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My husband and I travel a lot using Princess cruises for our destinations. We are in our 40s. This was our 8th cruise-5th on the Princess. Travel to Port of Embarkation: Make sure you do the longest part of your travel in the beginning--not the end. You'll handle it better. Embarkation: They do the best they can under the circumstances. If you go into this not expecting perfection you'll be fine. I have no complaints here. 1. Disembarkation: Best advice! When your cruise gets closer to the end you'll get a note about how the airlines are now offering an Onboard Airline Check-In service for $15 per person. It is the best $30 you will ever spend especially if you have cruised before and experienced the long waits to hear your color called for you to begin the check-out process. You have your baggage out before midnight and you do not see it again until you are at your home base airport. It was great. 2. Land tours. 4 days on land before cruise. This is a warning! First, find ways to bring snacks to save money. The food at the Denali Lodge was expensive and not all that great for the expense. Also, the train ride to Whittier was a 9 long hours and we happened to be very lucky to have sun the entire time. BUT, we were in a dome car. You've got to make sure you have water, sunscreen and a cap. I was sunburned and my husband ended up with heat stroke by the time we reached our suite on the cruise. City of Gold and Riverboat tours in Fairbanks very relaxing and informative. In Denali we were on the bus trip to the national park. It was absolutely fantastic, yes a bus trip and I was scared about that, but it was very nice, plenty of room and our driver was great. Even the box lunch was good. Denali also had a theatre/dinner and that was fun, ok--just don't expect a lot and you'll be fine to just be able to relax. 3. Cruising only days of College Fjord and Glacier Bay. Make sure you have an extra memory card for the camera. Absolutely beautiful. This is where spending xtra for the patio deck is definitely worth it. 4. Skagway. I'm sitting here trying to remember what we did. We cancelled the famous train ride after being on a train for 9 hours I didn't care to hop on another train, even though it was just 3 hours long. We walked about the city--that was it. 5. Juneau, Do all your shopping here. Juneau will be the best place to buy totem poles and everything else is priced fairly as well. We regret that we didn't buy the 4 foot tall totem pole we saw for $1700. Best fudge store, great restaurants and bars. They want you there and you feel welcomed. 6. Ketchikan. The Promech Air seaplane tour was the only good part about this port. The Promech Air staff were helpful and very nice! Our pilot Ryan was GREAT, cute and we should have brought our 23 year old single daughter to meet him, haha. BUT, everything else about this town was a complete waste of time. The other townspeople and sales clerks were RUDE. Same totem pole we saw in Juneau was now selling for $3750! T-shirts, sweatshirts all way over priced. We should have just gone back to the ship after the seaplane tour. 7. Best prices for Diamonds in Alaska? Are you kidding me? Don't do it! Now about the Island Princess Ship. The appearance of the ship always looks beautiful and the restrooms are kept very clean. When I see the staff in the restrooms cleaning up, I take a minute and thank them for their efforts. I used the Lotus Spa for the first time--2 visits. My Advice is don't prebook anything. They offer daily spa specials for a third of the price. I had the facial and mini massage and the aromatherapy massage. Definitely worth it. Service: Ever since the cruise changed how we pay tips to our room steward and wait staff the attitude and service has plummeted. BUT, room service is still the greatest part of the ship. NOTE: Anything on the dining list can be brought to your room. They're quick, everything is made fresh, we've started tipping them extra CASH for their pockets just because they offer such great service that is disappearing everywhere else. The beds were awful. But our last night all of a sudden I had a comfortable bed. They clearly flipped over the mattress--maybe this was just timing of flipping the mattress. Anytime dining is continuing to receive less and less quality service. You don't get the baked alaska on the last night. Sure I understand the preparation timing of things, but next cruise we'll be back on assigned dining. A few things about travelers. You're still not washing your hands when you come out of the bathroom stall! I can't believe this, it takes 30 seconds to wash your hands and prevent the rest of us from being exposed to your dirty habits. Another reason to stay away from the buffets! I don't mean to be disrespectful to our older community BUT I can't tell you how many times I saw older citizens moving slowly, getting crabby if they felt they were being pressured to move faster BUT as soon as there was a food line for them to be in, or a FREE something being given away, ALL OF a SUDDEN--they became fast moving teenagers!?!? Entertainment: I'd like to know what happened to the good entertainment we use to see about 5 years ago? Overall, Alaska is a must see. Do the cruise only. I would pass on the land tour just wasn't worth the time and money spent.

Island Princess - Alaska

Island Princess Cruise Review by Teamtc Travels

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2006
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
My husband and I travel a lot using Princess cruises for our destinations. We are in our 40s. This was our 8th cruise-5th on the Princess.
Travel to Port of Embarkation: Make sure you do the longest part of your travel in the beginning--not the end. You'll handle it better.
Embarkation: They do the best they can under the circumstances. If you go into this not expecting perfection you'll be fine. I have no complaints here.
1. Disembarkation: Best advice! When your cruise gets closer to the end you'll get a note about how the airlines are now offering an Onboard Airline Check-In service for $15 per person. It is the best $30 you will ever spend especially if you have cruised before and experienced the long waits to hear your color called for you to begin the check-out process. You have your baggage out before midnight and you do not see it again until you are at your home base airport. It was great.
2. Land tours. 4 days on land before cruise. This is a warning! First, find ways to bring snacks to save money. The food at the Denali Lodge was expensive and not all that great for the expense. Also, the train ride to Whittier was a 9 long hours and we happened to be very lucky to have sun the entire time. BUT, we were in a dome car. You've got to make sure you have water, sunscreen and a cap. I was sunburned and my husband ended up with heat stroke by the time we reached our suite on the cruise.
City of Gold and Riverboat tours in Fairbanks very relaxing and informative. In Denali we were on the bus trip to the national park. It was absolutely fantastic, yes a bus trip and I was scared about that, but it was very nice, plenty of room and our driver was great. Even the box lunch was good. Denali also had a theatre/dinner and that was fun, ok--just don't expect a lot and you'll be fine to just be able to relax.
3. Cruising only days of College Fjord and Glacier Bay. Make sure you have an extra memory card for the camera. Absolutely beautiful. This is where spending xtra for the patio deck is definitely worth it.
4. Skagway. I'm sitting here trying to remember what we did. We cancelled the famous train ride after being on a train for 9 hours I didn't care to hop on another train, even though it was just 3 hours long. We walked about the city--that was it.
5. Juneau, Do all your shopping here. Juneau will be the best place to buy totem poles and everything else is priced fairly as well. We regret that we didn't buy the 4 foot tall totem pole we saw for $1700. Best fudge store, great restaurants and bars. They want you there and you feel welcomed.
6. Ketchikan. The Promech Air seaplane tour was the only good part about this port. The Promech Air staff were helpful and very nice! Our pilot Ryan was GREAT, cute and we should have brought our 23 year old single daughter to meet him, haha.
BUT, everything else about this town was a complete waste of time. The other townspeople and sales clerks were RUDE. Same totem pole we saw in Juneau was now selling for $3750! T-shirts, sweatshirts all way over priced. We should have just gone back to the ship after the seaplane tour.
7. Best prices for Diamonds in Alaska? Are you kidding me? Don't do it! Now about the Island Princess Ship.
The appearance of the ship always looks beautiful and the restrooms are kept very clean. When I see the staff in the restrooms cleaning up, I take a minute and thank them for their efforts.
I used the Lotus Spa for the first time--2 visits. My Advice is don't prebook anything. They offer daily spa specials for a third of the price. I had the facial and mini massage and the aromatherapy massage. Definitely worth it.
Service: Ever since the cruise changed how we pay tips to our room steward and wait staff the attitude and service has plummeted.
BUT, room service is still the greatest part of the ship. NOTE: Anything on the dining list can be brought to your room. They're quick, everything is made fresh, we've started tipping them extra CASH for their pockets just because they offer such great service that is disappearing everywhere else.
The beds were awful. But our last night all of a sudden I had a comfortable bed. They clearly flipped over the mattress--maybe this was just timing of flipping the mattress.
Anytime dining is continuing to receive less and less quality service. You don't get the baked alaska on the last night. Sure I understand the preparation timing of things, but next cruise we'll be back on assigned dining.
A few things about travelers.
You're still not washing your hands when you come out of the bathroom stall! I can't believe this, it takes 30 seconds to wash your hands and prevent the rest of us from being exposed to your dirty habits. Another reason to stay away from the buffets!
I don't mean to be disrespectful to our older community BUT I can't tell you how many times I saw older citizens moving slowly, getting crabby if they felt they were being pressured to move faster BUT as soon as there was a food line for them to be in, or a FREE something being given away, ALL OF a SUDDEN--they became fast moving teenagers!?!?
Entertainment: I'd like to know what happened to the good entertainment we use to see about 5 years ago?
Overall, Alaska is a must see. Do the cruise only. I would pass on the land tour just wasn't worth the time and money spent.
Teamtc Travels’s Full Rating Summary
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