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We specifically chose an Alaska cruise for chance to see glaciers while there are yet glaciers to see. I'm not sure we were entirely prepared for how much we would enjoy the full experience of the cruise. Although the Island Princess is an older ship, it seemed to be very well-maintained. Embarkation went smoothly, and we had plenty of time to explore the ship and find lunch before sailing. The crew was amazing, especially our waiter at dinner and our stateroom steward. We had a blast checking out various activities including the nightly performances in the Princess Theater and live music in the bars. Our stateroom was surprisingly roomy, with plenty of space in the closet for our clothes. A few more electrical outlets would be nice, especially by the bed, but we managed. The bathroom was tiny, which we were prepared for, but only the shower really felt cramped. The food was amazing, in particular the dinner selections, and we quickly learned to trust the recommendations made by our waiter because he was never wrong. The pizza was delicious, and the buffet, particularly the pastries at Amuletto, was fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed our shore excursions in the three ports as well as sailing through Glacier Bay National Park where we had the amazing experience of watching calving at the Marjerie Glacier. This was our first cruise, and we came packed with books and cards to keep ourselves amused, but there was so much to do that we had to specifically plan quiet time. We never even made it to many of the activities available--not even the pool. Two minor issues with our stateroom were dealt with quickly and effectively with minimal disruption to us.

Wonderful!

Island Princess Cruise Review by Jennyanndiana

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We specifically chose an Alaska cruise for chance to see glaciers while there are yet glaciers to see. I'm not sure we were entirely prepared for how much we would enjoy the full experience of the cruise. Although the Island Princess is an older ship, it seemed to be very well-maintained. Embarkation went smoothly, and we had plenty of time to explore the ship and find lunch before sailing. The crew was amazing, especially our waiter at dinner and our stateroom steward. We had a blast checking out various activities including the nightly performances in the Princess Theater and live music in the bars. Our stateroom was surprisingly roomy, with plenty of space in the closet for our clothes. A few more electrical outlets would be nice, especially by the bed, but we managed. The bathroom was tiny, which we were prepared for, but only the shower really felt cramped. The food was amazing, in particular the dinner selections, and we quickly learned to trust the recommendations made by our waiter because he was never wrong. The pizza was delicious, and the buffet, particularly the pastries at Amuletto, was fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed our shore excursions in the three ports as well as sailing through Glacier Bay National Park where we had the amazing experience of watching calving at the Marjerie Glacier. This was our first cruise, and we came packed with books and cards to keep ourselves amused, but there was so much to do that we had to specifically plan quiet time. We never even made it to many of the activities available--not even the pool. Two minor issues with our stateroom were dealt with quickly and effectively with minimal disruption to us.
Jennyanndiana’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB A439
We were surprised at how roomy the cabin felt. We had the bed configured as a king rather than two singles. There seemed to be plenty of storage space--a large closet, a cabinet with shelves and drawers in the bedside tables and desk. The room refrigerator was very appreciated as my wife has medication that must stay cold. The balcony was a pleasant place to sit and watch the waves and watch for sea life. The bathroom of course is quite small, but only the shower really felt tight. The location was great, away from noisy venues but close to stairs and elevator. We enjoyed the daily towel animals we would find (and the sense of humor displayed when these would move while we were out later.)
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glacier Bay
    We sailed through Glacier Bay National Park with the opportunity to view several glaciers, some, such as the Marjerie Glacier, quite close. Naturalists from the National Park Service came aboard to answer questions and later gave a presentation on glaciers. We were told that this can be a good place to spot whales and other sea mammals. While I didn't have the patience for this, my wife was more persistent and did spot humpback whales, seals, sea lions and sea otters.
    View All 748 Glacier Bay Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Whale Watching
    We had a wonderful time on the whale watching cruise. The guides did a great job of pointing out interesting sights and letting us know what to look for to spot whales, seals and sea lions. We were fortunate to see several whales, a large group of harbor seals resting on the shore of an island and some sea lions. We also saw bald eagles on the ride to and from the ship. The boat was roomy and comfortable with complimentary coffee, tea and hot chocolate as well as other items for sale. We were also offered samples of local treat to sample (and the opportunity to purchase these as well.) Following the whale watching, we also had brief visit to the Mendenhall Glacier.
    View All 841 Whale Watching Reviews
  • Rainforest Hike
    This was one of the highlights of the cruise experience. A short bus ride took us the Alaska Rain Forest Sanctuary. Our excellent guide Rylee answered questions and pointed out the local flora and fauna, explaining their interconnectedness. At one point on the trail we had the great good fortune to see a black bear, and later, near the salmon hatchery, we saw a number of seal feasting on the salmon who had returned to spawn. Rylee's enthusiasm, love of the area and depth of knowledge added considerably to the experience. The tour also includes a visit to a Native American Totem carver, and we were able to watch him and his wife as they worked on their most recent creation. In addition, representatives of a raptor rescue also spend summers at the Sanctuary, and we were introduced to several raptor ambassadors, birds whose injuries prevent them from being released back to the wild. After the formal portion of the tour, we had time to wander a gift shop and an outdoor area where more of the artist's totems were exhibited.
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  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    This isn't just a beautiful ride through the mountains but also a great chance to learn more about the great Yukon gold rush of the 1890's. The guide gives fascinating information about the history and the hardships faced by those trying to strike it rich. At one point you can actually still see a portion of the narrow original trail. If you're feeling brave, you can stand out on the platform between cars and look down with nothing but the railing between you and a spectacular drop. Coaches provide a restroom and free water. We took the shorter version of this excursion which did not require passports; next time I would love to take the longer excursion into the Yukon.
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  • Vancouver
    Vancouver is a lovely city with a number of activities appealing to any taste. Enjoy nature at Stanley Park, view fine art at the Vancouver Art Gallery or visit one of several museums to find out more about the area.
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