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This was my first cruise on Princess and my first trip to Alaska. I am a middle-aged female and was traveling with a middle-aged female friend. We selected Princess based upon my travel agent's recommendation. We decided on the Pacific Princess for its small size - approximately 680 passengers. We flew to Anchorage on July 1, 2015 and landed at 10:30 p.m. The Princess rep was waiting for us at baggage claim and we, along with others, were transported to the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. The hotel is conveniently located in downtown Anchorage and there is complementary wi-fi. Our room, with two queen beds, was extremely comfortable and we had a view of downtown Anchorage. We were very pleased with our room and service at this hotel. We had arranged for an extra night in Anchorage to sightsee in Anchorage on July 2nd. Two restaurant recommendations in Anchorage: Breakfast - The Red Chair Café, 337 E. 4th Avenue and Dinner - The Rustic Goat, 2800 Turnagan Street. You can walk to The Red Chair Café from the hotel, but you will need transportation from the hotel (and reservations) for The Rustic Goat. July 3rd we departed on a Princess land tour for the next three days - DIY (Do It Yourself). On this land tour, Princess provides the transportation and lodging and one is responsible for paying for food and arranging for excursions, if desired, although Princess does provide a selection of excursions from which to choose. We stayed at the Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge (one night) and the Princess Denali Lodge (two nights). The lodges were magnificent and the food prices reasonable. We booked through Princess the Sun Dog Kennel excursion in Talkeetna and the Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali National Park and enjoyed both excursions. We boarded the Pacific Princess at approximately 4 p.m. on July 6th in Whittier after arriving via a Princess coach. Embarkation was quick and efficient. The Pacific Princess is a lovely small ship and I knew as soon as I boarded, this would be a special cruise. The ship is quite easy to learn due to its size. It's comfortable and I soon found that one of my favorite places during the cruise was the Pacific Lounge, on Deck 10, where I could occasionally sit and watch the scenery as well as listen to the naturalist's commentary (which was able to be heard here, outside on Decks 9 and 10 and in your cabin via the television). The naturalist on board as well as the enrichment activities really made this cruise special. Understanding and receiving information on what we were seeing made this cruise so much more enjoyable than just watching the scenery as we sailed. Additionally, when we cruised through Glacier Bay National Park, park rangers were onboard with commentary and activities. Libby Riddles, the first woman to win the Iditarod, came onboard in Juneau and gave an hour lecture. Jeff Schultz, the Official Iditarod Photographer, was also onboard. The enrichment activities available were outstanding. As this is a small ship, there is only one main dining room and it is traditional seating only, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. We had the first seating and I was very pleased with the service and the food in the main dining room. We were at a table for six. I had dinner in the main dining room and two breakfasts and did not go to either of the specialty dining venues, Sabatini's (Italian/Mediterranean) and Cagney's (steak). The food the two days I ate at the Panorama Buffet for lunch was good. Pizza is available from a small pizzeria counter in the buffet area and there are hamburgers, etc. available from a grill outside on Deck 9. I did not visit these venues, nor did I go to afternoon tea which is available every afternoon. The entertainment is in the Cabaret Lounge. I enjoyed the entertainment which was a few small production shows, a comedian, instrumentalist and a comedian/juggler. The quality of entertainment was good for the size of the ship, demographics on the ship and the space size. There was also a singer/musician , "Yukon Jerry" who performed in some of the smaller areas of the ship and was popular with the passengers. Activities on the ship were the standard cruise ship activities, ballroom and line dancing lessons, bingo, etc. There was a Klondike party and a 50's-60's party in the Pacific Lounge two evening which were fun and I attended both. There is a small casino on Deck 5 that I passed through occasionally, but didn't spend any time there. There is a spa on board and I used the thalassotherapy pool to soak in one day. It was too cold for the main pool to be used, although I did see a few children in it one day when it was in the low 60's as well as a few adults in the hot tubs. There are fitness classes available and a jogging track which I used to walk and get some exercise. The ports were Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. I did a shore excursion through Princess at each port: Skagway: White Pass & Yukon Route Railway Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier, Salmon Hatchery and Salmon Bake Ketchikan: Totem Bight State Park and Lumberjack Show All of the excursions were excellent and also allowed me to spend additional time in each port. The demographics on this ship was 50+ There were only a handful of children on board. I can't comment on the children's program (if any), but this ship is not really focused on activities for children and a different ship would probably be a better choice for children. Disembarkation was by color coded tags that were placed on luggage the night before. It was very efficient and quick. We transferred via Princess coach to the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver as we had a two night post-cruise Vancouver/Victoria package with Princess. Summary: It was all about the destination for me -Alaska! Loved this cruise, the service and ship. I would sail with Princess again.

Alaska on Pacific Princess; Perfect!

Pacific Princess Cruise Review by SteelMagnolia9

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2015
  • Destination: Alaska
This was my first cruise on Princess and my first trip to Alaska. I am a middle-aged female and was traveling with a middle-aged female friend. We selected Princess based upon my travel agent's recommendation. We decided on the Pacific Princess for its small size - approximately 680 passengers.

We flew to Anchorage on July 1, 2015 and landed at 10:30 p.m. The Princess rep was waiting for us at baggage claim and we, along with others, were transported to the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. The hotel is conveniently located in downtown Anchorage and there is complementary wi-fi. Our room, with two queen beds, was extremely comfortable and we had a view of downtown Anchorage. We were very pleased with our room and service at this hotel.

We had arranged for an extra night in Anchorage to sightsee in Anchorage on July 2nd. Two restaurant recommendations in Anchorage: Breakfast - The Red Chair Café, 337 E. 4th Avenue and Dinner - The Rustic Goat, 2800 Turnagan Street. You can walk to The Red Chair Café from the hotel, but you will need transportation from the hotel (and reservations) for The Rustic Goat.

July 3rd we departed on a Princess land tour for the next three days - DIY (Do It Yourself). On this land tour, Princess provides the transportation and lodging and one is responsible for paying for food and arranging for excursions, if desired, although Princess does provide a selection of excursions from which to choose. We stayed at the Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge (one night) and the Princess Denali Lodge (two nights). The lodges were magnificent and the food prices reasonable. We booked through Princess the Sun Dog Kennel excursion in Talkeetna and the Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali National Park and enjoyed both excursions.

We boarded the Pacific Princess at approximately 4 p.m. on July 6th in Whittier after arriving via a Princess coach. Embarkation was quick and efficient. The Pacific Princess is a lovely small ship and I knew as soon as I boarded, this would be a special cruise. The ship is quite easy to learn due to its size. It's comfortable and I soon found that one of my favorite places during the cruise was the Pacific Lounge, on Deck 10, where I could occasionally sit and watch the scenery as well as listen to the naturalist's commentary (which was able to be heard here, outside on Decks 9 and 10 and in your cabin via the television).

The naturalist on board as well as the enrichment activities really made this cruise special. Understanding and receiving information on what we were seeing made this cruise so much more enjoyable than just watching the scenery as we sailed. Additionally, when we cruised through Glacier Bay National Park, park rangers were onboard with commentary and activities. Libby Riddles, the first woman to win the Iditarod, came onboard in Juneau and gave an hour lecture. Jeff Schultz, the Official Iditarod Photographer, was also onboard. The enrichment activities available were outstanding.

As this is a small ship, there is only one main dining room and it is traditional seating only, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. We had the first seating and I was very pleased with the service and the food in the main dining room. We were at a table for six. I had dinner in the main dining room and two breakfasts and did not go to either of the specialty dining venues, Sabatini's (Italian/Mediterranean) and Cagney's (steak). The food the two days I ate at the Panorama Buffet for lunch was good. Pizza is available from a small pizzeria counter in the buffet area and there are hamburgers, etc. available from a grill outside on Deck 9. I did not visit these venues, nor did I go to afternoon tea which is available every afternoon.

The entertainment is in the Cabaret Lounge. I enjoyed the entertainment which was a few small production shows, a comedian, instrumentalist and a comedian/juggler. The quality of entertainment was good for the size of the ship, demographics on the ship and the space size. There was also a singer/musician , "Yukon Jerry" who performed in some of the smaller areas of the ship and was popular with the passengers.

Activities on the ship were the standard cruise ship activities, ballroom and line dancing lessons, bingo, etc. There was a Klondike party and a 50's-60's party in the Pacific Lounge two evening which were fun and I attended both. There is a small casino on Deck 5 that I passed through occasionally, but didn't spend any time there.

There is a spa on board and I used the thalassotherapy pool to soak in one day. It was too cold for the main pool to be used, although I did see a few children in it one day when it was in the low 60's as well as a few adults in the hot tubs. There are fitness classes available and a jogging track which I used to walk and get some exercise.

The ports were Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. I did a shore excursion through Princess at each port:

Skagway: White Pass & Yukon Route Railway

Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier, Salmon Hatchery and Salmon Bake

Ketchikan: Totem Bight State Park and Lumberjack Show

All of the excursions were excellent and also allowed me to spend additional time in each port.

The demographics on this ship was 50+ There were only a handful of children on board. I can't comment on the children's program (if any), but this ship is not really focused on activities for children and a different ship would probably be a better choice for children.

Disembarkation was by color coded tags that were placed on luggage the night before. It was very efficient and quick. We transferred via Princess coach to the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver as we had a two night post-cruise Vancouver/Victoria package with Princess.

Summary: It was all about the destination for me -Alaska! Loved this cruise, the service and ship. I would sail with Princess again.
SteelMagnolia9’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7007
We had a Premium Oceanview cabin. It was approximately 206 sq. ft. with a very large porthole window that allowed in a lot of natural light. There was plenty of storage for two people on a 7 night cruise. The cabin had a separate sitting area with a sofa, desk and table. It was very comfortable. There was a small refrigerator in the room. I was very happy with my cabin and the service.
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