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I was looking for a cruise out of San Francisco and Princess fit the bill. The cruise terminal is easy to reach and Princess was well organized to board 3,000 passengers. My advice to cruisers is to exit your vehicle (taxi, Uber or personal transportation) at the curb before turning in and wheel your luggage to the ship's porters the last one hundred yards. The cab ride from the hotel to the cruise port took 10 minutes--the ride from the cruise port's turn-in to the ship took another 20 minutes because it takes time to off-load luggage and once you are in the queue you're stuck. Disembarkation was also well organized. I purchased the airport transfer service and got there in record time. The ship was very nice with subdued decor (my previous cruises were on Carnival--enough said.) I stayed in a balcony cabin, towards the front of the ship. The elevators were slow and sometimes very crowded with scooters, wheelchairs, and a generally older crowd that can't negotiate the stairs too well, but most people took it in stride. The excursions I took were interesting but too short for the money. A naturalist gave talks about Alaska's wildlife, botany, etc. and that helped make the whole experience more interesting. The food was good (lots of fresh fish) and varied although sometimes a bit bland. Service was friendly and efficient.

A wonderful introduction to Alaska

Grand Princess Cruise Review by lonetreefarm

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
I was looking for a cruise out of San Francisco and Princess fit the bill. The cruise terminal is easy to reach and Princess was well organized to board 3,000 passengers. My advice to cruisers is to exit your vehicle (taxi, Uber or personal transportation) at the curb before turning in and wheel your luggage to the ship's porters the last one hundred yards. The cab ride from the hotel to the cruise port took 10 minutes--the ride from the cruise port's turn-in to the ship took another 20 minutes because it takes time to off-load luggage and once you are in the queue you're stuck. Disembarkation was also well organized. I purchased the airport transfer service and got there in record time.

The ship was very nice with subdued decor (my previous cruises were on Carnival--enough said.) I stayed in a balcony cabin, towards the front of the ship.

The elevators were slow and sometimes very crowded with scooters, wheelchairs, and a generally older crowd that can't negotiate the stairs too well, but most people took it in stride.

The excursions I took were interesting but too short for the money. A naturalist gave talks about Alaska's wildlife, botany, etc. and that helped make the whole experience more interesting. The food was good (lots of fresh fish) and varied although sometimes a bit bland. Service was friendly and efficient.
lonetreefarm’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BF E-207
The cabin was small, but still had enough storage room for two. Placing empty suitcases under the bed helps a lot! Cabin location was fine, although one could hear the pounding music during the Princess Theater music reviews (one deck below.) Since the shows are short (45 min) and the late show is over by about 10:15, this was not an issue.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Dog Sledding
    I love dogs, so this trip was tailor made. I learned a lot about dog-sledding and enjoyed time with the dogs and their handlers. I would have liked to play with more puppies, but a newly-born litter was too young and the two pups that were available were monopolized by the kids on the tour.
    View All 143 Dog Sledding Reviews
  • Wildlife Sanctuary
    I chose this introduction to Alaska because my travel companion cannot walk very far. This fit the bill although the wildlife was scarce. Beautiful scenery and an interesting introduction to Totem Poles at the end.
    View All 42 Wildlife Sanctuary Reviews
  • River Rafting/Eagle Preserve
    A ferry ride to Haines and a van ride to the river were scenic and interesting. Wildlife was scarce, but a tranquil float down-river made up for that. Road construction delays made us late, so the picnic lunch had to be eaten in the van on the way back to the ferry. I would have liked another hour to look at the plants and explore Haines. Those famous giant mosquitoes were out in force, but were not a problem once we were on the river in a stiff breeze. Perching on the side of an inflatable raft was not the most comfortable thing, but doable for an hour or two. The guides were friendly and informative.
    View All 28 River Rafting/Eagle Preserve Reviews
  • Butchart Gardens
    The destinations were fabulous, but the lack of time at each venue forces me to give it a poor review. A snafu dockside made the bus late leaving and that meant after almost an hour's bus ride there was only an hour at Butchart Gardens. Too bad, because there was a lot to see! If I go back, I would consider booking a private tour to have more time to enjoy the venue.
    View All 265 Butchart Gardens Reviews
  • Butterfly Gardens
    This was booked in conjunction with the Butchart Garden tour, so the same time crunch applied--only here we had just 1/2 hour. There was no time to see the fascinating insects (live) on display, just a rush through the butterfly house to grab a few hasty pictures while dodging the crowd.
    View All 26 Butterfly Gardens Reviews