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It is difficult to write this review. My husband and I are not huge fans of cruises. We have only done one other cruise before this one to the Caribbean with Royal Caribbean. We really wanted to see the glaciers and this trip seemed to fit the bill. We booked our balcony room and were very excited to have that day with the beautiful scenery. We started out with positive attitudes and convinced ourselves that this trip would be awesome as there was no planning that we needed to do. Everything would be set up for us and we wouldn't even have to think about where we would eat as all the choices were right there on the ship. I had read reviews and it seemed like this trip would be fun for us and a different experience for us as we prefer to be off on our own. There was a lot of traffic getting to the terminal but once we were there the process was easy and we were on the ship in good time. We loved our stateroom (Baja 247) it was roomy and the storage was efficiently designed. We never felt cramped and enjoyed reading and relaxing in the room during the duration of our cruise. Our room attendant was Nolly and he did an outstanding job! We chose Any Time Dining as the regular hours for dinner were 5:30 (Kind of early if you were doing an excursion) and 7:45 (too late for us). In Any Time dining you are asked if you would like to share a table or if you want a table for the size of your party. We mostly shared a table for dinner as it was fun to get to know other people but a few nights it was enjoyable to just be by ourselves. In my opinion, it takes longer and if you want to see a show you may have to forego dessert. First stop was Ketchikan. We had decided to do a hike on our own and we took a cab to the Deer Mountain Trail head. The hike was all uphill which made us feel good as we knew we would consume many calories on this trip. It started pouring right as we neared the summit so we never went all the way to the top. We had time to dry off and then we spent time shopping the local shops. Here is where we tend to differ from people who cruise. We don't really care for the tourist traps that major destinations tend to have. So we walked around and bought a few things but pretty much every shop seems to look the same after awhile. Next stop was Juneau. We are pretty frugal with our money so we found a way to Mendenhall Glacier around the corner from where the ship docked. The bus driver was awesome and gave us a great tour on the way to the spot. We loved our time at the glacier, saw a beautiful waterfall (Nugget Falls) and enjoyed the film in the visitor center. I bought a calendar and had it signed by the photographer. We walked around and saw a porcupine (something I had not seen in a very long time) and then took the bus back to Juneau. We got Halibut Fish and Chips from a place recommended by the driver (can't remember the name but it was in a red building that housed different shops) and they were excellent. We ate outside on the deck. Skagway was the next stop and we had booked our first excursion through Princess. There was some drama getting off the ship as the line was very long and we were sent upstairs. When we arrived upstairs we learned that the exit for leaving the ship was closed and we returned to a much longer line! Lots of grumbling was taking place as everyone in line thought they would miss the train. Well, the train was held for us and we all found seats. The trip up the mountain was fun but we were on the wrong side of the train so all the exciting stuff was beyond view. When you turn around, you get to change sides so now all the scenery is now on your side of the train. We unfortunately did not have the best view as a huge wooden plank blocked our scenic view once we switched sides. My husband made the best of it and went outside where he had a wonderful view without obstruction. By this time we were learning our way around the ship and were taking advantage of the free entertainment. We went to Truth or Lie show put on by the cruise directors. It was fun and we enjoyed it. We loved the singers and the dancers of Princess. We saw an incredible magic show put on by Hawley Magic. We played bingo and were part of a slot pull. All of these were enjoyable! (These last two items are not free however.) There was a buy one get another drink for one dollar that we found to be a good bargain. We were so excited about cruising Tracey Arm Fjord and we went to bed early that night because we were wanted to be up early to experience the most important part of the trip. At around 10:00pm there was announcement made by the captain that we would not be going through Tracey Arm Fjord. The ship was too heavy as they had failed to dump excess water waste and we would need to go to the deeper waters of the ocean for environmental purposes. There was huge moans of disappointment in our cabin that night. The reason we had even booked a cruise was stripped away and we felt our money was poorly misspent! The next day we received a letter saying that every passenger would receive a credit of $75 for the missed port. Gee, I would have been fine with that had I missed any of the above ports but the name of the cruise is Tracey Arm Fjord, the Inside Passage Cruise. So that was a very bitter pill to swallow for two people who are not that enamored with cruising to begin with. The ship stopped in Sitka as a consolation because we had missed the Tracey Arm Fjord. There was a long line to get off (it took one hour) and there was not too much to do in this town. There was a beautiful Russian church that we went inside of but really same shops that we had seen in all the other stops. Last stop was Victoria. My husband commented that it was too bad we could have had more time here and skipped Sitka and I agreed. The Butchart Gardens were beautiful and worth seeing and so was the city. I can see why some people like to cruise. There is lots of entertainment and food choices. We thought the desserts were the highlight of the cruise. But if I want a comfortable room, fancy desserts and good entertainment I could pay a lot less money than what I paid for this cruise. I really want to see those glaciers before they completely disappear. I have to say, Princess won't be getting our money should we decide to take that next trip.

Missed Tracy Arm Fjord!

Golden Princess Cruise Review by joybob12

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2015
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
It is difficult to write this review. My husband and I are not huge fans of cruises. We have only done one other cruise before this one to the Caribbean with Royal Caribbean. We really wanted to see the glaciers and this trip seemed to fit the bill. We booked our balcony room and were very excited to have that day with the beautiful scenery.

We started out with positive attitudes and convinced ourselves that this trip would be awesome as there was no planning that we needed to do. Everything would be set up for us and we wouldn't even have to think about where we would eat as all the choices were right there on the ship. I had read reviews and it seemed like this trip would be fun for us and a different experience for us as we prefer to be off on our own.

There was a lot of traffic getting to the terminal but once we were there the process was easy and we were on the ship in good time. We loved our stateroom (Baja 247) it was roomy and the storage was efficiently designed. We never felt cramped and enjoyed reading and relaxing in the room during the duration of our cruise. Our room attendant was Nolly and he did an outstanding job!

We chose Any Time Dining as the regular hours for dinner were 5:30 (Kind of early if you were doing an excursion) and 7:45 (too late for us). In Any Time dining you are asked if you would like to share a table or if you want a table for the size of your party. We mostly shared a table for dinner as it was fun to get to know other people but a few nights it was enjoyable to just be by ourselves. In my opinion, it takes longer and if you want to see a show you may have to forego dessert.

First stop was Ketchikan. We had decided to do a hike on our own and we took a cab to the Deer Mountain Trail head. The hike was all uphill which made us feel good as we knew we would consume many calories on this trip. It started pouring right as we neared the summit so we never went all the way to the top. We had time to dry off and then we spent time shopping the local shops. Here is where we tend to differ from people who cruise. We don't really care for the tourist traps that major destinations tend to have. So we walked around and bought a few things but pretty much every shop seems to look the same after awhile.

Next stop was Juneau. We are pretty frugal with our money so we found a way to Mendenhall Glacier around the corner from where the ship docked. The bus driver was awesome and gave us a great tour on the way to the spot. We loved our time at the glacier, saw a beautiful waterfall (Nugget Falls) and enjoyed the film in the visitor center. I bought a calendar and had it signed by the photographer. We walked around and saw a porcupine (something I had not seen in a very long time) and then took the bus back to Juneau. We got Halibut Fish and Chips from a place recommended by the driver (can't remember the name but it was in a red building that housed different shops) and they were excellent. We ate outside on the deck.

Skagway was the next stop and we had booked our first excursion through Princess. There was some drama getting off the ship as the line was very long and we were sent upstairs. When we arrived upstairs we learned that the exit for leaving the ship was closed and we returned to a much longer line! Lots of grumbling was taking place as everyone in line thought they would miss the train. Well, the train was held for us and we all found seats. The trip up the mountain was fun but we were on the wrong side of the train so all the exciting stuff was beyond view. When you turn around, you get to change sides so now all the scenery is now on your side of the train. We unfortunately did not have the best view as a huge wooden plank blocked our scenic view once we switched sides. My husband made the best of it and went outside where he had a wonderful view without obstruction.

By this time we were learning our way around the ship and were taking advantage of the free entertainment. We went to Truth or Lie show put on by the cruise directors. It was fun and we enjoyed it. We loved the singers and the dancers of Princess. We saw an incredible magic show put on by Hawley Magic. We played bingo and were part of a slot pull. All of these were enjoyable! (These last two items are not free however.) There was a buy one get another drink for one dollar that we found to be a good bargain.

We were so excited about cruising Tracey Arm Fjord and we went to bed early that night because we were wanted to be up early to experience the most important part of the trip. At around 10:00pm there was announcement made by the captain that we would not be going through Tracey Arm Fjord. The ship was too heavy as they had failed to dump excess water waste and we would need to go to the deeper waters of the ocean for environmental purposes. There was huge moans of disappointment in our cabin that night. The reason we had even booked a cruise was stripped away and we felt our money was poorly misspent!

The next day we received a letter saying that every passenger would receive a credit of $75 for the missed port. Gee, I would have been fine with that had I missed any of the above ports but the name of the cruise is Tracey Arm Fjord, the Inside Passage Cruise. So that was a very bitter pill to swallow for two people who are not that enamored with cruising to begin with.

The ship stopped in Sitka as a consolation because we had missed the Tracey Arm Fjord. There was a long line to get off (it took one hour) and there was not too much to do in this town. There was a beautiful Russian church that we went inside of but really same shops that we had seen in all the other stops.

Last stop was Victoria. My husband commented that it was too bad we could have had more time here and skipped Sitka and I agreed. The Butchart Gardens were beautiful and worth seeing and so was the city.

I can see why some people like to cruise. There is lots of entertainment and food choices. We thought the desserts were the highlight of the cruise. But if I want a comfortable room, fancy desserts and good entertainment I could pay a lot less money than what I paid for this cruise. I really want to see those glaciers before they completely disappear. I have to say, Princess won't be getting our money should we decide to take that next trip.
joybob12’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB B247
Very roomy and lots of places to put clothes.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins