Island Princess Cruise Review by treinke
- Sail Date: June 2012
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Balcony
The staff was great. Our room steward Ferdinand was outstanding and we've already told Princess about how great he is. DJ Aris was fun.
Loved our balcony room, B645. It was the last covered balcony on the starboard side which came in handy.
Food in dining room was good but not memorable. Horizon court was a little below standard buffet food (think a little below Golden Corral). I wish we could have eaten more lunches in the dining room. Desserts were really good, especially any layered cake. The sugar free desserts were as good or better than the sugar ones. Both my husband and I agreed that none of the food was memorable. In fact my best memory is the chocolate mint martini at Crooners. Anytime dining didn't work the first night at all. We waited for at least 30 minutes before even getting to the door. After that we made reservations for 7:30 or 7:45 and always got a table for 2. My big complaint with the dining room is the lack of enforcement of the dress code. We took the time to bring the right clothes. They let faded jeans/tshirts/sweatshirts in for dinner. That is not smart casual to me.
Embarkation was super easy. We had stayed at the downtown Hampton inn and took the shuttle. Got to the ship by 12:30 and was on by 1.
Glacier bay was cold and light rain. It took the captain longer to get to the glacier because of the ice in the water. Us hardy folks who stayed outside got to see a couple of huge glacier calving. We watched on the aft side first behind the indoor pool. Then we moved to our balcony when the ship rotated.
We had calm seas the entire time except for a little bumpy patch when we left glacier bay. I saw whales, otters, eagles and sea lions while on the ship.
Disembarking in Whittier was easy. We were one of the last ones off the ship because we were renting a car there. Most people were taking the train and had to get off early.
We rented a car in Whittier and drove to Seward for a couple of days. Went to Exit Glacier and guess what, it was sunny again. I was really beginning to think that Alaska never got cold. We went to the sealife center too. We stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation center on the way to Wasilla and saw three baby moose. We stayed in Talkeetna one night and went flight seeing. You guessed it... Sunny and we saw Denali and everything else. Beautiful pictures. Stayed three nights in Healy. Took the tundra wilderness tour and had a really great driver. She had commercial fished for years and had run the idatarod. Saw several grizzly, caribou and sheep. Stopped at the idatarod museum on the way to the airport.
We stayed in small cabins and inns that I would be happy to recommend.
Negatives of trip- the entertainment on the ship was weak. I only saw the cruise director once at the chef demonstration. I have no idea what he does because his staff was at everything we went to. Horizon court at lunch was too hot to eat at if you were lucky to find a seat. That was the only place that I saw hand sanitizer and they often ran out.
There were very few children on the ship compared to other cruises we've taken. We also felt very young (we are in our mid 40s).
Overall we enjoyed the atmosphere on the cruise (maybe because it wasn't as hectic as Caribbean cruises we've been on).
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Dog SleddingWe did the glacier/dog sled with Era helicopters. This was the highlight for us. Another sunny day. Only wore a short sleeve t-shirt and light jacket on the glacier. By the afternoon I was sunburned and wanted to wear shorts. Ridiculously warm. I highly recommend doing this in your lifetime. There really wasn't much to do near the cruise docks once we got back.View All 112 Dog Sledding Reviews
Zip-liningWe did the zip line with Alaska Canopy. Fantastic experience and the staff there was friendly and knowledgeable. Not very much time afterwards but walked around town a bit. We also had a perfectly sunny day with no rain.View All 64 Zip-lining Reviews
White Pass Scenic RailwayWe booked with Chilkoot tours and took a bus to Frazier and rode the train back. It ended up just three couples on a minibus that would hold 30. Mike was our driver and he was the best tour driver we've ever had. The train ride was ok but after Mike everything was a letdown. Another sunny day here. We wandered around town the rest of the day. I think the time there was too long.View All 800 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews