This was our 5th Princess cruise and first to Alaska. We travelled from Anchorage to Vancouver in May and whilst the scenery and ports were great, the overall experience on Princess left me questioning if I want to travel with them again.
What is it with the 'hard' sell of coffee cards??? I'm used to the sales pitch for drink packages, but the new push selling of cards across the ship was incredibly annoying and very distracting while you're trying to enjoy dinner or other entertainment. Princess - this does nothing to enhance the cruising experience.
For the first time, we endulged with some massages in the spa and whilst it is crazily expensive, we were prepared to spend a little for genuine relaxation. Once again the hard selling tactic whilst you are trapped in the massage room was unnecessary and forget trying to ask for help outside of a appointment. I hurt my back on the second last day and went to the spa for some urgent assistance (accupunture or general help), as the medical centre was closed and they just turned me away as I didn't have an appointment and were closing for the day. They could see I was in genuine pain, but would do nothing to help me to find some pain relief. I had spent a lot of money in the spa over the trip and the reward for this was pretty poor.
I truly believe, Princess have made a big mistate in believing that customer service is only about bleeding the passenger with their money.
Other points - buffet food whilst generally good, the hot food was only warm on most occassions which was disappointing. Some times in the buffet area, there were no staff to clear the table or to offer drinks. We had to do both on our own several times.
Internet - be careful of them charging extra costs. $3.94 connection fee on top of the package cost and $10.00 unknown fee if you use the package in full. I questioned this at the end of the cruise and guest services said they did not know what this was for, so gladly refunded the money, but check your statements carefully as we were charged an extra 3 x $10.00 additional to the package cost.
Overall - I'm pretty easy going and realise not everything will always go to plan, but a disappointing experience on Princess and doubt if we will be back - but once again the actual cruise itinerary was great.
Cabin was in a great location and very little hall traffic which meant no noise or doors closing during the night. We were concerned about being right at the back of the ship and did hear the humming of engines at little more than previous cruises, but for me this was not a problem and really wasn't too bad. If you are a light sleeper, it may be an issue.
Cabin steward and very attentive to our needs. Having the extra room in the bathroom was a definite plus.
We took the 1 hour trolley tour and it was great. Very informative if you don't have a lot of time in port to look around. The town was pretty quiet as there were no ships in, but I've been told once the cruising season really kicks in the town is very much alive. We stayed at the Clarion Suites for one night and found this was in a great location and easy walking distance to the main street
We did a private tour (Yukon rail and bus with Chilkoot tours) and it was a great day. We did the train up and bus back which was a great mixture of seeing everything. Skagway is not a big town and a little disappointed by all the jewelery shops and lack of local wares, but I guess this is a sign of the times in these locations. Very easy walking distance from the ship to town which was great.
We did the Juneau Whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour with Juneau tours. The whale watching was disappointing, but it really wasn't the best time of year for watching whales, so really not their fault. General guides and information were very good. Mendenhall glacier was amazing and definitely worth the long walk out to the falls and glacier to really get close. Definitely recommend this tour.
The lumberjack show was good fun and certainly central to the town. They really got the crowd involved and very lose to the action. Ketchikan is a lovely townView All 333 Lumberjack Show Reviews
The totem park was good probably wouldn't do it again. I suppose I expected a little more and wasn't expecting a fauna tour and the guide was very knowledgable.View All 114 Totem Bight State Park Reviews