Best of both Carnival and HAL: Island Princess Cruise Review by Thoth

Island Princess 5
Member Since 2004
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Best of both Carnival and HAL

Sail Date: September 2012
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Vancouver
On 12-19 September I took my first Princess cruise after sailing almost exclusively with Carnival and Holland America. Carnival's sense of fun was the attribute I most admired about the "Fun Ships" and Holland America always seemed to possess a sense of class. Based on my Island Princess cruise I must say that Princess seems to combine the best of both worlds.

The entertainment was fast paced and plentiful, while at the same time always with a sense of good taste. For example, the comedians could be funny without using profanity. We had 3 high energy production show,... "Do you want to Dance", "On the Bayou", and "Motortown". There were trivia games every day and the disco rocked in the evening with the very fine band Sol Provider.

My dinner was at 1730 in the Provence Dining room where the service was excellent. The food too met or exceeded my expectations with salmon, pasta, lobster, surf & turf, and other cruise ship staples. Of course for More desert what Alaska cruise would be complete without baked Alaska?

I had stateroom B537 and inside on the Baja deck. Besides always getting lost, I was most pleased with both the room and my cabin attendant. This room being mid-ship was remarkably stable at all times. No sea-sickness for me! Not that I get sea-sick, but I have felt the ocean on previous ships where I was in the bow or stern.

This was a Northbound Vancouver to Whittier voyage. Vancouver: This is an absolutely beautiful city so I highly recommend coming in early as to enjoy what the place has to offer. Princess's contract hotel ~Four Seasons~ is magnificently located in downtown just a few blocks from Canada Place ship terminal. Since I took the package, check-in for the ship was in the hotel. Since I already had my Princess roomcard and bags picked up, all I had to do for embarkation was walk onto the ship . The picturesque Gastown is an easy walk from both Four Seasons hotel and Canada Place, so by all means go see the steam clock ! Please don't use Vancouver simply as an is a destination in of itself. Ketchikan: Besides a walk over to Creek Street, I took the scenic boat to Misty Fjords National Monument. That is a beautiful place and well worth the cost of a shore excursion to get to. Juneau: They call the rainforest a "rain" forest for good reason, as I found out with the "guide's choice" hike around Mendenhall glacier. Yes, I got wet...but all part of the fun. Skagway: like most everyone else I took the White Pass train which is perhaps my favorite shore excursion out of 14 cruises. Fantastic!! My tour also included a motor coach trip to Carcross Yukon, of which I can enthusiastically endorse doing. Whittier: Not much there, but do spend some time in Anchorage which is a lovely city.

So....two thumbs up to Alaska, Vancouver, and to Princess !! Less

Published 10/08/12
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Cabin review: IBB537 Interior

B537 is an inside mid-ship. I was always getting lost, but I don't think that was the ship's fault. Being mid-ship I never did feel the ocean, so I think I'll request mid-ship rooms for my future cruise.

Read All Interior (IB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions


Guide's choice hike to Mendenhall Glacier...wet, very wet....but lots of fun !
Read 20 Hiking Reviews

Scenic Cruise

I took the boat tour of Misty Fjords which in the past I found most superior to the plane tour. more time in the park !!

Dog Sledding

the dog sledding in the Yukon was part of the White Pass Train tour. The dog sled was a lot of fun.

Scenic Drive

White Pass Railroad and Yukon tour. The train is perhaps my all time favorite shore excursion out of 14 cruises. The bus then took us to Carcross Yukon. This is an excellent tour !!!

White Pass Scenic Railway

White Pass Railroad and Yukon tour. The train is perhaps my all time favorite shore excursion out of 14 cruises. The bus then took us to Carcross Yukon. This is an excellent tour !!!

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