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This was our 2nd cruise on the Pacific Princess (Black Sea two years ago) and our second Alaska cruise (NCL about 15 years ago). So, we knew what to expect on both counts. The Pacific Princess is our preferred size of ship; at 600+ passengers, it has all the amenities of a larger ship, but is small enough to get around easily. And after a couple of days, we begin to recognize the other passengers. Food is delicious on the Pacific Princess! I was prepared; I actually lost a couple of pounds (in preparation) before the cruise. Good thing since I gained a few pounds, mostly in the Panorama Buffet! We also did both specialty restaurants and they were very good. Food in the traditional dining room was good, but nothing spectacular. We even had room service one day (a special breakfast arranged by our travel agent). That was really good too! We've been on several other cruise lines and I think the Pacific Princess has the best food. We had a really good cabin; we were on the 8th deck in a "mini-suite." It had the most storage of any ship we've ever been on. The bathroom even had a bathtub! The cabin was quiet. The balcony was large, and great for viewing the glaciers on Glacier Bay. I used the fitness center, which is quite adequate, and the spa. I had a massage and also had my nails done. The spa is expensive, but is a nice "treat" during a sea day. We did 3 excursions; one in each port: Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. Disembarkation at each port was simple (tenders not required). We got right off the ship. The excursions were good and the excursion leaders very enthusiastic. The excursions were exactly as depicted in the videos on the Princess website. We went to the one show, a comedian, and he was hilarious! We did not watch any of the musicals. As it was Alaska in August, there were a few other cruise ships at each port (e.g. Carnival, another Princess, Celebrity). We did morning excursions, so it wasn't an issue for us. And we avoided the souvenirs shops - of which there were many. We only spent 1/2 day in Ketchikan; I wish it was longer. We would have liked to have explored more of the town. Our stays in Juneau and Skagway were longer. Juneau is a very charming city; Skagway is much smaller. After we disembarked in Whittier, we had a private tour in Anchorage. We stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel, which was very nice. Princess also has pre and post cruise packages at the Captain Cook. Although I consulted weather.com before the cruise and had been to Alaska before, I didn't have the right clothes. It was chillier and damper than I envisioned. Most passengers had winter-weight clothes and outerwear. I had brought gloves and a hat, which I did wear. My only regret is not having brought heavier clothes. A light winter jacket and warm socks are a must, especially for the rainy, chilly days. Compared to the other cruise lines we've been on, Princess "falls short" in one regard: it still "nickels and dimes" passengers for items that come free on the other ships: wine with meals, specialty coffees, etc. And finally, I still get a kick out of seeing Love Boat TV show reruns in the cabin! We would definitely do another Pacific Princess cruise in the future. Hopefully, Princess will revisit their policy on offering all-inclusive pricing.

The Pacific Princess did not disappoint.

Pacific Princess Cruise Review by Arling2nGal

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2015
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was our 2nd cruise on the Pacific Princess (Black Sea two years ago) and our second Alaska cruise (NCL about 15 years ago). So, we knew what to expect on both counts. The Pacific Princess is our preferred size of ship; at 600+ passengers, it has all the amenities of a larger ship, but is small enough to get around easily. And after a couple of days, we begin to recognize the other passengers.

Food is delicious on the Pacific Princess! I was prepared; I actually lost a couple of pounds (in preparation) before the cruise. Good thing since I gained a few pounds, mostly in the Panorama Buffet! We also did both specialty restaurants and they were very good. Food in the traditional dining room was good, but nothing spectacular. We even had room service one day (a special breakfast arranged by our travel agent). That was really good too! We've been on several other cruise lines and I think the Pacific Princess has the best food.

We had a really good cabin; we were on the 8th deck in a "mini-suite." It had the most storage of any ship we've ever been on. The bathroom even had a bathtub! The cabin was quiet. The balcony was large, and great for viewing the glaciers on Glacier Bay.

I used the fitness center, which is quite adequate, and the spa. I had a massage and also had my nails done. The spa is expensive, but is a nice "treat" during a sea day.

We did 3 excursions; one in each port: Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. Disembarkation at each port was simple (tenders not required). We got right off the ship. The excursions were good and the excursion leaders very enthusiastic. The excursions were exactly as depicted in the videos on the Princess website.

We went to the one show, a comedian, and he was hilarious! We did not watch any of the musicals.

As it was Alaska in August, there were a few other cruise ships at each port (e.g. Carnival, another Princess, Celebrity). We did morning excursions, so it wasn't an issue for us. And we avoided the souvenirs shops - of which there were many. We only spent 1/2 day in Ketchikan; I wish it was longer. We would have liked to have explored more of the town. Our stays in Juneau and Skagway were longer. Juneau is a very charming city; Skagway is much smaller.

After we disembarked in Whittier, we had a private tour in Anchorage. We stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel, which was very nice. Princess also has pre and post cruise packages at the Captain Cook.

Although I consulted weather.com before the cruise and had been to Alaska before, I didn't have the right clothes. It was chillier and damper than I envisioned. Most passengers had winter-weight clothes and outerwear. I had brought gloves and a hat, which I did wear. My only regret is not having brought heavier clothes. A light winter jacket and warm socks are a must, especially for the rainy, chilly days.

Compared to the other cruise lines we've been on, Princess "falls short" in one regard: it still "nickels and dimes" passengers for items that come free on the other ships: wine with meals, specialty coffees, etc.

And finally, I still get a kick out of seeing Love Boat TV show reruns in the cabin!

We would definitely do another Pacific Princess cruise in the future. Hopefully, Princess will revisit their policy on offering all-inclusive pricing.
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin ME 8018
Upgrade from a veranda to a mini-suite was well worth it! Cabin was light and airy and we had tons of storage (and hangers)! Bathroom was small, but it had a bathtub. Larger balcony was also very appreciated.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Mendenhall Glacier Rafting
    This excursion was great! It was a sunny day and visibility was really good. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and witty and he kept us entertained. Of the 3 excursions we took, this one was my favorite!
    View All 43 Mendenhall Glacier Rafting Reviews
  • Zodiac Boat
    Unfortunately, it rained heavily during our excursion which really limited our visibility. They had provided us with multiple layers of rain gear, hats, gloves, and visors, but it was still a cold and clammy experience. Our guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Had I known it was going to be raining so heavily (apparently, it almost always rains in Ketchikan), I would have skipped this excursion.
    View All 33 Zodiac Boat Reviews
  • Chilkoot Trail Hike and Float Adventure
    This excursion was way more strenuous than depicted on the Princess website! The website shows participants walking on even, flat terrain. However, about half of the terrain was actually very rocky and very steep. Luckily, I had a walking stick, but my husband, the tour guide, and some of the other participants had to help me maneuver some of the time. Fortunately, it was a clear day; it would have been treacherous had it been raining. I'm fairly fit and active (but I do not regularly hike). Our very young guide seemed oblivious to those of us who were trailing far behind her. Had I known how strenuous this excursion really was, I would not have taken it.
    View All 13,945 Chilkoot Trail Hike and Float Adventure Reviews
  • Vancouver
    We went to Vancouver 5 days before the cruise. What a great city! Strongly urge other travelers to check out Vancouver at least a couple of days before the cruise.
    View All 672 Vancouver Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Vancouver Cruise Port Review