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Diamond Princess Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
908 reviews
1 Award

Wet & Wild Alaska

Review for Diamond Princess to Alaska
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First Time Cruiser • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: May 2008

The Wet and Wild Alaska cruise wasn't as titillating as the title may appear. I took the northbound Diamond Princess cruise (May 10-17) with my mother, my roommate and her mother and each of us was over forty. This was the first cruise together for all of us and only my roommate had never cruised before. This was my second Princess cruise and sixth cruise overall. I consider myself an experienced cruiser (with much thanks to Cruise Critic for making me so) and have cruised with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess in the past.

My roommate and I flew to Vancouver from Boston with minimal discomfort and actually lucked out in not having anyone sit between us on the last five hour leg of our trip from Dallas to Vancouver. We met my mother at the Vancouver airport just before entering the line for customs. Please note that if you have multiple people flying into Vancouver, arrange to meet at the foot of the escalators before the line begins for customs or at baggage claim. Even though my mother flew into Vancouver and arrived fifteen minutes before we did, as you disembark your plane there is no way to move to a different gate. You are even separated from the people who are going to be boarding your plane for their flight. Clear partitions separate disembarking passengers from embarking passengers. So as we left the plane we had nowhere to go except where the partitions led and that was straight to customs. We met my mother at the foot of the elevator and got in line. The customs line moves very quickly and when you leave the main line and break off into separate lines for the booths, keep your entire group together. I was in a separate line from my mother and my roommate and when my mother got to the customs officer before me the customs officer asked how many people were in her party. She indicated my roommate and me and the customs officer beckoned me out of my line to join my mother. Sweet! It took all of thirty seconds after that and we were through. We then went to baggage claim and gathered up our luggage. Do yourself a favor and get a cart. They are free to use at Vancouver. Vancouver airport is also nice in that they have many people at designated areas who stand by ready to answer all of your questions. After you have all of your luggage you go through another checkpoint where you finally hand over your customs card (if I remember correctly) and then you have to walk through a set of doors and into the waiting area where residents are waiting for friends and family to arrive. You are roped off from them but it makes you feel like a Hollywood movie star on the red carpet! Once past the roped off area you go straight ahead and out the doors to catch your bus or cab. We used Limojet (www.limojetgold.com) to take us to our hotel. You can reserve online but it isn't necessary. There is a kiosk just outside the airport doors and the gal there simply walked us across the street to a waiting limousine. Our limo was a stretch which was a good thing since we had nine pieces of luggage and assorted carryons. The cost was $45 to downtown Vancouver.

We flew in two days before the cruise and stayed at the Landis Hotel and Suites (www.landissuitesvancouver.com) and I cannot recommend this hotel enough. It was spectacular. For $265 a night we had a two bedroom, 1000 square foot suite. The master bedroom had a king size bed with side tables, dresser and a chair. The master bath had a huge tub with a separate stall shower. The second bedroom was small by comparison with two twin beds and a desk with chair. The second bath had a tub/shower combination. My one complaint about the hotel was that there was no hair dryer in the second bathroom, but there was a wall mounted one in the master bathroom. The kitchen was "U" shaped and had a stove, refrigerator and microwave. There was an electric kettle in one of the cupboards which we used to make hot water for tea (it was fast, too!) and the shelves and drawers had silverware, cups, saucers, glasses and plates for four people. The only thing missing was napkins and/or paper towels. But you can run across the street to 7-11 for those items. There is also a round dining room table with four chairs in the dining area and two of those walls are floor to ceiling glass giving you a wonderful view of Vancouver. We were on the 9th floor and overlooked the intersection of Davie and Hornby Streets. The living room has a sofa, easy chair and a TV. Rounding out the living area is an enclosed patio with two straight backed chairs and a small round table. Again, the patio area is floor to ceiling glass and has louvered blinds to cut the glare, but the windows open allowing you to hear the city street action below. The hotel serves a full continental breakfast on the 2nd floor in a room dedicated to breakfast. There was a variety of cereal, breads, danish, bagels, fruit, juices and coffee offered. One of the best spreads I've ever been offered at a hotel. There are many restaurants within walking distance down Davie Street and about four blocks from the hotel on Davie there is a fully stocked drug store in case you need to pick up anything before you board the ship. There is an ATM in the 7-11 which dispenses Canadian cash.

Cabin Review

Cabin JJ

Standard interior cabin; nothing fancy; plenty of room for everything and not noisy. No connecting doors.

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