Southbound Alaska on the Sapphire Princess: Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by yodasensei

Sapphire Princess 2
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Southbound Alaska on the Sapphire Princess

Sail Date: June 2012
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Whittier
Like all things in like, there is generally some good parts and some bad parts. The overall experience is which side outweighed the other. I will start with the good points.

The scenic cruising through Hubbard Glacier and Glacier National Park was simply breathtaking. Because the Margerie Glacier was extremely active the captain allows us to stay in front of it longer. That was definitely the highlight of the trip.

The housekeeping staff was impeccable. They were in and out of the room quickly and rarely noticeable. Only one small negative, they need to learn to make towel animals.

The casino staff was very friendly and made it a joy to play at the tables and in their tournaments.

Now, I will go over the bad points. These overwhelmed the good and made this an experience one I would like to forget.

The food was on the level of a Furr's Cafeteria. It was very bland and borderline tasteless. If you like full flavored food, you'll hate the More food on any Princess cruise. None of the steaks that I ordered were cooked as I ordered it. They refused to cook my salmon to temperature. Their presentation was lacking and in some cases very unappetizing, especially with their pureed vegetables in a gelatin mold.

The food service was slow, inattentive, disorganized, and at some points rude. There were several meals that I thought about walked over to the wait station to fill the water glasses on the table. There were times we sat for a half hour or more with empty plates waiting for the next course to be served. Rarely did they come over to see how we were doing or if we need anything else. At one point, the waiter asked me if I was done with my plate, I say yes, and he left without taking my plate. This happened 2 more times, with the same waiter, before they removed my plate and I nearly bused the table myself. There were also a couple of occasions that they got my order incorrect and it was painful getting their attention to correct it.

The cruise staff was not as friendly as previous cruises. On most of my cruises, the thing I remember most is the cruise staff because they go out of their way to make my cruise memorable. On this cruise, my most memorable cruise staff is Casper because I showed up to several events that no cruise staff showed up to organize. At a minimum, they should have sent someone to say that it was canceled. We didn't even get greeted by the cruise staff as we entered the ship.

The customer service has been abysmal and it started with booking the trip. I was on the phone for over 3 hours just to book my trip. The Princess representative was very friendly but was severally under-trained. I was constantly put on mute so she could talk to someone else to find out how to do something.

During my land excursion, I asked a representative which bus I needed to get on. They sent me to the wrong bus. The organization was horrible and the Princess personnel seemed lost. When to Denali, they got my rooms incorrect. First off, they game me two adjoining rooms when I only needed one. Secondly, it was a room that was already occupied.

During the tour from Denali to Whittier, I was told that the bus was better than the train because it'll stop so you can take picture. We sped by a moose on the side of the road, even with the entire bus yelling "MOOSE." We didn't even slow down. We also saw a bear and several other scenic spots. All of which are blurs as we zoomed by them.

When my cruise ended, the customer service was still bad. They neglected to send me a survey for feedback on the cruise. I asked customer service to resend it and I still have not received it. I contacted customer service to tell them that I still have not received it, and their response was terse; "Sorry for your disappointment, the survey's were sent on {Date} and resent on {Date} to email address {Email Address}." With this response, they gave no options in remedying the situation.

Throughout the cruise there were tons of minor glitches that all add up to making the experience miserable. Little things like not getting your coffee order correct or giving you a look of disgust when you ask them to rinse your refillable cup out before the refill it.

I purchased the cruise video. It has a lot of stock video that was not part of the cruise so it probably not truly worth it price. However, regardless of the price, I received a bad copy. It has been over a month now and I still have not gotten a working copy.

This cruise was my second with Princess. I would not recommend Princess to anyone. Neither of the Princess cruises were extraordinary. In fact I would not place them in the good category. I know I can generally get a Princess cruise for a cheaper price, especially to Alaska, but you definitely get what you pay for. Less

Published 07/24/12

Cabin review: M

Princess has terrible deck plans. They are confusing and not logically set up. I always have people on the cruise as me where something is and how get there. The rooms under the theater are very noisy and difficult to sleep in.

Port and Shore Excursions

Mendenhall Glacier

The whale watching was incredible. You get really close to them and get some spectacular view. You also get to see seals and sea lions. We missed the orcas but the group that went in the afternoon got to see them.

Whale Watching

Mendenhall Glacier is a pretty glacier. Unfortunately, if you take the whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier combined tour, you do not get much time at the glacier. Depending on how fast you walk, it takes forty five minutes to an hour to get to the glacier and back. Therefore, many of the people on this tour did not have enough time to walk to the glacier and see the visitor's center.


For me a bad day of fishing is better that almost any day. We didn't catch anything on our boat. We hooked one king salmon but the boat captain missed netting him. We did catch a couple of rock cod. When we through one of them back into the water, an eagle came swooping down to grab it out of the water. The eagle dropped it but it was definitely a sight to see.
Read 69 Fishing Reviews

Scenic Drive

Lairsville was a fun experience. The show is funny and you're able to pan for gold afterward. The drive to the top of the pass was pretty. Not being able to get out of the bus to take picture when we got there was not ideal. The town is very touristy with many gift shops.

We went from the boat terminal to a bus to the airport. The city is pretty. The neighborhood we drove through had some pretty houses. We sat at the airport for many hours. My friend was insulted by security. They asked her to remove her fanny pack. She lifted her shirt and said "pregnant." So, at least we got a funny story out of it.

There really isn't much in Whittier. Getting there was interesting since you need to go through a long one way tunnel that switches directions every half hour. It is also shared by the train. It is very scenic in the bay and sailing out is spectacular.

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