We had another great cruise with Princess Cruises this month. This time, we did the round trip inside passage to Alaska via Seattle. Cruised on Princess (Island Princess) several years ago from Whittier to Vancouver. The problem there was the flight arrangements getting there and getting back were grueling. We were exhausted when we got there, and exhausted when we returned. The Emerald Princess is really a nice ship. Having been accustomed most recently to the Royal and Regal Princess ships, it was not that nice. Regardless, the culture of excellent service throughout was evident throughout this cruise. Princess does such a good job at really taking care of it's passengers while maintaining a smiling crew with a great attitude throughout. It is for this reason that Princess remains our preferred cruise line. Each line has its own personality and culture along with its unique offerings, but we always come back to the luxury and "feel good" experiences aboard Princess. We love the big Royal Caribbean ships for their vast array of offerings, but when just my wife and I, we love the relative peace and superior service of Princess.
The food throughout the cruise was outstanding. We visited the steak house one night as it was a free incentive offered by our travel agent. I don't know if it is worth the $29 per person up charge, but given the opportunity to go there as a promo, do not miss it. It is wonderful. I love the salts that they bring out to use. Our cabin was great. We saved some money and bought the "obstructed balcony". Well, I never figured out what the obstruction was since we had a fabulous view. If you are going to Alaska, let me advise you to spring for a Balcony. The scenery is incredible. We left the curtains open essentially all the time so we went to sleep with great views and woke up to the same. The cabin was a good size with a very generous balcony. Had room service several times in the cabin. I was amazed each time at how quickly our orders came (much faster than the time they quoted). Our cabin attendant was wonderful and always smiling. The poor guy worked his "fanny" off, but always had a great attitude and helped whenever we needed something. One key observation that distinguishes Princess from some of the others: the staff members always smile and greet you when you pass one. Other lines have staff members that look like they haven't slept in weeks in many cases and it is all they can do to stand up and walk -- much less greet you!
Oh, and the destinations in Alaska -- great. Loved Ketchican and Skagway, stayed in town this time in Juno, which was not so great. Ended up witnessing a man severely beating on his wife on the main street of town (locals) -- so bad that II called 911 to report it. Police came and broke it up. I s'pose that was my excitement for that port. If in Juno, highly recommend a tour that takes you a bit out of town to some of the wonderful sights (we did on previous cruise). Oh, and I also highly recommend the train ride over to the Yukon. Again, we did this on the previous cruise and loved it. Princess does a great job with their Alaska trips. I think you will thoroughly enjoy it if you travel with them.
I think our cabin was C704 - Deck 8, cabin 704. It was right by an elevator (wonderful - no noise but very convenient). Good size cabin with great view.