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The Island Princess is an absolutely amazing ship. It is beautiful and clean and very charming. We found the trip to Whittier from the Anchorage airport to be slightly painful. The Princess representatives @the airport were clueless. We got multiple answers to our questions. Basically - they hold you either at the airport or at the convention center in downtown Anchorage till around noon or 12:30. So no one is able to leave for the ship earlier than this. We were misled to believe that if you arrived at the airport earlier in the day-they would send a bus as soon as it fills up. This is not the case and we ended up waiting at the airport for about 2 hours. Then we were told that we would make the 2:30 tunnel into Whittier. This was a mess. There were about 10 Princess cruise buses in that 2:30 tunnel time lined up. Therefore, we waited-waited-waited and finally went thru the tunnel and then waited-waited-waited to be dropped off at the port. Then we were in a line about 75 people deep. The entire process took over 2.5 hours. It was very frustrating. Our cabin C230 on Deck 10 Caribe was fantastic. It was forward and quiet. I strongly recommend going for a balcony mini-suite. The bathroom is huge compared to the regular rooms. If you have 3 or 4 people in your party- it would be a perfect size. I am highly disappointed in Princess for this sail. I do not agree with the automatic gratuity being added to your account. My husband and I did the open seating and found the staff to be unhelpful and merely efficient. The normal atmosphere that you expect from a waitstaff was not there. It is my belief that since they knew they would be tipped- their incentive to provide exceptional service was not there. As it was - we adjusted the tips on the last night. We gave to those that we felt appeared to give more service and did not allow the automatic gratuity to hit the account. I hope Princess revisits this in the future- we voiced our opinions as did multiple persons around us. The food sometimes read like an episode of Fear Factor. Frog legs, venison, rabbit. They were big on the presentation- but not so big on the taste. I found the food to be less tasty as Royal Caribbean or Disney. This cruise had very little to offer for entertainment for anyone under the age of 55. The programming appeared to be geared towards a more "retired" age and my husband and I (in 30's) found ourselves watching movies in our room because we were not interested in tea, bridge or watching a classical pianist. It was very hard to sail for 7 days and find that there was so little to do in plans of the programming. Disembarkation was a complete catastrophe. We had a transfer from Vancouver to Seattle. We were advised to be read by 730 for that transfer. We were not able to disembark until 915 am. Then we found out that we were on the wrong gangway (had been standing there for over an hour waiting for our "color" to be called) and had to take our stuff and carryon to another deck. We had asked several princess employees where we needed to be - and never once were we advised the correct information. Overall this cruise would appeal to someone who was looking to Alaska only for the sights and not the usual fanfare and excitement of shows and programming that you would expect on other lines. The ship itself was beautiful. With the exception of the waitstaff in the dining room - we felt that the room steward and the general upkeep of the ship was very good. We would recommend this ship for older adults without children or with older children. On this sail we saw very few children or teenagers- and the ones we did see always appeared quite bored. But with theater movies like Calendar girls and Welcome to Mooseport and a Barry Manilow singer- it is no wonder they may have been a bit bored.

Island Princess - Alaska

Island Princess Cruise Review by hackwid

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2004
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
The Island Princess is an absolutely amazing ship. It is beautiful and clean and very charming. We found the trip to Whittier from the Anchorage airport to be slightly painful. The Princess representatives @the airport were clueless. We got multiple answers to our questions. Basically - they hold you either at the airport or at the convention center in downtown Anchorage till around noon or 12:30. So no one is able to leave for the ship earlier than this. We were misled to believe that if you arrived at the airport earlier in the day-they would send a bus as soon as it fills up. This is not the case and we ended up waiting at the airport for about 2 hours.
Then we were told that we would make the 2:30 tunnel into Whittier. This was a mess. There were about 10 Princess cruise buses in that 2:30 tunnel time lined up. Therefore, we waited-waited-waited and finally went thru the tunnel and then waited-waited-waited to be dropped off at the port. Then we were in a line about 75 people deep. The entire process took over 2.5 hours. It was very frustrating.
Our cabin C230 on Deck 10 Caribe was fantastic. It was forward and quiet. I strongly recommend going for a balcony mini-suite. The bathroom is huge compared to the regular rooms. If you have 3 or 4 people in your party- it would be a perfect size. I am highly disappointed in Princess for this sail. I do not agree with the automatic gratuity being added to your account. My husband and I did the open seating and found the staff to be unhelpful and merely efficient. The normal atmosphere that you expect from a waitstaff was not there. It is my belief that since they knew they would be tipped- their incentive to provide exceptional service was not there. As it was - we adjusted the tips on the last night. We gave to those that we felt appeared to give more service and did not allow the automatic gratuity to hit the account. I hope Princess revisits this in the future- we voiced our opinions as did multiple persons around us.
The food sometimes read like an episode of Fear Factor. Frog legs, venison, rabbit. They were big on the presentation- but not so big on the taste. I found the food to be less tasty as Royal Caribbean or Disney. This cruise had very little to offer for entertainment for anyone under the age of 55. The programming appeared to be geared towards a more "retired" age and my husband and I (in 30's) found ourselves watching movies in our room because we were not interested in tea, bridge or watching a classical pianist. It was very hard to sail for 7 days and find that there was so little to do in plans of the programming.
Disembarkation was a complete catastrophe. We had a transfer from Vancouver to Seattle. We were advised to be read by 730 for that transfer. We were not able to disembark until 915 am. Then we found out that we were on the wrong gangway (had been standing there for over an hour waiting for our "color" to be called) and had to take our stuff and carryon to another deck. We had asked several princess employees where we needed to be - and never once were we advised the correct information.
Overall this cruise would appeal to someone who was looking to Alaska only for the sights and not the usual fanfare and excitement of shows and programming that you would expect on other lines. The ship itself was beautiful. With the exception of the waitstaff in the dining room - we felt that the room steward and the general upkeep of the ship was very good. We would recommend this ship for older adults without children or with older children. On this sail we saw very few children or teenagers- and the ones we did see always appeared quite bored. But with theater movies like Calendar girls and Welcome to Mooseport and a Barry Manilow singer- it is no wonder they may have been a bit bored.
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