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We took the Island Princess as part of an Alaska Cruise Tour. The inland portion of the tour was excellent. This was primarily due to selecting the connisseur tour. While more expensive it probably proved cheaper in the long run. Our guide was excellent and informative. We got the best times for the tours and the best seats in the restaurants. Meals were included and very good. Would have cost a lot of money if we would have had to pay for them. We upgraded to a mini suite for the trip and were very satisfied with the accommadations and the steward we had. I requested a room near an elevator as I told the Princess representative I booked with I had bad ankles and leg and did not want to walk too far. This was our first cruise and we were not familiar with the ship. We got a room close to the elevator but in the rear of the ship. However, everything that you wanted to do on the ship was in the front so it involved a lot of walking. The major disappointment for the cruise was the quality of the meals (or lack thereof). We had heard many good things about the quality of the food on the ship. Breakfasts were good. Hard to screw up a buffet. We had pizza for lunch when we were on the ship and it was good. The evening meals were major disappointments. Had one good meal out of the six we had. When I ordered seafood - 3 of the nights it was overcooked and dry. One night the sea bass was do done I couldn't eat much of it. It also smelled very fishy and should not have even been served. Because of the poor quality of the seafood I even violated one of my principles - don't order steak on a ship. Although cooked correctly is usually tasteless. One night our server forgot to bring the soup I ordered. Several other couples on our inland tour had the same opinion of the food. We were also turned off by the "nickel and diming" during cruise. Every time we wanted a specitaly coffee or soda it was $4. I even had to pay for a soda when I wanted one with my dinner. At $57/day per person the unlimited drink option was a useless investment, especially when wine was only 50% off. My wife and I were also turned off by the constant bombardment of advertising for the shops on the ship. I we wanted to go shopping we would have gone to a store. I almost broke out laughing when we went to the new cruisers presentation and the Princess Representative was touting their frequent cruiser program. All smoke and mirrors as if $25/ per person off is an incentive to travel with them again. We have taken several river cruises in Europe and they are the "A" List standard for cruising. Meals are superb. Wine and beer are included with the evening meal and soda and specialty coffee are free any time. Compared to the river cruises Princess gets a C-. I was discussing my this with a concierge at our hotel on the post cruise stay and her comment was that the river cruises were a lot more expensive. My response was that they were the same price so I have the same expectations. After returning I have talked to several people who have said they have heard that Princess Cruises have declined. We will be hard pressed to consider another large ship cruise in the future. We also selected to stay in Vancouver for a 3 day post cruise stay. Princess booked us at the Fairmont Empress on Victoria Island and the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver. Both are 5 star hotels.

A very disappointing cruise.

Island Princess Cruise Review by fenton231

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We took the Island Princess as part of an Alaska Cruise Tour. The inland portion of the tour was excellent. This was primarily due to selecting the connisseur tour. While more expensive it probably proved cheaper in the long run. Our guide was excellent and informative. We got the best times for the tours and the best seats in the restaurants. Meals were included and very good. Would have cost a lot of money if we would have had to pay for them. We upgraded to a mini suite for the trip and were very satisfied with the accommadations and the steward we had. I requested a room near an elevator as I told the Princess representative I booked with I had bad ankles and leg and did not want to walk too far. This was our first cruise and we were not familiar with the ship. We got a room close to the elevator but in the rear of the ship. However, everything that you wanted to do on the ship was in the front so it involved a lot of walking. The major disappointment for the cruise was the quality of the meals (or lack thereof). We had heard many good things about the quality of the food on the ship. Breakfasts were good. Hard to screw up a buffet. We had pizza for lunch when we were on the ship and it was good. The evening meals were major disappointments. Had one good meal out of the six we had. When I ordered seafood - 3 of the nights it was overcooked and dry. One night the sea bass was do done I couldn't eat much of it. It also smelled very fishy and should not have even been served. Because of the poor quality of the seafood I even violated one of my principles - don't order steak on a ship. Although cooked correctly is usually tasteless. One night our server forgot to bring the soup I ordered. Several other couples on our inland tour had the same opinion of the food. We were also turned off by the "nickel and diming" during cruise. Every time we wanted a specitaly coffee or soda it was $4. I even had to pay for a soda when I wanted one with my dinner. At $57/day per person the unlimited drink option was a useless investment, especially when wine was only 50% off. My wife and I were also turned off by the constant bombardment of advertising for the shops on the ship. I we wanted to go shopping we would have gone to a store. I almost broke out laughing when we went to the new cruisers presentation and the Princess Representative was touting their frequent cruiser program. All smoke and mirrors as if $25/ per person off is an incentive to travel with them again. We have taken several river cruises in Europe and they are the "A" List standard for cruising. Meals are superb. Wine and beer are included with the evening meal and soda and specialty coffee are free any time. Compared to the river cruises Princess gets a C-. I was discussing my this with a concierge at our hotel on the post cruise stay and her comment was that the river cruises were a lot more expensive. My response was that they were the same price so I have the same expectations. After returning I have talked to several people who have said they have heard that Princess Cruises have declined. We will be hard pressed to consider another large ship cruise in the future. We also selected to stay in Vancouver for a 3 day post cruise stay. Princess booked us at the Fairmont Empress on Victoria Island and the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver. Both are 5 star hotels.
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB C705
Our cabins were fine. The mini suite with balcony we upgraded to provided enough space with the sitting area so you didn't feel cramped when in the room.
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