another Princess owned facility and charge us 4 nights and then we had to apply for a refund of the 2 nights not used. REALLY? The Cruise - great; the Land Tour is a Milk Run! Do your own thing!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We were pleased with the embarkation for Princess. That went very smoothly, and we were very pleased with our itinerary and excursions. We also felt that there was adequate storage in the cabin to put all of our belongings away. We ... Read More
We were pleased with the embarkation for Princess. That went very smoothly, and we were very pleased with our itinerary and excursions. We also felt that there was adequate storage in the cabin to put all of our belongings away. We also enjoyed our anytime dining and liked our server so much that we requested his table every evening. The food was delicious. The entertainment was good, and our favorite was an impressionist. He even got a standing ovation at the end of his performance. Our main problem is that I booked this cruise nearly one year in advance and specifically asked the Princess cruise specialist to help us select a quiet inside cabin. The room was anything except quiet! The galley was above us, and at various hours throughtout the night we could hear large heavy carts being rolled across the floor. However, there was a rattling metal noise that made good sleep impossible. It would rattle periodically throught the day and during the middle of the night. We brought this to the attention of the staff, but they couldn't explain what the noise was or where it was coming from. They experessed concern by calling us daily to ask us if it had improved, but they didn't have any available cabins to move us to. I even used a sound machine that I turned up fairly loudly trying to drown out these annoying noises, but it was to no avail. The staff did a very good job with other matters, but we would never book this cabin again and are unsure we would ever consider booking Princess again due to this problem with our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our seventh Alaska cruise, sixth on Princess and fifth cruisetour. Needless to say we love Alaska, which is why we keep coming back. This time we chose to repeat our 2012 cruisetour that took us to Kenai, so that our friends could ... Read More
This was our seventh Alaska cruise, sixth on Princess and fifth cruisetour. Needless to say we love Alaska, which is why we keep coming back. This time we chose to repeat our 2012 cruisetour that took us to Kenai, so that our friends could experience what we have enjoyed in the past. The tour was seamless as usual...Princess does a phenomenal job of moving us from point A to point B with no stress. That said, this was our first experience on the Star Princess. We chose a mini-suite on the port side right next door to our friends. We were disappointed to see the condition of the ship...there was rust on our balcony, which I have never encountered before. In addition the tiles in our bathroom were loose...in fact one came out on the second day, and sadly our cabin steward just took it and did not report the missing tile...so for the entire trip we had a tile missing from the floor. Though not a big deal, we felt it was not up to the standards we have come to expect from Princess. The food was good and the service in the dining room was excellent. We had anytime dining but after eating in the Capri Dining Room the first night, we made reservations to eat at the same table every night, the service was that good. The highlight of our dining experience was The Chef's Table; definitely worth the price!! Alaska is a special place, larger than life. The ports are fun and the excursions many. The two days of scenic cruising are the true highlight. For those reasons we will probably return. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Disclaimer up front - this was not just a cruise but a cruisetour. We had 12 days (5 land, 7 sea) with Princess, with the land portion first. We chose to sail with Princess solely because they had such an extensive network of land lodges, ... Read More
Disclaimer up front - this was not just a cruise but a cruisetour. We had 12 days (5 land, 7 sea) with Princess, with the land portion first. We chose to sail with Princess solely because they had such an extensive network of land lodges, excursions and itineraries. Knowing what we now know, we would have done everything on land on our own instead of through Princess and explored the interior of Alaska independently instead of doing a cruisetour. That would have made our cruise options much more open. The cruise itself was fine but will get to that later. Would not discourage anybody from sailing with Princess but also will not purposefully seek out a Princess cruise or tell anybody "you just HAVE to cruise with Princess". I would strongly encourage anybody to do your own thing on land and NOT use a Princess cruisetour, though. Flew to Fairbanks a couple days before the land portion of our Princess cruisetour began. Got a car and went to a lot of places. Had a great time and did things on our schedule. Turned in the car and picked up the bus transfer to Fairbanks Princess Lodge. Lodge was fine but thankfully the Pikes Landing was a short walk away. Had a great dinner and view of the Chena River from there. Had to get up super early just to put luggage outside the door. That is a recurring theme and a huge irritant for us. I get why this is necessary in some circumstances but the times given to us were ridiculous. Anyways, took the morning cruise on the Riverboat Discovery and had a great time. Got on the bus to transfer to Denali Lodge and had a pleasant ride down. Got to our room and discovered that only one of our two bags had made it to the room. Not cool. Please understand that we are VERY independent travelers and never use bell hops, porters, luggage handling services, etc, and have never done organized bus tours or the like. It's nice to know where your stuff is and to always have access to it. After numerous inquiries and a great deal of nervousness and trepidation, and also many promises to contact me with updates as to what had been done to find it, we went on our rafting trip thinking that my luggage had been lost on the very first opportunity for Princess to lose it. Got back from rafting, all the while thinking that the clothes I was wearing while in a drysuit for 3+ hours were the only clothes I would have, and wouldn't you know it, my luggage magically appeared in our room. Mind you that both bags were tagged identically, both bags retained their luggage tags, and there was no good reason for these bags to be separated. I get that human beings were the ones delivering the luggage and that things happen, but what ticked me off was absolutely no explanation or apology was offered, even after asking for both. Moving on... the scenery and excursions were great while we were on land. The Princess lodges and food were good. Nothing special, nothing horrible or bad... just good. We went to a grocery store while we had our rental car and stocked up on breakfast items to eat in our room. Very good move on our part, and saved a lot on overpriced breakfasts at the lodges. Also saved a lot of time. Took the train from Talkeetna to Whittier. Very nice ride, but was really surprised to find the state of the infrastructure at the Talkeetna train station. For those who haven't left from this station, it isn't the one in Talkeetna. It is an unmarked gravel lot with sufficient room for buses to pull in and for the train to be able to stop and deboard and board passengers. There is nothing there other than the gravel parking lot! Very surprising considering how many people come through there that there is no shelter or any other structures there. Embarkation was very smooth and quick since they process boarding passes and passports on the train before we get to Whittier. Stateroom was very nice, luggage arrived shortly after we got to our room, and our overall experience on the ship was really nice. I was assuming (perhaps unfairly) that a Princess ship would be a step up from Carnival ship. Other than the lack of drink servers constantly asking if you wanted a drink, I was not able to discern any difference between this ship and the two Carnival ships we were on as far as amenities, service, food, stateroom etc. Everything was fine with all of those items, but nothing really stood out as way above Carnival. I understand that Princess and Carnival are owned by CCL, but am now wondering why this is the case since they are so very similar. The scenery and excursions while cruising were SPECTACULAR!!! Our only true disappointment was with Juneau. Our whale watching/Mendenhall glacier excursion was great, but the city of Juneau itself? Complete bust. State capitol? Closed and under construction. City museum? Closed and under construction. Governor's residence? Don't know if it is ever open to the public, but it was under construction as well. No interesting architecture or other sites in the city, and we did walk around a LOT. Did discover Cope Park and found a really pretty creek that is fed from glacial runoff. Super clear and deep water there. The lesson learned is that when 70% of a city's economy is government, and many of the interesting government sites are closed or unavailable, there is nothing to do. We had rain in Ketchikan that cancelled our flightseeing trip, but Ketchikan is in a rain forest. We expected to have rain. The clouds were really low that morning and it was raining pretty heavy, and the flight company (Seawind Aviation) canceled early. The reason given was that we would have been safe to fly but would have been very disappointed in what we saw. I appreciated their honesty. Not true disappointment that the flight was canceled because I completely understood why, but that did leave us with nothing to do and rain all day. We did make it to the Forest Service and totem museums, and rode the funicular to Cape Fox Lodge (free WiFi there if you need it) and made the best of the day. We did the Chef's Table and it was fantastic!! Many people have a really hard time justifying the cost ($95/person), and apparently there were a lot of penny-pinchers on our cruise because we barely had enough participants to even have that dinner. However, if you put the Chef's Table in the context of an excursion, all of a sudden it makes perfect sense and it is one of the cheapest and most enjoyable excursions you will take. We did Chef's Table on our last Carnival cruise and this was every bit as good if not better. We will always try to do Chef's Table on every cruise we do from now on. Money and time well spent. This trip was a 25th anniversary present we gave ourselves, and had been planned and dreamed about since before we got married. Seriously. The build-up and expectations and anticipation for this vacation had been building up for 26+ years, so the chances for a let down and disappointment were higher than for any other trip we have ever taken. Am happy to say that our expectations were not just met but far exceeded. This was by far due solely to the sights, the wildlife, the whole Alaska experience and seeing the vastness for ourselves. The fact that we were with Princess didn't enhance the experience at all, and in some small ways it detracted from it. Bottom line - we would do this exact same trip again in a heartbeat, other than we would do the land portion completely on our own and meet the ship in Whittier on our own. Great trip and would highly recommend an Alaskan cruise and spending a lot of time on land in Alaska to anybody. I won't discourage anybody from using Princess, but frankly the scenery and the environment are why you are going to Alaska. The cruise ship itself and the cruise line are pretty far down the list unless you have zero interest in experiencing that scenery and all that Alaska has to offer. I'd then have to ask why you were there in the first place? Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This is my second cruise with Princess and third overall. I cruised Princess two years ago (Sapphire) and had some serious issues with wheelchair accessibility. Based on Princess indicating that was not the norm and the rave reviews of ... Read More
This is my second cruise with Princess and third overall. I cruised Princess two years ago (Sapphire) and had some serious issues with wheelchair accessibility. Based on Princess indicating that was not the norm and the rave reviews of those on this forum, I figured that I would try it again, given that they had such a superior itinerary to any other carrier (Glacier Bay, specifically). I couldn't have been more wrong. I don't want to get in to a long and drawn out explanation here, but I will simply say that if you are in a wheelchair and would like to function with some degree of independence, this ship is going to present some real challenges for you. First, the balcony ramp design is grossly flawed. The first issue is that the ramp going to the balcony was not wheelchair accessible unless I would get someone to help me. There was a metal bar on the ramp that had to be manually pushed down to mitigate the gap between the two ramps and that bar had to be pushed up to be able to close the door. It took until Monday at 3pm until this issue was finally resolved (A ramp was installed that didn't have this metal flap/bar). It is mind boggling to even think about what Princess was thinking when they designed this. There were also some serious issues with the bathroom setup, which I was told was "by design." After two days of back and forth, I finally told them to forget it as they couldn't come up with a solution. It made for an uncomfortable trip. There are also significant thresholds on many entrance ways that you will have to take on with care. You will also need to be strong to wheel through some really tough spots in the carpet where it is extremely thick and hard to wheel. You will also encounter a challenge in getting out to the Promenade deck due to big lips/thresholds on the ramps. It really is a challenge. If you aren't going to have any assistance, I'd advise to avoid the Star Princess. The Princess attitude on this seems to be "Just ask a crew member for help," but I don't want to constantly have to ask for help. I want to be able to do it on my own. We also requested that our Mom be delivered balloons and a Happy Anniversary (for her 41st) card/sign. This wasn't done. When I called at 3pm the day of the anniversary, we were told it would be taken care of. It wasn't done before dinner (5:30pm) but when she got back to her cabin at 8pm, she had balloons and a "Happy Birthday" sign when it was her anniversary. Unlike the accessibility stuff, this is a really straight forward request that shouldn't have been messed up. As far as service, we found that some staff members (Hilario and his assistant Angelito and Dejan and his assistant Nikola in the dining room) (Cabin Stewards Edgar and Roderick were also excellent) were terrific while others weren't particularly helpful. Regarding food, I would say that it all depends on your point of comparison. If you come from a big city (NYC, DC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles etc.), it isn't 4 or 5 star restaurant quality food. It is probably more like 3 star quality of food. Some things were very good (Goat Cheese Souffle) while others (Gnocchi) were very poor. With that being said, if quantity is your thing, you will like this cruise. There are tons of places to get food. On the Alaska side, Alaska was just awesome. We flew in to Anchorage, took the Alaska railroad to Whittier, and then embarked there. The embarkation process wasn't too bad. Hubbard Glacier was incredible as was Glacier Bay National Park. Whale watching (done through an outside vendor) in Juneau was amazing (Got to see Orcas). In Skagway, we did the free ranger guided tour, which was just okay. We also did Jewell Gardens glass blowing experience, which we enjoyed (Also booked that outside of Princess). In Ketchikan, we did the Misty Fjords cruise through Princess and found it disappointing in that there was so much travel (1-1.5 hours each way) that we didn't get to enjoy the Fjords or wildlife (Harbor Seals) as much as we would have liked. Three hours of travel on a 4.5 trip makes for a less than interesting adventure. We also didn't get back to the ship as the tour was 30 minutes late until 20 minutes after the all aboard time, but we were fortunate that this was a Princess excursion so they were aware that the tour was running late. We disembarked in Vancouver, which was complete chaos. It is probably the worst I have seen on a Princess ship. In Vancouver, you will be asked for your Passport about 6 times and I would plan on getting there a good two hours before your flight. It was a complete mad house at the airport. As far as food at the Vancouver Airport, Tim Horton's was the best bet, in our view. It is reasonably priced for the airport and the food was fresh and pretty decent (for airport food). As far as entertainment, some activities were interesting (Trivia) while others (the shows) seemed really geared to the older crowd (Lots of old songs). We all felt that the offerings as far as entertainment are concerned were really limited. On a previous cruise, the naturalist had a bunch of presentations on what kind of wildlife one might expect to see and where they might see it. That wasn't done on this cruise. It was odd because on previous cruises these events drew a full house in the theater. On this cruise (as far as the naturalist goes), there was a seminar on the sounds sea creatures make, an informal Q&A, and a seminar on creatures after dark (which I didn't attend). As a wheelchair bound individual, I won't be using Princess again after having two bad cruise experiences. The company's approach to accessibility is really flawed in my opinion. I would heartily recommend a cruise to Alaska though (with another line). Princess gets a 2/10 and Alaska gets a 10/10 from me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The service was horrible (some just plain rude), food was mediocre, smallest bathroom of any cruise ship I have been on (we had a balcony room), and the activities were all geared towards older folks and those who want to spend money on ... Read More
The service was horrible (some just plain rude), food was mediocre, smallest bathroom of any cruise ship I have been on (we had a balcony room), and the activities were all geared towards older folks and those who want to spend money on purchases. My husband called it a floating mall. The ship is worn, but I had expected that since it is due for a remodel, so I overlooked that portion. Are you used to little details likes getting the towel animals on your bed? You won't get it. Want an adult area? Sure, it will cost extra. Want decent food? You'll have to pay to go to the restaurants. If you want to pay for better food, buy art, jewelry, listen to crooners music and compete in 50s music trivia, then this is the cruise for you. Want to attend a class at the gym? You have to pay for those too. Worst cruise I have ever been on! Unfortunately, this is in the only line that visits Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay. I will never take another cruise with Princess again (my husband says he will never cruise again period after this trip). Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our 2nd Princess cruise to Alaska, the first with our 2 teens (13 and 14). In July, there were plenty of other teenagers, 163 registered for the teen program ages 13-17. There were lots of extended family groups, and probably a ... Read More
This was our 2nd Princess cruise to Alaska, the first with our 2 teens (13 and 14). In July, there were plenty of other teenagers, 163 registered for the teen program ages 13-17. There were lots of extended family groups, and probably a different demographic due to the summer vacations. Embarkation was quick and easy, although the transportation from the Anchorage airport took longer than expected. We arrived at the airport just before noon, but had to wait until 2 PM for a bus transfer. Once at the ship, we were quickly processed, but didn't get on board until after 3:30 PM. Our 14 yo enjoyed the teen program, quickly making friends. Our 13 yo spent one afternoon with the teen program, but didn't think there were enough organized activities, just lots of hanging out so she spent time with our family friend (another 13 yo) instead. Sea days were relaxing, only complaint for the whole week was that the fitness center was dated, and overcrowded. The first sea day, 3 treadmills weren't working and there were lines waiting for access. The only free exercise classes in the AM were crowded. Fortunately, the itinerary and weather made up for this and we spent most of the days on deck looking at the scenery and glaciers. The shows could have been better but our 13 yo enjoyed them so we went. In Skagway, we did a private excursion with the Sockeye Cycling Co. which was the best, called the Triple Adventure. We rode a bike, hiked the Chilkoot trail, and then floated down the river. It was easy, and we saw a bear! In Juneau it was cloudy and misty, we went sea kayaking with Above and Beyond Alaska. There was a lot of preparation, and our pick up was about 20 min late so our time in the water was shorter than we wanted. We saw a seal and sea lions. It was fun, but could have been better with more time in the water if we were less rushed (all aboard was early in Juneau). On the way back from the kayaking, we saw whales in our motorboat which saved the excursion for our group. In Ketchikan, we went on our only Princess excursion, the 4X4 Jeep tour with canoe paddle. This was disappointing, the jeep tour seemed pointless and you drove on a narrow dirt track through a lot of bushes without any great views. The canoe was slightly more fun, but after our hike earlier the nature walk did not seem interesting. The food was only average, although our waiter clued us into what was best each day. The pastries and desserts were particularly disappointing to me (I kept trying to find one I liked). We ate once at the Crown Grill, which was excellent. The formal night pictures turned out great, a little pricey at $25 per photo plus $10 for a digital copy. We chose two different backgrounds which gave us a choice. Finally, massages were OK, another attempt to sell products, and not an overwhelmingly awesome experience. In summary, we had a great time because we were together as a family, we were traveling with friends, and the itinerary, scenery and weather all were wonderful. My teens were skeptical before going, and both had a great experience although for different reasons. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was my second cruise and my first time to Alaska. I have previously sailed on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas in the Southern Caribbean. I am 25 years old and was travelling with my 20 year old sister. Embarkation: ... Read More
This was my second cruise and my first time to Alaska. I have previously sailed on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas in the Southern Caribbean. I am 25 years old and was travelling with my 20 year old sister. Embarkation: Long. Took about 1.5 - 2 hours. They had waiting rooms with chairs for people to sit and rest while they waited in multiple different lines. We arrived at about 11am and was on the ship by 1pm. Once on the ship, our room was ready immediately and our luggage delivered shortly after. Ship/Cabin: The ship was nice overall, however I felt the style was very outdated. Everything was very old fashioned and needed to be updated. We had an inside room which was spacious and comfortable. The shower had a flimsy curtain instead of a curved plastic door like on the Jewel, making the shower feel much smaller. We had issues with our toilet not stopping to flush and our shower not draining causing it to overflow into the bathroom floor. With a simple phone call everything was fixed right away. While the décor and furnishings were outdated, the ship itself and our cabin was very clean. Food: Dinners - We choose Any Time Dining and I much prefer it over traditional dining. We never had any issues getting a table for 2 only. The dinners and deserts were fabulous (way better than the dinners on the Jewel) and we enjoyed everything we ate. There was plenty of selections and it was hard choosing a single appetizer/entrée/desert every night - so some nights we ordered 2 of each! Some of my favourites included the prime rib, scallops, fillet and shrimp, Alaskan king crab, and the chicken. The soups were also great, as well as the pastas. Deserts were also fabulous and I especially loved the nightly ice cream in a variety of flavours and the crème brulee. Lunch - I felt the lunch buffet was lacking. I wasn't a fan at all. Whenever we were in port, we chose to eat lunch at a local Alaskan restaurant. The pizza on the ship was a better alternative to the lunch buffet. Breakfast - The buffet was decent but not outstanding. I liked the fresh made to order omelets and never had to wait long for it. On-board Activities: Didn't attend many on-board activities as we spent most of our time on the patio/decks looking at the amazing Alaskan scenery that is not to be missed. We did attend a lumber jack show which was okay, a cooking demonstration followed by a tour of the kitchen galley which I found interesting, and a national park ranger wildlife/wilderness talk which was also interesting. Ports/Excursions: Vancouver - We flew into Vancouver the night before. We stayed in a hotel near Stanely Park and took a 2 hour bike ride around the sea wall which was great. There were many great views as well as a totem pole exhibit. After our bike ride we checked out of the hotel and headed to the ship. Ketchikan - My favorite town that we visited. Ketchikan is a very rainy coastal town and we had rain for most of the morning and afternoon. We started our morning with some sea kayaking booked through a local company (I never book cruise ship excursions as they tend to be overpriced, over crowded and inauthentic). The sea kayaking was nice and we saw some bald eagles and sea lions, however it was raining for most of the day. After kayaking we stopped in at the Alaska Fish House near the cruise docks. It was by far my favorite lunch of the trip! We had fresh caught halibut fish tacos and alaskan salmon tacos. A little pricey but worth every penny. The fish tacos were delicious!! After lunch we walked to Creek Street just a few minutes away which is great for souvenir shopping. So many nice little shops. Juneau - We booked a 10 mile glacier trek to Mendenhall Glacier through a local company, of course whish was $220/per person for 8 hours. We hiked about 5.5 miles through Juneau's rainforest to the Mendenhall Glacier where we strapped on our crampons and helmets and hit the ice. Seeing the glacier from afar and actually experiencing walking on the glacier are two completely different things. We spent about an hour and a half and walked about 1 mile on the glacier itself and I loved every minute of it. Some highlights were filling up our bottles with glacial water from a glacier waterfall and going through an ice cave! We took a different route back that was much more technical and challenging hiking over about 3.5 miles. We had perfect weather the whole day with no rain. Skagway - My least faovrite of the ports. The ship docked pretty far from the town so it was about a 15-20 minute walk into town from the ship. The town was small and mostly souvenir shops. Our feet and legs were sore from our 10 mile hike the day before, so we decided to take bus tour (not usually our thing) to see some sights since the town was pretty dull. The bus tour was $45/per person for 3 hours and we got to see some great waterfalls, scenic look out areas along the highway, we crossed over into Canada (needed to have your passport) and took a great photo at the Canada/Alaska border with the beautiful "Welcome to Alaska" road sign. After the bus tour we ate lunch at a local outdoor seafood restaurant that served only fired fish. It wasn't half as good as the fish we ate in Ketchikan. The morning was beautiful and sunny with some light showers in the late afternoon. Glacier Bay: Beautiful and scenic. It was quite cold but the glacier was breathtaking and we eve gut to see it calve a few times! There were literally hundreds over waterfalls all around the cove in any direction you looked. Definitely a must see if going to Alaska. I heard they only let 2 ships into glacier bay per day, so make sure you are on one of those ships! College Fjord: Also beautiful and a littler different than the glacier at Glacier Bay. At this point we had seen many glaciers up close and personal, so we only viewed College Fjord for a few minutes before returning into the ship for dinner. Would probably be more exciting if we hadn't already trekked on the Mendenhall Glacier. Whittier/Surrounding Areas: Our cruise disembarked in Whittier which was a very small town. Our brother lives in Anchorage which is just 1.5 hours away so he came to pick us up. We wanted to take his boat out for ocean fishing but the sea was just too choppy as the weather was windy and rainy. We decided to leave Whittier and head to the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center only 30 minutes away in Palmer. The drive out of Whittier was exciting as you have to drive through a mountain in the longest tunnel I have seen (about 3-5 miles of tunnel). The tunnel is only one way and the tunnel out of Whittier opens on the half hour, so make sure to get to the tunnel in time! The Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center was great and we got to see a lot of wildlife close up and saw the grizzly bear feedings and the baby moose feedings. We had dinner that night at Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria in Anchorage which was a fun night. The next day we headed to the town of Glacier View near the Matsanuska Glacier where we were signed up for 6 hours of ice climbing! This was a highlight of our trip! Ice climbing was such a unique and memorable experience. On our last day in Alaska we headed to Big Lake near Wasilla for lake fishing and caught some rainbow trout which we sautéed that evening for an appetizer. We headed to the Glacier Brewhouse restaurant for dinner (reservations highly recommended) where we had the best alaskan seafood!! This restaurant is pricey but well worth it for a special occasion. I am glad we decided to see this area of Alaska on our own and not through a cruise land tour - it was nice to be on our own schedule and getting a real local feel of the countryside. Disembarkation: Easy - we self disembarked by carrying all of our own luggage right off the ship at the time the was convenient for us. We were off the ship within minutes. Summary: I would recommend an Alaskan cruise to anyone. The scenery was just breathtaking. If you have the money I would highly recommend a balcony room because there is always something to look at and this ship gets pretty close to land. The Star Princess was nice overall and I don't have any major complaints. The dinners were great which is the most important meal! Make sure you get out onto a glacier if you can - there is no better Alaskan experience than walking on ice! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our third cruise with Princess and first to Alaska. Neither disappointed. The Star is similar in size and layout to many of the other Princess ships. It is by no means a luxury ship, but the ship is not the star here. This ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Princess and first to Alaska. Neither disappointed. The Star is similar in size and layout to many of the other Princess ships. It is by no means a luxury ship, but the ship is not the star here. This cruise is all about the itinerary. The highlight, Glacier Bay, is breathtaking. College Fjord was beautiful as well, as was just sailing the inside passage out of Vancouver. We saw lots of wildlife from the ship, including humpback whales, seals, and bald eagles. There was not much to do in Ketichkian, but the shopping there was definitely the best of the trip. So we picked up some cheap t-shirts, hats, and mugs for family back home. The Yukon bus tour we took out of Skagway was great. Juneau is the best of the ports, with lots to do. We did whale watching and went to the Mendenhall Glacier, which was a great way to spend the day. The service and food was top-notch, as we come to expect from Princess. Entertainment was surprisingly good, and we were pleasantly surprised to see Princess legend Bert Stratton on the ship. Bert is not performing as much these days, so it was a special treat to have him aboard. We were fortunate to spend a couple of days in Vancouver before embarkation. Vancouver is a beautiful city, and well worth some time to explore before getting on the ship. We also spent several days exploring Alaska by land on our own (not through a Princess land tour, which I find to be too expensive). The city of Anchorage is nothing to write home about, but the area around Whittier is beautiful, and of course Denali National Park is a must-see. Please do not do a one-way Alaska cruise without spending a day or two at Denali. We stayed at the Princess Mt. McKinley lodge and ate at the Princess Denali lodge. Both were nice, although the Mt. McKinley lodge seemed nicer. This probably was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us, and I am glad we did it with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Do NOT take a cruise that ends in Vancouver, BC. DO NOT!, The airport is a virtual cattle call. We stood in 6 lines to check in, check package, go through security AND through US customs. The security folks took apart my backpack ... Read More
Do NOT take a cruise that ends in Vancouver, BC. DO NOT!, The airport is a virtual cattle call. We stood in 6 lines to check in, check package, go through security AND through US customs. The security folks took apart my backpack TWICE, because, they said, it looked "cluttered." Otherwise, our Princess experience was quite good. Land and sea. From beginning to end, we had connecting buses, trains, flights waiting for us. Most of our issues were with United Airlines (four flights, all late; we made our connecting flight to anchorage with ONE minute to spare.) I will never fly United again; UA is too big, cumbersome, and incapable of keeping a schedule. If I were giving advice on folks going to AK it would be this: plan on an extra day for EVERYTHING, including the connecting flight. AVOID having to go through Canada, Schedule an extra day in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchican. Wonderful little cities. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We did our land tour FIRST and then trained from Denali to Whittier for the inside passage cruise. I recommend doing it this way; after the land tour we needed some time to relax, and the first couple days at sea provided that. As to the ... Read More
We did our land tour FIRST and then trained from Denali to Whittier for the inside passage cruise. I recommend doing it this way; after the land tour we needed some time to relax, and the first couple days at sea provided that. As to the Star Princess, the dining room service was very good, but the menu uninspiring. I would have expected more seafood offerings, this being Alaska. We have cruised Carnival and Royal Carribean -- both were better, dining-wise. Cabins were larger and more comfortable as well on the other ships. All our excursions were fabulous. I also give Princess high marks for keeping us on our itinerary, providing prompt transportation to hotels and the ship. I scold them for the constant selling of extras. My mail box was filled with junk mail every day. Their sink or swim drill at the beginning of the drill was dragged out a lot longer than it needed to be. Carnival has this down perfect. I see others posting criticism of ship's staff, but I found everyone to be very attentive. As with other cruise lines, they charge a ridiculous sum for Internet (WiFi). This, in a day and age, when even the cheapest hotel offers WiFi free. Finally, Vancouver is an interesting, albeit congested city. But their airport is a veritable zoo. I'll be looking to avoid their airport if we return to Alaska in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Our first ever cruise, we did a land tour before boarding at Vancouver on the 13th. Once through the queues at Customs it was time to board. It was a beautiful summers day to start to a wonderful week. We were in relaxation mode and ... Read More
Our first ever cruise, we did a land tour before boarding at Vancouver on the 13th. Once through the queues at Customs it was time to board. It was a beautiful summers day to start to a wonderful week. We were in relaxation mode and wandered around the ship, stopping here and there for much of the time. Listening to music, enjoying a drink - just soaking it all up. The most activity we did was walk the promenade deck, 2and half times equals a mile- that was walked most days - or bits of it depending on the gangways on shore days. Cabin was lovely - I was expecting it to be tiny having read of lack of storage but was pleased with the area. Our steward was lovely and kept us clean and tidy! We did one excursion through the ship - we enjoyed that. We enjoyed all the food we had, we were at Horizon Court for breakfast - its the 24 hour venue. We ate at the MDR for the evenings. I cannot fault anything. Waiters and Maître D were top class, very friendly and totally professional. There were other restaurants, burgers, pizzas, ice creams available. We did little in the way of planned entertainment apart from listening or watching what was on in the Atrium or other corners. There was plenty to do and see - the Patter was full of things - we were enjoying the cruise too much!! Scenery was magnificent, at times difficult to get a good view of the glaciers but then the shop twirled again and those that had had a good view first time moved away so we all could enjoy the scenery - we enjoyed the sea days watching the world go by. Disembarkation was fine- it was a bit of a thought doing it - are we in right place, will luggage get there etc- but it was smooth from start to finish. Not knowing how other cruise lines work/operate I would say this was perfect, I don't know how this can be bettered. -When will be there again??? Sooner rather than later, I hope. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We travelled from Vancouver to Whittier on the Star princess from May 30- June 6. I have cruised before but never have I experienced the professionalism and service like that offered by Star. Our cabin steward was fantastic, the ship was ... Read More
We travelled from Vancouver to Whittier on the Star princess from May 30- June 6. I have cruised before but never have I experienced the professionalism and service like that offered by Star. Our cabin steward was fantastic, the ship was clean, the food was excellent. I wish that we had cruised with Princess before so that we could have known about some of the items we were offered as suite guests. We are not much for Formal Nights and stumbled upon the Crab Shack while looking for alternative restaurants. there was so much food we couldn't finish it on the 2 formal nights. No towel art in the cabin but also no push to pose for and purchase photos at every port. The shops were as expected on a ship, wish there was more junk food offered. I am so glad that ships are moving to "No Smoking" and you don't get smacked in the face with the stench of old cigarettes at certain places on board. This cruise was to relax and relax we did. Thank you Princess Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
The Star rated a 3 but the land tour to Denali was a perfect 5. So I gave Princess a 4. We sailed out of Vancouver ( lovely city and port). Our deck was listed to embark at 10:30 AM. We arrived at that time but it took about 1and a half ... Read More
The Star rated a 3 but the land tour to Denali was a perfect 5. So I gave Princess a 4. We sailed out of Vancouver ( lovely city and port). Our deck was listed to embark at 10:30 AM. We arrived at that time but it took about 1and a half hours to wind through the lines to embark. Cabin on Baja deck port side was very nice. We were way up front so could stand on balcony and look at seaplanes taking off and landing as well as see the captain and crew steering the ship in glass enclosed control room above us. Food was okay in Horizon Court - good for breakfast and quick lunches. Dining at Crown Grill was excellent. Crab bake was just okay. Capri dining room food was good. We had anytime dining and always asked to be seated with others if possible. Sometimes it happened mostly had to sit by ourselves . Princess needs to find a way to allow anytime diner to mix and mingle. On the Denali land tour our guide Erin mixed our group of 38 up each night and we got to know each other. Entertainment by Princess musicians and dancers was good but quality of musicians in other places around ship was subpar. Janos quartet sounded as if they had never played together as a group before. Spa massage was great but they do try to sell you high priced oils etc. in last few minutes. Ship was turned around so you could see glaciers no matter what side you were on. Also had room TV show what they saw on the bridge. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Our 1st cruse and loved it. family had recommended “princess” and we were impressed. Loved our balcony cabin, was on starboard side and had great views going north. had a little rain on the day where we were cursing thru the bay ... Read More
Our 1st cruse and loved it. family had recommended “princess” and we were impressed. Loved our balcony cabin, was on starboard side and had great views going north. had a little rain on the day where we were cursing thru the bay since we were on a deck our balcony was covered so we could still use it. had early dining (again recommend by family) so had no issues getting to any of the shows. can’t forget to talk about our waiters they were super. they took outstanding care of us, his saying was "nothing is impossible" if we wanted something he would make it happen. the excursions were all 1st class (guides were all pros) and made sure we had a good time. also want to say we had friends with us who had a previous bad cruise experience. after we got home, the husband said "when are we going again". i was also little unsure about cruising but they (princess) convinced me and i will go with princess any time!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My husband and I and another couple took the Star Princess on May 16, 2015 on 10 day trip, 7 onboard the Star Princess and 3 day land tour to Alaska I would rate Princess Cruise line in a scale from one to ten about a 4. The buffet ... Read More
My husband and I and another couple took the Star Princess on May 16, 2015 on 10 day trip, 7 onboard the Star Princess and 3 day land tour to Alaska I would rate Princess Cruise line in a scale from one to ten about a 4. The buffet was not good. Half the time they only opened one side. The food selection was minimal. I was very disappointed. I have sailed on Carnival and Royal in the past. Their buffet were much better. The dining room was OK. Nothing to write home about. Again Carnival and Royal were much better. Overall I was not impressed with the crew. I will point out one personal that was wonderful was a bar tender named Sheila. She did a great job. She made things a little better. So here are the issues we encountered: 1. We were traveling together with another couple. We confirmed several times with our Princess Travel agent that our reseveations were connected. Did not HAPPEN! 2. We were scheduled for separate dining times 3. Our cabins were far apart 4. Land tour we were not schedule to travel on the train together 5. At the princess lodge we were in separate buildings When we complained we were told our reseverations were not together. But they would fix them. 6. Guess what it did not HAPPEN! 7. Next day we got on the bus to go to the next hotel. We were dropped off at the wrong HOTEL. THe hotel had no record of us. We were then driven to the right hotel. 8. Luggage showed up late. 9. Not near our friends again. Issue not fixed. There were some many things that happened. I can not list them all. We saved to go on a nice vacation but the cruises line messed it up. And they did not care. We were offered a $100.00 off our next cruise, big deal. It does not make up for the errors. I would not recommend Princess Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We took both a land and cruise trip to Alaska on the Star Princess. We flew to British Columbia Vancouver and our embarkment was delayed because of the Norvis virus affected a previous cruise so they were not disembarking folks until ... Read More
We took both a land and cruise trip to Alaska on the Star Princess. We flew to British Columbia Vancouver and our embarkment was delayed because of the Norvis virus affected a previous cruise so they were not disembarking folks until later. That would not have been an issue because we wanted a clean ship and understand the need to take extra precautions. My issue is that when they started embarking folks they forgot about the platinum members priority and it was a disaster no order and no preference. Food - as with other cruise lines - if you want a good meal you can no longer expect it in either the buffet line (customized omelets were a joke, we had stuff in their we didn't ask for and they were tiny) or the Dining Room. The menu in dining room was limited and not very good. One would think the salad bar in the buffet would be extensive but many of the things I like were just not available - for example olives. Services - We used the spa, having the actual treatments was good but they were always running 15 to 20 minutes late. For that kind of pricing they should be on time Excursions - we went to Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway while on the cruise - all of them were small ports. In Ketchikan, We took the totem pole and LumberJack Show. We enjoyed the Totem Pole Park and Lumber Jack Excursion Tour but not the Lumber Jack part because too unrealistic. In Juneau we took the Alaskan Whales & Mendenhall Glacier excursion. The Glacier part was a walking tour through a beautiful area and the glacier was beautiful, our guide was experienced and truly interested in sharing her love for the wilderness and Alaska. The whale watching part was pleasant but I personally didnt see the whales close enough to get a good picture. After the excursion we walked into town and had lunch at the Red Dog saloon, we enjoyed the Red Dog Saloon but this is not for children. The entertainer is a bit crass. He plays a piano and sings with the crowd. In Skagway we took the White Pass Scenic Railway - beautiful site seeing. After the railway we walked into town and found lots of touristy stuff and the Red Onion Saloon. We had snacks and found it crowded, the wait was really long but the food was great. Land Part - we got off the ship at Whittier and took the Rail Road which is right outside where you dock to Talkneeda. The Rail Road ride was one of the best parts of our trip, huge windows where everyone has full sight of what is going on outside, you ride through the wilderness while a historian provides all kinds of information on Alaska. We saw a lot of moose but no bears. Talkneeda is a very small town you stop at to get on a bus to the McKinley Lodge. We had the option of skipping the town but the rail road trip was long so we stopped in town. We found the town had nothing we had not already seen in the other ports and the Alaskan King Crab was extremely pricing, you get it cheaper here in Mass so I am not sure why their prices are so high. While at the lodge, there is a shuttle back to the town but trust me not worth the trip. The Mt McKinley lodge is severely dated, especially your rooms. The bedspreads are gross. This is substandard to the bedding on the cruise and so disappointing. The area around the lodge is beautiful and the walking trails are nice but nothing else to do unless you book and excursion and by now we were tired of excursions so found McKinley a waste of our time. The highlight was the Horse Drawn Carriage which offered more than expected. A couple from Arizona were the tour guides for the summer and they were very concerned with making sure we enjoyed our time. We drove to a little camp area where they made smores, let us feed reindeers and gave us a small demonstration on panning gold, so worth the money.On to Denali. We loved the Princess Denali lodge mainly because of the location. It was in town so lots of places to eat and shop. Unfortunately the rooms were again outdated and felt dirty, not cruise ship quality. While here we took Natural History tour through Denaili park which is memorable and the Denali Jeep Backcountry drive. This was a little risky because the lead driver brings you through really rough terrain where the jeep has to go through huge potholes and washed out roads where its quite possible to turn the jeep over. They stop at a camp and offer beef stew and fried dough - we werent hungry but others on the trip seemed to enjoy the food. Fairbanks Princess Lodge - this was more like a hotel, we got there later in the afternoon because Princess drives you from the Denali lodge to a RiverBoat Excursion first - this was fun and well worth going - not sure you have a choice though since its where the shuttle drops you off lol. Summary - our first trip to Alaska was memorable. We enjoyed doing both the cruise and land trip but will probably never repeat this, the travel time from MA to Vancouver and from Fairbanks to Mass to get home was much too long. This was on our bucket list so it is a must do if you havent done it before. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We had chosen Princess Cruises for this trip because our first 2 cruises on Princess were wonderful. I find their service to be typically the best on the cruise lines that we’ve been on and their food has been the most consistently ... Read More
We had chosen Princess Cruises for this trip because our first 2 cruises on Princess were wonderful. I find their service to be typically the best on the cruise lines that we’ve been on and their food has been the most consistently good. We chose to leave from Vancouver to experience the inside passage and see the beautiful city of Vancouver. The Star Princess was late arriving in Vancouver, which Princess explained as a “computer issue”. Really? The widespread talk amongst the passengers was that the ship had to be cleaned in San Francisco before arriving in Vancouver due to a norovirus outbreak. I value honesty. Either way, the late arrival compressed the embarkation process. Everybody needed to register with Princess and go through US Customs. We were in the terminal area for 2.5 hours with no communication or guidance from Princess representatives on the steps required. This made this the roughest start to a cruise that I have ever experienced. As a result, I would not suggest this itinerary for others. The itinerary of this Alaskan cruise was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed the ports and land stops that we made. Our purchased excursions were very good as well. The Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari and Glacier Discovery Tour by Helicopter tours were amazing! The Music of Denali Dinner Show was overpriced for what it was; however, it did not dampen the trip. We added a 4-night land package to our cruise. The Princess lodges offered a great way to extend our cruise. We enjoyed our Denali Natural History Tour quite a bit (Monty is the best tour guide we have had anywhere!). While the lodges have a great ambiance, the worn out furniture was not comfortable at all. Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage provided a great final night for us! The staff on the Star Princess performed their duties efficiently. While they were not outgoing and friendly, their efforts were solid. The food was all very good. With so much going for it, the trip was marred by Princess’ mechanical issues: • Our first day, the ventilation did not work in our mini-suite bathroom. This was promptly fixed. • On the second day, as we were meeting our cabin steward, we noted that the bathroom floor was inexplicably covered in water. Our cabin steward cleaned it up for us. • Three of the seven days, the commode did not work in our mini-suite bathroom. Each morning, maintenance was called and they corrected the mechanical issue (if only temporarily). One morning, the bowl was filled with human waste from another cabin, smelling up our stateroom. • We thought day 7 would be a good day to do some laundry. However both washing machines in our deck’s (9) laundromat were not working. We carried our laundry up a deck to share the washers with those on that deck. What made this worse is that the dryers on deck 10 did not work, so all of us carried wet laundry down to deck 9 for drying. We were not alone with this decision, which turned a 1-hour chore into a 4-hour waste of our vacation. This is our second consecutive cruise on Princess with an inexcusable level of mechanical issues. I realize that the ships are big and I will easily overlook one mechanical issue but this list is disturbing. This level of mechanical issue makes me wonder if the ships are safe to sail! We were disappointed to find that the Star does not have a track on either the Promenade deck or top desk. My wife and I like to get a few miles of walking in every day to offset the extra calories we consume in the dining room. Despite the mechanical issues, Alaska is an amazing place to visit. The ports were fun and the scenery is outstanding! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
May 9, 2015 we travelled on repositioning cruises from Vancouver to San Francisco (3 day) on the Golden Princess with return on the Star Princess (2 day). Both of these ships are laid out the same and have very little impressive interior ... Read More
May 9, 2015 we travelled on repositioning cruises from Vancouver to San Francisco (3 day) on the Golden Princess with return on the Star Princess (2 day). Both of these ships are laid out the same and have very little impressive interior or exterior design. The atrium is only 3 stories and very small compared to other cruise lines we have enjoyed. We used assigned dining and found the menus to be lacking in creativity and selection. Service was good on the Golden but somewhat lacking on the Star. We put this down to it only being a 2 day cruise. All the same, service in the dining room did not live up to our expectations. Service in the buffet on the Star was exceptional because there was a Norwok scare so passengers were being served. I would like this all the time. Food selection was very li ited and again, not very creative. There were signs of cutbacks everywhere. Cream cheese was whipped with something and not in a block, they served smoked white fish i stead of lox, coffee was terrible in the buffet but good i. the dining room. When we asjed why we were told by our waiter that the coffee was the same but equipment was not serviced well in the buffet. If you are travelling with children under 3 like we were there is nothing formthe. they advertised a toddler area but it had a small pool that children in swimmers cannot use, 2 broken play houses and a couple Mr Potato heads. seriously how hard would it be to i prove this area? No thought put into this area at all! Rooms are standard and we like our balcony but as with other ships that don't have proper shower doors I hate the curtaun. The showers were also the smallest I have experienced. Now for the poorest part of the trip...disembarkation in Vancouver. We were in the first group picking up luggage and were notified to leave the ship close tomthe time schedule so we thought all was going well. When we got down the gangway we caught up to the end of a ling line and stood there for a ling time. There were people also in this line that had their luggage so attempts were made to separate the two groups, those picking up luggage and those going through to customs as thet has all their luggage. This was very poorly executed and we were not told why those people were taken ahead of us, even though we were called off before them. Finally after 15-20 minutes we were told our luggage had not come off the ship but no one went down the line to explain. I don't know if the few people directing passengers work for the port of Vancouver or Princess but they didn't have a clue how to manage a large crowd. Finally after 30 minutes our large line moved i to the luggage holding area whwere there were no signs indicating where our group would be. In other ports there have been raise signs with the colours clearly identified and staff to direct you. Not in Vancouver. It was a mob scene followed by more confusion when it was time to funnel into the line for customs. there were 100 people with no direction, no marked lines all converging into one opening. You can imagine how that went. It would not take much more than signs and rooed lines to organize this area. Really put me off Princess and I have told them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Star Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.2
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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