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27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. PROS The Princess organization on the land portion was flawless. Buses were there on time and baggage was handled efficiently. Embarkation in Whittier was chaotic due to at lease three trainloads of us stacked up on the other side of the tunnel. The line did move quickly at the ship, though, and we were "soon" in our cabin. CONS No eggs at the salad bar. BOO. I've been in hotels around the world and have never failed to find egg at the salad bar. My pet peeve. 27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. With the Princess Riverside so close to the Fairbanks airport and advertising a free airport shuttle, I didn't see the need to purchase transfers. When we finally arrived at Fairbanks after Midnight our room key and baggage tags were none the less waiting for us at baggage claim. And we were told to board the same bus as everyone else. A short ride to the resort and we were in our room in minutes. It took the bags an hour to catch up with us. It was maybe 1:30 AM Alaska time (3:30 AM back home body time) when we finally turned the lights out. I had planned no excursions for the next morning knowing we needed our sleep after a 20 hour travel day. In the afternoon, however, we called Gold Dredge 8 and booked a time later that day. Even with the shuttle cost to their out of town location, we came out ahead over booking through Princess. We enjoyed the dredge tour and we panned our rather tiny amount of gold. The look of gold in the bottom of the pan was still a thrill. I recommend this experience. The next day we boarded a bus for the ride to Denali. Great scenery once we got close to Denali. The first stretch from Fairbanks not so much. Checked in to the Denali Princess and made the obligatory walk across the highway to peruse the souvenir shops. The weather there was cool and on and off wet. We booked no excursions. The following day we did take the shuttle over to the Denali NP Visitor Center to get our National Parks passports stamped. While there we were told about a sled dog demonstration nearby and got in line for that. Park employees conducted the demonstration and we learned they use the dogsleds to deliver supplies around the park in winter. Interesting. Afterwards we got on the free park shuttle and rode it to Savage River and back. Wednesday was the all day train ride to Whittier. We both loved it. Scenery was awesome and we even saw a critter or two. We got to our ship late because of a problem in the tunnel but so did almost everyone else. Thursday we visited Hubbard Glacier, the high point of the cruise for both of us. This is one place not to be missed. A 300 foot high 6 mile wide wall of ice pushing relentlessly to the sea. We were not disappointed and saw several calving events. The sound of the ice cracking just prior echoed around the inlet. Friday more glaciers at Glacier NP. Park rangers on board giving commentary. Saturday Skagway. Must see the gold rush museum. And we walked around town. Skipped the train ride due to a very tight budget. Sunday Juneau. More walking. Monday Ketchikan. Watched the salmon spawning in a nearby stream. Tuesday at sea. Wednesday AM arrived Vancouver and debarked? Consider spending an extra night or two in Vancouver. We did. And took the all day bus and ferry tour to Vancouver Island. Saw Victoria and Butchart Gardens. Big ship cruising was new to me. We explored every nook and cranny of the Island Princess, finding something new each day. We ate twice in the Bordeau Room. The rest of the time in the buffet. The Bordeau Room offered miniscule portions but of course you could always order more. The Horizon Buffet on a top deck at the bow offered great views and ok food. I realize Princess caters to an international clientele and the offering reflected that. But after a week, I was so looking forward to some recognizable comfort food. They had meatloaf that looked nothing like any meatloaf I had ever seen. I didn't try it. One night was BBQ night and everything looked good. We're from Kansas City, the home of great BBQ, and these ribs were disappointing, mostly globs of fat. Way too many dessert choices. Too tempting. The breakfast buffet was terrific. We did watch two performances at the Princess Theater. One a comic and the other doing Whitney Houston songs. Both were well done. We ignored the art auctions and the casino. Neither our thing. A surprise were the performances in the Atrium by a talented String Quartet. I enjoyed all of them. Despite having two thousand passengers on board, we never felt crowded. There were no long lines no matter where we went on the ship. I am not a violent man but I fantasized about tossing the ship photographer overboard. If we want our pictures taken we will find you. I realize this is a profit center for Princess, but.............

First time ocean cruise

Island Princess Cruise Review by Animal65JJJ

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview (obstructed view)
27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later.

PROS

The Princess organization on the land portion was flawless. Buses were there on time and baggage was handled efficiently.

Embarkation in Whittier was chaotic due to at lease three trainloads of us stacked up on the other side of the tunnel. The line did move quickly at the ship, though, and we were "soon" in our cabin.

CONS

No eggs at the salad bar. BOO. I've been in hotels around the world and have never failed to find egg at the salad bar. My pet peeve.

27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later.

With the Princess Riverside so close to the Fairbanks airport and advertising a free airport shuttle, I didn't see the need to purchase transfers. When we finally arrived at Fairbanks after Midnight our room key and baggage tags were none the less waiting for us at baggage claim. And we were told to board the same bus as everyone else. A short ride to the resort and we were in our room in minutes. It took the bags an hour to catch up with us. It was maybe 1:30 AM Alaska time (3:30 AM back home body time) when we finally turned the lights out.

I had planned no excursions for the next morning knowing we needed our sleep after a 20 hour travel day. In the afternoon, however, we called Gold Dredge 8 and booked a time later that day. Even with the shuttle cost to their out of town location, we came out ahead over booking through Princess. We enjoyed the dredge tour and we panned our rather tiny amount of gold. The look of gold in the bottom of the pan was still a thrill. I recommend this experience.

The next day we boarded a bus for the ride to Denali. Great scenery once we got close to Denali. The first stretch from Fairbanks not so much. Checked in to the Denali Princess and made the obligatory walk across the highway to peruse the souvenir shops. The weather there was cool and on and off wet. We booked no excursions.

The following day we did take the shuttle over to the Denali NP Visitor Center to get our National Parks passports stamped. While there we were told about a sled dog demonstration nearby and got in line for that. Park employees conducted the demonstration and we learned they use the dogsleds to deliver supplies around the park in winter. Interesting. Afterwards we got on the free park shuttle and rode it to Savage River and back.

Wednesday was the all day train ride to Whittier. We both loved it. Scenery was awesome and we even saw a critter or two. We got to our ship late because of a problem in the tunnel but so did almost everyone else.

Thursday we visited Hubbard Glacier, the high point of the cruise for both of us. This is one place not to be missed. A 300 foot high 6 mile wide wall of ice pushing relentlessly to the sea. We were not disappointed and saw several calving events. The sound of the ice cracking just prior echoed around the inlet.

Friday more glaciers at Glacier NP. Park rangers on board giving commentary.

Saturday Skagway. Must see the gold rush museum. And we walked around town. Skipped the train ride due to a very tight budget.

Sunday Juneau. More walking.

Monday Ketchikan. Watched the salmon spawning in a nearby stream.

Tuesday at sea.

Wednesday AM arrived Vancouver and debarked? Consider spending an extra night or two in Vancouver. We did. And took the all day bus and ferry tour to Vancouver Island. Saw Victoria and Butchart Gardens.

Big ship cruising was new to me. We explored every nook and cranny of the Island Princess, finding something new each day. We ate twice in the Bordeau Room. The rest of the time in the buffet. The Bordeau Room offered miniscule portions but of course you could always order more. The Horizon Buffet on a top deck at the bow offered great views and ok food. I realize Princess caters to an international clientele and the offering reflected that. But after a week, I was so looking forward to some recognizable comfort food. They had meatloaf that looked nothing like any meatloaf I had ever seen. I didn't try it. One night was BBQ night and everything looked good. We're from Kansas City, the home of great BBQ, and these ribs were disappointing, mostly globs of fat. Way too many dessert choices. Too tempting. The breakfast buffet was terrific.

We did watch two performances at the Princess Theater. One a comic and the other doing Whitney Houston songs. Both were well done. We ignored the art auctions and the casino. Neither our thing. A surprise were the performances in the Atrium by a talented String Quartet. I enjoyed all of them.

Despite having two thousand passengers on board, we never felt crowded. There were no long lines no matter where we went on the ship.

I am not a violent man but I fantasized about tossing the ship photographer overboard. If we want our pictures taken we will find you. I realize this is a profit center for Princess, but.............
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Cabin Review

Oceanview (obstructed view)
Cabin OV E334
We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin. At least there was some natural light. Our first impression was that the cabin was someone's very big closet (remember this was our first cruise). We adapted. We were the cabin closest to the Internet Cafe and Atrium but only noticed noise when the door was open. Even foot traffic was not invasive. One minor irritant was our steward's insistence that he be allowed to enter the room and make it up before 11 AM, even when we had the do not disturb sign hanging up. If that is Princess policy, they need to change their policy. Our cabin. We get to dictate if and when employees enter. Not them. We don't always need our cabin made up every day. Of course we could have used more room in the "closet" but I guess minimal room for our two suitcases is pretty much standard in the cruise industry.
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