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We sailed on the Princess Sapphire the week of July 18, 2009.  It was great to see Alaska, and the awesome Glaciers.  Highly recommend going on a cruise that takes you into Glacier Bay.  That was the highlight of the trip.  No, overpriced tours, no shopping, just pure scenery, and beautiful nature to stare at and take pictures.The ship itself was nice, the room stewards, and servers in the dining rooms were excellent.  We had a great server in our main dining room, who advised us on the best selection of meals to eat.  She remembered what we liked, and didn't like.  The room steward greeted us each time we were walking down our corridor, very friendly.  It was nice to leave the room a mess, and come back having the beds made, and new towels in the bathroom.  We didn't get the towel buddies on this cruise, which I thought makes a cruise, but oh well.I also, highly recommend to take rain gear.  It rained in two of the three ports.  We had our umbrellas, which was a must!  You could buy umbrellas, and plastic rain coats so if you forget, or don't have one, you can get it in the ports.  They also sell the heavy raincoats for $20, good price, as I couldn't find any rain gear here in Southern California before we left.  The rain did slow us down a bit in Ketichan, but we didn't want to go on another tour that was 2 hours long, and took us to places we didn't want to see.  The tours are overpriced for what you get.  We went on the train ride in Skagway, beautiful scenery, takes you into Canada, so carry your passports, but when we got to the stop, it was raining!  Did get a lot of pictures on the ride up, we took the motor coach on the way back, good choice.  The train takes you up, and if you take the train back, it goes back the same way, I have heard through other reviews, that it's a long 3 1/2 hours on a train.We did shopping in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan.  All the shops sell the same things, at different prices.  We took the coupon book, and got a few items for free with a purchase.  We had to buy sweatshirts, as we didn't pack enough warm clothes.  If you get lucky and get the 80 degree weather then you don't need the sweatshirts.  We were not lucky and we got the cold and wet weather.  We also had to buy another umbrella!  By the time we got to the shops in Ketchikan we were drenched!  All the ports are walking distance from the ships.  I don't advise the tours that take you into town, if you can walk, just walk into each town.  We thought we needed the exercise anyway, from all the eating we were doing.The food on the ship was good.  The buffet was okay, the sit down dinner was better, and the cover charge resturants were excellent, but way too much food!  Again, the servers were excellent!  Baked Alaska was the best, the last night of the cruise!I did get to the gym four times, the first day at sea, everyone was in the gym, so we had to wait for the thread mill, after that, no waiting for machines, I guess most people gave up on exercising.Overall, we had a great time.  We did do some ship activities.  Went to the shows, the entertainers are amazing, and the comedian was funny.  The last day on the ship into Vancouver was beautiful, we actually saw sunshine, and didn't need our sweatshirts.  Very relaxing.  We saw whales, standing on our balcony off the distant.  We saw a bald eagle in Glacier bay, and bear cubs at the Mendenhall Glacier.To get a balcony room, we spent a lot of time on the balcony, especially while on the scenic part of the trip, viewing the glaciers from your stateroom is awesome!Enjoy Alaska, it's a beautiful site to see.

The Alaskan Cruise Princess style

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by 0500

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2009
  • Destination: Alaska
We sailed on the Princess Sapphire the week of July 18, 2009.  It was great to see Alaska, and the awesome Glaciers.  Highly recommend going on a cruise that takes you into Glacier Bay.  That was the highlight of the trip.  No, overpriced tours, no shopping, just pure scenery, and beautiful nature to stare at and take pictures.The ship itself was nice, the room stewards, and servers in the dining rooms were excellent.  We had a great server in our main dining room, who advised us on the best selection of meals to eat.  She remembered what we liked, and didn't like.  The room steward greeted us each time we were walking down our corridor, very friendly.  It was nice to leave the room a mess, and come back having the beds made, and new towels in the bathroom.  We didn't get the towel buddies on this cruise, which I thought makes a cruise, but oh well.I also, highly recommend to take rain gear.  It rained in two of the three ports.  We had our umbrellas, which was a must!  You could buy umbrellas, and plastic rain coats so if you forget, or don't have one, you can get it in the ports.  They also sell the heavy raincoats for $20, good price, as I couldn't find any rain gear here in Southern California before we left.  The rain did slow us down a bit in Ketichan, but we didn't want to go on another tour that was 2 hours long, and took us to places we didn't want to see.  The tours are overpriced for what you get.  We went on the train ride in Skagway, beautiful scenery, takes you into Canada, so carry your passports, but when we got to the stop, it was raining!  Did get a lot of pictures on the ride up, we took the motor coach on the way back, good choice.  The train takes you up, and if you take the train back, it goes back the same way, I have heard through other reviews, that it's a long 3 1/2 hours on a train.We did shopping in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan.  All the shops sell the same things, at different prices.  We took the coupon book, and got a few items for free with a purchase.  We had to buy sweatshirts, as we didn't pack enough warm clothes.  If you get lucky and get the 80 degree weather then you don't need the sweatshirts.  We were not lucky and we got the cold and wet weather.  We also had to buy another umbrella!  By the time we got to the shops in Ketchikan we were drenched!  All the ports are walking distance from the ships.  I don't advise the tours that take you into town, if you can walk, just walk into each town.  We thought we needed the exercise anyway, from all the eating we were doing.The food on the ship was good.  The buffet was okay, the sit down dinner was better, and the cover charge resturants were excellent, but way too much food!  Again, the servers were excellent!  Baked Alaska was the best, the last night of the cruise!I did get to the gym four times, the first day at sea, everyone was in the gym, so we had to wait for the thread mill, after that, no waiting for machines, I guess most people gave up on exercising.Overall, we had a great time.  We did do some ship activities.  Went to the shows, the entertainers are amazing, and the comedian was funny.  The last day on the ship into Vancouver was beautiful, we actually saw sunshine, and didn't need our sweatshirts.  Very relaxing.  We saw whales, standing on our balcony off the distant.  We saw a bald eagle in Glacier bay, and bear cubs at the Mendenhall Glacier.To get a balcony room, we spent a lot of time on the balcony, especially while on the scenic part of the trip, viewing the glaciers from your stateroom is awesome!Enjoy Alaska, it's a beautiful site to see.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Juneau
    You can walk into Juneau from the cruise ship. We went on the Mendenhall Glacier tour. It was a nice tour, saw the Governor's mansion, it was part of the city tour of this tour package. Mendenhall Glacier has a viewing site, a lot of people were there, and it was raining and cold. Take an umbrella. We went down a walking path, and a few feet away in the trees were two bear cubs, with the mama cub by the tree. Very cool. Also, in the trees was a porcupine. Again, very cool!
    After being wet and cold we couldn't wait to get back to the ship, and have lunch. We ended up taking a nap the rest of afternoon in Juneau, I guess the rain and cold wore us out. We traveled with our family, with two teenagers.
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  • Skagway
    Walk into town is about 5-8 min. Nice day, no rain! We took the train ride up into Canada, takes abouts 1 1/2 hours to get up the mountain. Beautiful scenery. We got up there, and it was raining. Had our umbrellas, we weren't up there long, 15 min. walked around, got some pictures, and boarded a motor coach to come home. Enjoyable.
    Did a little shopping, saw the same stuff that Skagway shops had, but again, we had our coupon book, and got a few free things. The teenagers wanted to buy a few little things for their friends back home, and I was looking at the scrapbooking stuff, that they sell now. Not much, but more than I could find back in California.
    Went back to the ship for lunch, and a little rest before dinner.
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