1.We enjoyed our meals in the Horizon Grill (buffet). Service was good and the view out of the large floor to ceiling windows was fantastic. Salad and fruits were very fresh – impressive considering that we were on the Alaska cruise. Fresh lettuce and fruit must be hard to get this far north.
2. Staff were uniformly helpful and very efficient, yet they were not obtrusive. William, our steward, did a good job, he introduced himself to us on the first day and we saw him a good bit in the hall and if we need something we could ask him. He also provided a pager # to reach him. One little thing stood out for me regarding the staff, I was in the Horizon grill and saw a staff member walk by with a plate of food – I assumed he was taking it to someone and I causally mentioned to him that they had run out of horseradish for the pork. I thought he would deliver the plate of food and then take care of the horseradish, much to my surprise he went off into the kitchen area to get the horseradish restocked, later I saw him eating. While I was impressed by this level of service I was embarrassed to have interrupted his meal
3. The room size (we had the mini-suite with balcony) was of a decent size considering that we spent a lot of time on the deck or on an excursion. The furniture was not particularly comfortable, the coach was one of those pull out bed things that was not deep enough to sit in and the cushions were not very thick, the best chairs in the room were the two deck chairs.
I think the rooms are ready for an update.
4. Embarking and the excursions were well organized and we did not have any issue with that – actually very impressed by how efficient they were.
5. The programs offered on our trip were appropriate for Alaska, a couple on wildlife and the flora of the area, one on the sled dogs (including an hour with two sled dog puppies) a real hit!
6. Wonderful cruise in Glacier Bay National Park. We had three NP rangers and some staff come aboard the ship and provide commentary while we cruised the bay. Our Capt. Tuvo did a top notch job of getting us (safely) near the glaciers and we spent about an hour near the Margerie glacier – got to see some caving off the glacier. Capt. Tuvo seems genuinely enthused by this trip – he even announced at 10 pm or so that there was a display of the northern lights.
7. My suggestion to Princess cruises is that they add a TV channel that has continuous weather updates as well as “where we are” information. They could tie the location information into the waypoints, names of towns, prominent landmarks that are listed on the map they sell – that way people would want to purchase the map and book (which is an informative book in any case).
It would be very useful to have better weather info when planning your day or shore excursions.
8. I realize that anyone involved in transportation needs to be very careful. Still I wonder if it would be possible for Princess to offer a tour of the bridge and engine room on their ships, do it when the ship is in port so there is no issue of interfering with the ship operation. I was disappointed that they did not offer a tour of those areas on this trip
Mini suite was fine for us, in terms of size, etc. It was nice to have the balcony, especially on the Alaska cruise. I would suggest getting the Port side as I think you would see more of the wildlife, etc. that way.
Plan to get a car and travel Alaska for a couple of weeks on our own.
This is a not to miss trip, and getting from the ship to the train was easy.View All 1212 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews