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We chose Princess to Alaska because 20 years ago we sailed the same cruise for our honeymoon. Having set our expectations during the first cruise, we were disappointed to find that smoking is still allowed in so many areas of the ship. It was impossible to enjoy any of the outside decks, or even our private balcony, due to second-hand tobacco smoke. Even worse, apparently smoking is allowed within the event horizon of the fresh air intake manifold and our stateroom was intermittently inundated with the smell of smoke, making it untenable. Repeated requests to address the situation were fruitless. We were finally offered compensation but then were given a smaller amount than promised as a credit on our account. One does not expect great value from a cruise -- everything is overpriced -- but no amount of compensation will offset our ruined 20th-anniversary cruise experience. Another issue was with the online booking of spa services. The online description was quite a departure from the actual service we encountered. The staff at the spa acknowledged the difference, even saying that this had been the same for other guests who had reserved the same service. However, they were not authorized to refund the money, so we paid extra for an upgrade and, in the end, we received services that would have cost a quarter of the amount at home. This is our last cruise with Princess unless they have a non-smoking cruise option. PS: The scones at high tea used to be freshly made from scratch with NO RAISINS and were served with a selection of jams other than raspberry. What's the world coming to?!

Don't bother to light up. There's enough smoke on this boat to just inhale.

Ruby Princess Cruise Review by dnation

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We chose Princess to Alaska because 20 years ago we sailed the same cruise for our honeymoon. Having set our expectations during the first cruise, we were disappointed to find that smoking is still allowed in so many areas of the ship. It was impossible to enjoy any of the outside decks, or even our private balcony, due to second-hand tobacco smoke. Even worse, apparently smoking is allowed within the event horizon of the fresh air intake manifold and our stateroom was intermittently inundated with the smell of smoke, making it untenable. Repeated requests to address the situation were fruitless. We were finally offered compensation but then were given a smaller amount than promised as a credit on our account. One does not expect great value from a cruise -- everything is overpriced -- but no amount of compensation will offset our ruined 20th-anniversary cruise experience.

Another issue was with the online booking of spa services. The online description was quite a departure from the actual service we encountered. The staff at the spa acknowledged the difference, even saying that this had been the same for other guests who had reserved the same service. However, they were not authorized to refund the money, so we paid extra for an upgrade and, in the end, we received services that would have cost a quarter of the amount at home.

This is our last cruise with Princess unless they have a non-smoking cruise option.

PS: The scones at high tea used to be freshly made from scratch with NO RAISINS and were served with a selection of jams other than raspberry. What's the world coming to?!
dnation’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin ME D109
Our stateroom would have been exactly as expected if it had only been habitable. The balcony was in the slipstream of a designated smoking area as was the fresh air intake that serviced the stateroom.
Dolphin Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glacier Bay National Park
    A brief, but inspiring turn through the bay shows how our persistent negligence has caused the recession of these ice masses. Enjoy them while you can. Experts agree that the sins of the past 100 years are locked into what happens next.
    Of course, the views could not be appreciated from all quarters of the ship, nor from our private balcony, due to the cigarette smoke that was at times pervasive onboard.
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  • Juneau
    Raft floating was relaxing, but mostly it's like rafting through people's back yards and views of the glacier are relatively brief.
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  • Juneau
    On a clear day, this is a beautiful view (I've seen it before) but was cloudy and raining on our day (a frequent condition to be expected). The nature hike at the top is worth the effort.
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  • Zip-lining
    While the zip-lining was fun and the surrounding scenery was amazing, the time in this port was way too short. There was literally zero time remaining to see any of Ketchikan after returning from the excursion. Had the brief stop in Victoria (7PM to midnight) been dropped in favor of a longer stay in Ketchikan, then this trip would have been among the best ports of call.
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  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    This is a really fun trip, enhanced by the uncrowded car we were in (most are packed). The views are spectacular and it's exciting to stand on the platforms between cars with the cool fresh air blowing around the train.
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  • Victoria
    Nice city to walk in, but not much to do from 7PM to midnight, especially considering that it takes time to disembark. If you have underaged members of your party, you may as well stay on the ship and play air hockey. I'm not sure what was the point of including this port in the itinerary. It was a complete waste of time that could have been better spent in Ketchikan.
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