This was a vacation of a lifetime for us. We took a little over 3 weeks to travel around out west which included Seattle, Vancouver, cruise to Alaska, and land tour up to Fairbanks. Our cruise started in Canada Place, Vancouver, and since we stayed at a place downtown getting to the port was within walking distance for us. Everything there went very smoothly. We arrived about 11;00am and were on the ship by noon. We had lunch at the buffet and found the food to be very good there. We then proceeded to our room which was a suite on the Lido deck forward. (L107) The room itself was very nice with a separate room which had a full couch, sliding door to our deck, and large size tv with DVD player. The only downsize to this room is the deck. It is very large but the viewing area on top of the bridge is right by your deck so there is absolutely no privacy on your deck at all. You can reach out and touch the people standing on the viewing deck and since this is mainly a sight seeing cruise that area is filled with people at least 75% of the time. This was very disappointing for us as this is never mentioned in the fine print when you book this cruise. We did ask what could be done about this but since this was the last northbound cruise for the season it was fully booked and no other suites were available. We were given a little onboard credit but we would have been happier In a regular balcony room and would have saved a ton of money. I would never book a suite on Princess again. You do not get the perks like you do on NCL. Just to give you an example the fresh flower arrangement on Princess is 3 mini carnations in a vase in the bathroom. On ncl it's a beautiful flower arrangement in your living area like one you get delivered from a florist. There are other differences that can be checked out on cruise critics boards if you are interested.
So why did we pick Princess over NCL for this trip? Well from our research on an Alaskan cruise we found that Princess owns Alaska when it comes to a cruise and land tour so we decided that for this cruise we would try Princess. And other than our suite it did not disappoint. We found the food in the main dining room to be very good. Most items were very good to excellent. We also like having the same table every night with the same people and the same wait staff. That is the only downsize for us on NCL. We did have breakfast in sabatinis as this was a suite perk and this was very nice especially on days when you were glacier cruising. The food and service there were excellent. We never did the dining room for breakfast or lunch so cannot comment on those. We did lunch mostly in the buffet or room service. We were very happy with either of those choices. We ate at the crown grill one evening and it was excellent.
The ports we went to were: Ketchikan - we did the duck tour which was ok, and the lumberjack show which was also ok. We also walked around town and did some shopping.