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Let me start by saying this was our second trip to Alaska, last year we went on the Carnival Miracle and had a fabulous time. We had cruised before as well on Carnvial and Royal Carribean. This trip was nice but we expected an upgraded experience since Princess is supposed to be a step above Carnvial. I won't discuss the weather as it will never be the same and shouldn't be a decision if you choose this cruise, it's Alaska it might be cold and rainy or you make luck out to a sunny trip. Alaska and the ports were amazing as always. This review is based on the cruise line itself and our experiences. We have severe food allergies which were handled very differently on both trips. I will share positive and negatives as well as comparing the two. Observations: The Princess ship was more elegant and refined in its design, as Carnival is much more playful and themed. We had very few children on both trips but the Princess ship had a much more mature crowd with most couples we spoke with on their 30th-50th cruise. Food was very similar quality on both ships. Carnival does has their chocolate melting cake every night which my husband missed. I enjoyed having crime brûlée every evening on Princess. Princess has the international cafe which is a nice treat. Activities throughout the day and entertainment were also similar on both lines. We really enjoyed the comedians although I think Carnvial has a better lineup. Our cabin steward did a great job and the ship was very clean. Positives: Princess had all of the NFL games on which was a huge plus for my husband on sea days. The gym was much nicer, cleaner and with newer equipment. The yoga classes were great. If you have no food allergies, the international cafe had a large assortment of pastries every morning, and treats throughout the day. We are gluten and soy free and the dining rooms had a great bread for all meals, muffins for breakfast and scones for tea time. Negatives: As I stated we have food allergies and they were not handled well on this ship. My husband has intolerance while I am anaphylactic in reaction. We let the ship know ahead of time and onboard we have multiple issues with allergens in our food. My husband was sick multiple times. We would order ahead every night to find out the next night that they hadn't been able to change a dish or they made some things that were done so poorly they were Inedible. We found for breakfast we were safer in the buffet and asking for very specific ingredients that they could cook in front of us. We did find a head waiter team about half way through the trip that seemed to care and take these issues seriously but overall it was handled very poorly. No one seemed to care was the theme. When we traveled with Carnival the customer service was outstanding. They would go above and beyond. The Princess team seemed to be there just to do there job, and not much more. I was a little disappointed at how rude some of the servers were. My husband and I were surprised to have had much better service on our past Carnival trips. We both agreed we wouldn't choose Princess over Carnival. We enjoyed ourselves but wouldn't rush back to Princess anytime soon.

Alaska is breathtaking but service was so so

Crown Princess Cruise Review by Thetajudy

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2014
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Interior
Let me start by saying this was our second trip to Alaska, last year we went on the Carnival Miracle and had a fabulous time. We had cruised before as well on Carnvial and Royal Carribean. This trip was nice but we expected an upgraded experience since Princess is supposed to be a step above Carnvial. I won't discuss the weather as it will never be the same and shouldn't be a decision if you choose this cruise, it's Alaska it might be cold and rainy or you make luck out to a sunny trip. Alaska and the ports were amazing as always. This review is based on the cruise line itself and our experiences. We have severe food allergies which were handled very differently on both trips. I will share positive and negatives as well as comparing the two.
Observations:
The Princess ship was more elegant and refined in its design, as Carnival is much more playful and themed. We had very few children on both trips but the Princess ship had a much more mature crowd with most couples we spoke with on their 30th-50th cruise.
Food was very similar quality on both ships. Carnival does has their chocolate melting cake every night which my husband missed. I enjoyed having crime brûlée every evening on Princess. Princess has the international cafe which is a nice treat.
Activities throughout the day and entertainment were also similar on both lines. We really enjoyed the comedians although I think Carnvial has a better lineup.
Our cabin steward did a great job and the ship was very clean.
Positives:
Princess had all of the NFL games on which was a huge plus for my husband on sea days.
The gym was much nicer, cleaner and with newer equipment. The yoga classes were great.
If you have no food allergies, the international cafe had a large assortment of pastries every morning, and treats throughout the day. We are gluten and soy free and the dining rooms had a great bread for all meals, muffins for breakfast and scones for tea time.
Negatives:
As I stated we have food allergies and they were not handled well on this ship. My husband has intolerance while I am anaphylactic in reaction. We let the ship know ahead of time and onboard we have multiple issues with allergens in our food. My husband was sick multiple times. We would order ahead every night to find out the next night that they hadn't been able to change a dish or they made some things that were done so poorly they were Inedible. We found for breakfast we were safer in the buffet and asking for very specific ingredients that they could cook in front of us. We did find a head waiter team about half way through the trip that seemed to care and take these issues seriously but overall it was handled very poorly.
No one seemed to care was the theme. When we traveled with Carnival the customer service was outstanding. They would go above and beyond. The Princess team seemed to be there just to do there job, and not much more. I was a little disappointed at how rude some of the servers were. My husband and I were surprised to have had much better service on our past Carnival trips.
We both agreed we wouldn't choose Princess over Carnival. We enjoyed ourselves but wouldn't rush back to Princess anytime soon.
Thetajudy’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IE A221
We liked the layout with the large closet area.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins