Had a great time!: Sea Princess Cruise Review by BMKguy

Sea Princess 4
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Had a great time!

Sail Date: July 2012
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: San Francisco
Embarkation: It went relatively smoothly. However, 1) the embarkation pier was kind of a zoo; 2) I was irritated that (apparently) I had to use a porter to bring our 4 bags to the loading area when we were perfectly capable of doing it; and 3) it wasn't until after dinner that my wife's 2 bags were delivered; my 2 arrived soon after we got to our cabin.

Dining: We ate dinners in the dining room; breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Court or Cafe Corniche (pizza). Service was excellent; the food generally good, not great. "Anytime dining" seemed like a great idea, and we opted for it. Never again. What it meant for us was that you get in line "anytime," after which you get a pager and wait for up to half an hour for a table. I tried to reserve a table several times and was told that nothing was available until 8:30, later than we like to eat.Entertainment: I can't comment on the entertainment since we had no interest in and didn't attend any shows, etc.

Cabin: Our More balconey cabin was clean and comfortable. I would have liked more than one chair, but there wasn't room for one. Our steward was excellent. My wife appreciated that I was not permitted to smoke on the balconey.

Staff: Overall, we found the staff to be friendly and helpful. This is contrary to what I've been reading in some comments about cruises on other Princess ships in the Caribbean.

Shore Excursions: We each took six, four together and two each apart. We enjoyed all of them. My favorite was a Zodiac expedition in Ketchican -- we were the only two passengers signed up for it and, so, had a boat to ourselves. According to the tour operator, Princess requires a minimum of four for any excursion, and Princess had picked up the tab for two so that we wouldn't be canceled. Kudos to Princess if this is true and, if so, they did it behind the scenes. You can likely save money by booking excursions on your own. Princess is upfront about this, saying that about 20% of excursion fees go to them.Other: My wife has multiple chemical sensitivities and also requires a gluten-free diet. Princess was very accommodating in this regard. Indeed, there is an "accessibility person" in the home office; she was very helpful. But for the assurances she gave in advance, we would never have dared to try the cruise. Kudos also to Greg, the head waiter in the Rigoletto Dining Room, who went out of his way insofar as my wife's gluten-free diet is concerned.

Value for money: Due to my wife's problems noted above, we paid considerably more to get a specific cabin. Based on our experience, next time we'll pay less for whatever balconey cabin we are assigned.

Overall: As stated above, we were very satisfied with the cruise and are already planning our next one with Princess, to the Caribbean. I must admit that I'm a bit put off by some of the reviews of the two ships, one of which we will be on, but we'll likely give it a try nonetheless. Less

Published 07/16/12

Cabin review: BAA420 Balcony

Aloha 420. Nice cabin, but wish there were room for a second chair. Very convenient to Riviera deck (great for smokers) and Horizon Court and Riviera Grill.

Read All Balcony (BA) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Dog Sledding

It was great seeing meeting the dogs. 12 (?) of them pulled our party of 5 plus 2 handlers in an 800-lb training sled (wheeled vehicle) with ease. Not for everyone, but a must for dog lovers.


Only my wife (68) did this one. She decided that she was too old for it. Getting into the wet suit was a major hassle, as was walking to and from the snorkeling site. Not a whole lot to see once in the water. I'd confine my snorkeling to places like Great Barrier Reef (we've done it), Hawaii (ditto) and the Caribbean.

Zodiac Boat

Perhaps my rating is biased since only my wife and I signed up for this tour. So, we had a boat to ourselves and I did all the "driving." Great fun! Our guide, Ash, in his own boat, was excellent. Inter alia, we saw more whales on that tour than we did from Sea Princess. Ash had a frozen fish that he tossed over the side. We got to see the eagles appear from nowhere and one swoop down to grab the fish only 10 feet away. When we returned to the dock we were served a hot drink as well as crackers and an excellent smoked salmon pate. I'd likely have been somewhat less thrilled with this tour had there been 3 other "drivers" in the boat.

Horseback riding

Only my wife did this one. She enjoyed it but, as the oldest participant on the tour, found the riding position tiring.

Jeep Tour

The off-road part was great. However, there was far to much time spent on the highway. Also, if you like to drive and there are 3 other drivers in your jeep, you get to drive only one quarter of the time.

White Pass Scenic Railway

If I had it to do over I'd buy the video and skip the tour. Due to the weather, getting good pix was problematic. Also, unless you can secure a spot outside at either end of the car, you have to shoot through a window; although very clean, they don't open.

City Tour

An easy and pleasant walk that we did on our own. 10 minutes to Fisherman's Wharf; 30 minutes to the Empress Hotel. Lots of good photo ops along the way. If you don't want to walk back to the ship you can get a cab for $10, which fare applies regardless of the number of passengers.

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Member Since 2012
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